Re: Types in Mathematica

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg62698] Re: Types in Mathematica*From*: "Steven T. Hatton" <hattons at globalsymmetry.com>*Date*: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 00:46:01 -0500 (EST)*References*: <200511191053.FAA16418@smc.vnet.net> <dlp2ci$le$1@smc.vnet.net> <200511200950.EAA04496@smc.vnet.net> <dls4vp$mmc$1@smc.vnet.net> <dm1ak3$i1n$1@smc.vnet.net> <dmjrb8$5u6$1@smc.vnet.net>*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Paul Abbott wrote: > Actually, much of the thinking involved in mathematics and physics > _transcends_ the kinds of thinking which programming experience can > develop. Extensive knowledge of mathematics and physics definitely > assists Mathematica programming, more so than in other languages because > of the high-level functionality. The "physics" or "mathematics" way of > thinking often assists implementations of algorithms in Mathematica. > This is, I think, the key point of this thread. I began to write the following as part of the other reply to the above quoted posting. I decided to create a second post so that the ideas expressed herein would not be obscured with the ideas I presented in the other post. I believe most people here will agree that Mathematica is not a strongly typed programming language. In order for us to believe such a thing, we have to have a notion, however vague, of a strongly typed variant of Mathematica. What I really wanted to get at in starting this thread is what that strongly typed Mathematica might be, and what strengths and/or flaws it would have. Rather than trying to address each of the items listed below right now, I am going to post them as potential points of discussion. I really cannot address the questions myself without further thought. What would a type system in Mathematica be? What might be gained by having a type system in Mathematica? What might be lost? To what extent /does/ Mathematica have a type system? To what extent can a type system be implemented within Mathematica without modifying the language? How would a type system in Mathematica be similar to one in another language? How would a type system in Mathematica differ from one in another language? -- The Mathematica Wiki: http://www.mathematica-users.org/ Math for Comp Sci http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/math/bmwcs/master.html Math for the WWW: http://www.w3.org/Math/