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Re: Mathematica doesn't know what it's doing.

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  • Subject: [mg67181] Re: Mathematica doesn't know what it's doing.
  • From: "Steve Luttrell" <steve_usenet at>
  • Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2006 02:18:39 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <e6e2ko$1vt$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Like you I have an interest in document preparation but couldn't find any 
definitive source to learn how to do the more advanced things in 
Mathematica. I eventually concluded that I had to learn how to create 
stylesheets myself. I have learnt how to do this by looking at the supplied 
stylesheets using Format | Edit Style Sheet | Import Private Copy, and then 
Format | Show Expression to see exactly how their cells work. If you poke 
around like this then the general rules for how style sheets work gradually 
become clear, and you can experiment by making changes (by toggling Format | 
Show Expression and editing carefully) to see their effect. Remember to use 
Import Private Copy otherwise you will be editing the master copy of the 
stylesheet, which you probably don't want to do.

Anyway, the key words you want to look for to control the way that cells 
group together are "TitleGrouping", "SectionGrouping", etc (for the Default 
stylesheet). You can find these by doing Format | Show Expression on the 
whole of a stylesheet, and then searching for the strings you are interested 

Steve Luttrell
West Malvern, UK

"Steven T. Hatton" <hattons at> wrote in message 
news:e6e2ko$1vt$1 at
>I have come to the conclusion that part of my difficulty in getting
> Mathematica to do what I want is because Mathematica doesn't know what 
> it's
> doing.  That is not to say that Mathematica is doing something wrong.  I 
> am
> speaking in the sense that Russell used when he said: "Thus [pure]
> mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we
> are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true."
> For the most part, Mathematica is a-semantic.  That is to say, it is
> strongly biased toward syntax.  This accounts for its strength as a
> mathematics tool.  To a great extent, mathematics is about manipulating
> symbols with algebraic uniformity.
> In fields such as document processing, general purpose programming,
> electronics, systems integration, and even differential geometry, where I
> have more experience, semantics tend to dominate.
> So what exactly is it that I am having trouble with?  A good example has
> little to do with Mathematica, per se.  It has to do with document
> preparation. I think in terms of book, part, chapter, section, subsection,
> theorem, definition, axiom, example, paragraph, etc.  These are nested
> concepts.  I want to write a theorem and have it contained in a 
> TheoremBox.
> I know that Mathematica arranges some textual units hierarchically, but it
> does this indirectly through the use of GroupBoxes.
> It may well be that I could accomplish what I want through the creation of
> style sheets.  There are many existing style sheets available, but they
> seem to lack this semantic aspect of document organization.  There is a 
> lot
> more I could say on this topic, but before I continue, I would like to 
> know
> what others think about these matters.
> If anybody knows of a good source which really explains the art of 
> document
> creation using Mathematica, I am very interested.
> -- 

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