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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: Language vs. Library

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg61199] Re: Language vs. Library
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnewsciv at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 01:43:10 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

On 10/11/05 at 3:21 AM, hattons at globalsymmetry.com (Steven T.
Hatton) wrote:

>David Annetts wrote:

>>However, for questions like this, definitions of "core" don't
>>really matter since some of the standard libraries (eg Graphics`)
>>tend to be used almost as defaults.  Once again, what does it
>>actually matter?

>Very much so.  Mathematica provides a huge number of symbols,
>options, commands, end etc.  Distinguishing the essential from the
>incidental is necessary in order to effectively use a tool as
>complex as this.

I don't follow your thinking here. If there is some set of operations considered "core" with the remaining operations built from these "core" operations, is your assumption a program written in terms of the "core" operations will be more efficient or faster than one that includes operations that are not "core" operations? If so, why?

If I assume a program that does a minimal number of operations to accomplish its task that uses a "non-core" function, why would replacing this portion of the program with functionality built from "core" functions be more efficient?

In any case, I see no way for you or I to separate symbols in the System` context into "core" and "non-core" operations. I lack access to Mathematica source code as I assume do you. It seems to me access to the source code would be required to make the distinction you are trying to make here.

But if the overall goal is to learn how to create efficient Mathematica code, then it seems the best way is to simply start writing code, participate in this forum and read some of the text written about using Mathematica.
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