Re: Re: Question regarding Mathematica's treatment of whitespace

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg61882] Re: [mg61869] Re: Question regarding Mathematica's treatment of whitespace*From*: Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu>*Date*: Thu, 3 Nov 2005 04:58:51 -0500 (EST)*Organization*: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst*References*: <dk1k2g$9p9$1@smc.vnet.net><dk4cun$rum$1@smc.vnet.net> <200511020909.EAA06991@smc.vnet.net>*Reply-to*: murray at math.umass.edu*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

But in Mathematica, the semicolon is NOT a terminator at all. Rather, it's a SEPARATOR -- between parts of a CompoundExpression. (Something of the form "a;b;...", etc.) When the user omits the final statement in the compound expression, as in "a;b;" then Mathematica inserts Null as that missing final statement. Since Null is normally not printed as a result, the effect is to display no output whatsoever. It's as sensible to insist that Mathematica "should" adopt this or that syntactical convention of some other programming language, as to insist that, say, English should obey the syntax rules of some other natural language. carlos at colorado.edu wrote: > Mathematica should mandate ; as terminator of any expression, > as in C. Then problems such as the one noted by the OP > would disappear: with CR/LF uniformly ignored source interpretation > becomes more linebreak independent. > > Also the common warning about "this statement > will be interpreted as implicit multiplication" in modules, with > consequent risk of infinite recursion, would go away. > > To get an expression printed a short construct such as > > a = Sin[Pi/2] >>; > > which outputs "a=1" could be introduced to avoid the > verbosity of Print. This could be easily edited in and out in > module debugging. > > -- Murray Eisenberg murray at math.umass.edu Mathematics & Statistics Dept. Lederle Graduate Research Tower phone 413 549-1020 (H) University of Massachusetts 413 545-2859 (W) 710 North Pleasant Street fax 413 545-1801 Amherst, MA 01003-9305

**References**:**Re: Question regarding Mathematica's treatment of whitespace***From:*carlos@colorado.edu