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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: UML-like diagrams for Mathematica

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg62982] Re: UML-like diagrams for Mathematica
  • From: "Steven T. Hatton" <hattons at>
  • Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 06:02:51 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <dnbn24$5ru$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Steven T. Hatton wrote:

> I am not a passionate fan of UML.  I often find UML to obfuscate rather
> than
> illuminate.  Nonetheless, the basic idea of using graphical
> representations to help communicate ideas about programming constructs is
> a valuable tool. I once had a professor tell me "When you want to
> understand a problem, draw
> a picture."  I believe there is a great deal of value in that advice which
> Dr. John A. Wheeler gave me.  I find it very surprising that books about
> Mathematica often use graphics to provide insight into mathematical
> problems, but rarely use diagrams to represent the structure of objects in
> Mathematica.
> The particular subject I am thinking about is the structure of a Symbol. 
> I
> really don't know what the internal structure is.  All I know is there is
> some kind of hash table holding symbols and their associated values.  My
> current understanding of symbols in Mathematica is that they consist of
> (or are associated with) at least some of the following:
> UpValues
> DownValues
> OwnValues[*]
> SubValues
> Options
> Attributes
> internal data


I'm suspect I'm still missing something that can be meaningfully associated
with a symbol.
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