Re: Yet another Mathematica docs whopper

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg47123] Re: Yet another Mathematica docs whopper*From*: Paul Abbott <paul at physics.uwa.edu.au>*Date*: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 03:56:30 -0500 (EST)*Organization*: The University of Western Australia*References*: <c3udt9$9pd$1@smc.vnet.net>*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

In article <c3udt9$9pd$1 at smc.vnet.net>, J Krugman <jkrugman at yahbitoo.com> wrote: > I've posted about the poor quality of Mathematica's documentation > before, and received several e-mails challenging my claim that this > documentation is awash in errors and woefully incomplete. Well, > for those who doubt, here's the latest example I just bumped into: > > In[1]:= ??AspectRatio > AspectRatio is an option for Show and related functions which specifies the > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ > ratio of height to width for a plot. > > Attributes[AspectRatio] = {Protected} > > In[2]:= SetOptions[Show, AspectRatio->Automatic]; > > SetOptions::optnf: AspectRatio is not a known option for Show. > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ > > Faced with this sort of nonsense, what is a user to do? Interesting example -- and a little subtle because, in fact, both statements are true! If you enter Options[Show] you will see that it has no built-in options. However, Show[Plot[Sin[x], {x, 0, 2 Pi}], AspectRatio -> Automatic] does work. (Since Show has no options, I assume that the option must be getting passed to the object produced by the Plot command, which in this case is a -Graphics- object). To set AspectRatio->Automatic for all Plots, one can do SetOptions[Plot, AspectRatio -> Automatic] Plot[Sin[x], {x, 0, 2 Pi}] Similarly, to set it for Graphics (and to add a frame) SetOptions[Graphics, AspectRatio -> Automatic, Frame -> True] Show[Graphics[Point /@ Table[Random[], {100}, {2}]]] > I am furious, because I spend an unreasonable amount of time > resolving inadequacies like this one in the Mathematica documentation. > Considering the exorbitant sum we paid for Mathematica, I expect > something much better documented than this. Agreed -- but the documentation of Mathematica is already overwhelmingly large ... Cheers, Paul -- Paul Abbott Phone: +61 8 9380 2734 School of Physics, M013 Fax: +61 8 9380 1014 The University of Western Australia (CRICOS Provider No 00126G) 35 Stirling Highway Crawley WA 6009 mailto:paul at physics.uwa.edu.au AUSTRALIA http://physics.uwa.edu.au/~paul