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MathGroup Archive 2004

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Re: Yet another Mathematica docs whopper

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg47112] Re: Yet another Mathematica docs whopper
  • From: "Peltio" <peltio at twilight.zone>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 03:55:57 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <c3udt9$9pd$1@smc.vnet.net>
  • Reply-to: "Peltio" <peltioNOSP at Mdespammed.com.invalid>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

"J Krugman" wrote

>  ??AspectRatio
>      AspectRatio is an option for Show and [snip]
>                  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> SetOptions[Show, AspectRatio->Automatic];
>      SetOptions::optnf: AspectRatio is not a known option for Show.
>                         ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

>I am furious, because I spend an unreasonable amount of time
>resolving inadequacies like this one in the Mathematica documentation.

This might at first look like a glitch of the kernel, since AspectRatio is
accepted as an option by Show. Try

    Show[Graphics[Point[{0,0}],Frame->True,AspectRatio->0.5]
    Show[Graphics3D[Point[{0,0,0}], AspectRatio->0.5]

to see that this is the case. My wild guess is that SetOptions won't let you
set a default value for AspectRatio because there may be cases where that
option wouldn't work. For example the option Frame can't be assigned to Show
when it is drawing 3D graphics. I can't name right now a graphics object
that does not accept AspectRatio, but I surmise there must be at least one.
True, this mechanism is a little subtle and should be better documented.

Perhaps the first message should be modified into something like:
"AspectRatio is an option for Show (when used with certain functions) and
related functions, which specifies the ratio of height to width for a plot."

It would be even Better to have separate error messages for incorrect
options: one for unknown options
    SetOptions::optnf: Accuracy is not a known option for Show.
and one for 'possibly incompatible option'.
    SetOptions::optng: AspectRatio is not a generally valid option for Show.
But I guess that this would mean to revise the whole option managing
business : )

cheers,
Peltio
--
Invalid address in reply-to. Crafty demunging required to mail me.








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