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MathGroup Archive 2004

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Re: what kind of a programming language is Mathematica?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg49295] Re: what kind of a programming language is Mathematica?
  • From: gaylord at uiuc.edu (richard j. gaylord)
  • Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 02:11:36 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <cclfk4$kfa$1@smc.vnet.net> <cco45n$4mg$1@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

AES/newspost <siegman at stanford.edu> wrote in message news:<cco45n$4mg$1 at smc.vnet.net>...
> Just one minor quibble:  Look back 
> at your first paragraph and consider that not all of us may know what 
> "TRS" stands for.  At least I don't, though I can make a guess.


actually there was a preceding paragraph which somehow did not get
included in the original posting.

basically (no pun intended), it said that while some people program in
Mathematica in a procedural (inperative) style (eg., using the Do construct)
even though it is generally inefficient while others emphasize its
functional style (eg., using the  anonymous function and treating
functions as as first class objects), in fact, Mathematica is a term rewriting
system (TRS) [aka,an equational programming language]. in fact, it may
be the only TRS language being used in the 'real world' (i hate that
phrase as a retired academician - the university world is as real as
the industrial world).

and in my opinion, arguments of the relative merits imperative,
declarative, functional programs are irrelevant. TRS are in my view,
the optimum way to do scientific and technical programming.


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