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MathGroup Archive 2005

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VersionHistory[ commandName] would be nice (was Mathematica 5.2: The 64-bit and...)

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg58998] VersionHistory[ commandName] would be nice (was Mathematica 5.2: The 64-bit and...)
  • From: "Peltio" <peltio at trilight.zone>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 04:02:30 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <dbnj2n$hpn$1@smc.vnet.net> <dbou1g$snt$1@smc.vnet.net> <200507230932.FAA29060@smc.vnet.net> <dbv9h2$ec1$1@smc.vnet.net>
  • Reply-to: "Peltio" <peltioNOSPAM at despammed.com.invalid>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

"Pratik Desai" wrote

>I think the help browser has such a feature
>New in Version 5.1

Yes, but I was talking about a command that would return, given a command
name, at least a list of two numbers: one with the version of Mathematica
where it was first introduced, and one with the version(s) of Mathematica
that had its syntax or behavior modified or enhanced.

Something like (I'm making this example up)

    VersionHistory["N"]
        {1.0, {2.0, 2.2, 3.0, 4.2, 5.1}}

Which mean that the command N was there since the first version and was
modified in subsequent versions. (More sophisticated information could be
given - like a list of version where the syntax was modified, a list of
version where the output was modified, the version where the command was
superseded... - but this is the essential bit that's needed).

*Once we have this*, it's easy to write procedures that, given a program o
package written in a given version, will tell us what are the commands used
that have been modified since the time of writing, with respect to the
version we are running. It would be easier to upgrade one's packages, and it
would be easier to identify the source of compatibility problems in packages
that don't work on a different version of Mathematica.
Sometimes the simple fact that N[0] gives 0 in a version and 0. in another
one can prevent a package from functioning properly.
Passing a package to the YetToBeBorn function

    CompatibilityCheck[packageName_String, versA_->versB_]

could spare hours of code re-reading by pointing out the causes of possible
incompatibility.
The compatibility table and VersionHistory command should be available as a
package on the mathsource so that people with older versions could see why
it is time for them to upgrade if they want to run the latest packages.

It's a small step for WRI, yet a giant leap for mathkind. : )

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


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