Re: Not Using a Text Editor Interface for Mathematica

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg64473] Re: Not Using a Text Editor Interface for Mathematica*From*: grub_snuffler at yahoo.com*Date*: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 02:49:58 -0500 (EST)*References*: <dt48rf$311$1@smc.vnet.net>*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

I started one of these recent threads, and while I appreciate what you're saying, my actual complaint (I gather the others had a different slant) wasn't with the notebook paradigm. I want the notebook idea, I just can't stand Mathematica's style choices. I find it easier to read programs written in c/c++, because the fonts, spacing, colors and such are much more easily set to my tastes (oh, and because of use of underscores in variable and function names.) This is the beginning and end of my point. I'm not criticising the notebook paradigm (though I don't write very large scale applications). I gather that deep down, Mathematica can be made closer to a text-editor in style, but using the notebook options in Mathematica is like graphing in Mathematica. Sure it's flexible, but it's needlessly difficult to get things exactly as you want them. Look at it this way: (1) Computer programmers do the most computer programming (natch) and therefore need the best possible programming environment. (2) They are the most qualified to do something about said environment if they don't like that it. And yet, after decades, the basic working environment is still a syntax-highlighted text editor (THAT LETS YOU TAB WHEN YOU WANT DAMNIT!!! ). If you were to add things like (optional) auto-completion with function argument hints (a la MS VC++), then it would be pretty close to perfect. Wolfram has some brilliant programmers, but I think they need to concentrate on ease-of-use issues. Actually, I know from a friend who spoke to Stephan Wolfram himself they're working on improving the their rotten [my word] graphing capabilities. Hopefully they'll work on the front end while they're at it. john