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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: Types in Mathematica

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg62570] Re: Types in Mathematica
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnewsciv at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 00:58:08 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

On 11/27/05 at 2:40 AM, hattons at globalsymmetry.com (Steven T.
Hatton) wrote:

>A related question follows from this example:
>In[n]:=Information[Plot3D]

>Plot3D[f, {x, xmin, xmax}, {y, ymin, ymax}] generates a
>three-dimensional plot of f as a function of x and y. Plot3D[{f,
>s}, {x, xmin, xmax}, {y, ymin, ymax}] generates a three-dimensional
>plot in which the height of the surface is specified by f, and the
>shading is specified by s.

>Note there is no specification of /what/ "f", "x", "xmin", "xmax",
>"y", "ymin", and "ymax" should be.  What difficulties exist which
>prevent the specification of the "types" of these parameters?

It isn't clear to me as to what point you are trying to make here.

The description returned by Information isn't intended to be a full documentation of the function. Basically, all it provides is a minimal description showing arguements. But a clickable link is also provided which allows you to quickly access more complete documentation which includes usage examples and links to further documentation.

>What about the notion of "return values"?  For example Plot3D
>returns a SurfaceGraphics object, but the documentation resulting
>from Information[Plot3D] does not mention that.  Why?

Why should that be included? Again, the purpose of Information is to give a short description not full documentation. Clearly, what is omitted from any shortened description is somewhat arbitrary. I would think most of the time Plot3D is used to generate a graphic that is not further manipulated. Assuming this is true, it seems reasonable to provide a list of the argumenents in a shortened description but not much detail as to output objects.
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