Re: Programming style: postfix/prefix vs. functional

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg70604] Re: [mg70587] Programming style: postfix/prefix vs. functional*From*: Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu>*Date*: Sat, 21 Oct 2006 05:13:39 -0400 (EDT)*Organization*: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst*References*: <200610200921.FAA11092@smc.vnet.net>*Reply-to*: murray at math.umass.edu

I'd disagree that using prefix and postfix notation "sacrifices some level of readability" -- at least once is used to this additional notation. In fact, they are often used for the very purpose of improving readability. For example, f /@ expr is often more readable than the equivalent Map[f, expr] when expr is itself complicated enough, even sometimes when expr is just a brace-delimited list. Likewise, for an expression expr that is the focus of attention, if you just want to check its numeric value, expr // N is often more readable than N[expr] and even if not, it's often convenient to keep typing and put the "// N" at the end of a line rather than go back to the start of the line, put "N[" there and then return to the end of the line with the closing "]". Yet another case is composition: f@g[expr] is sometimes easier to "grok" than the equivalent f[g[expr]] with the nested brackets in the latter (and the use of @ so closely resembles the traditional function composition operator in mathematics, anyway). Will Robertson wrote: > Hello, > > As a newcomer to Mathematica, I'm a little unsure on what "good style" > would be in this programming language. I notice that several functions > have prefix and postfix notations such as //. for ReplaceRepeated, /@ > for Map, and so on. > > Clearly using these forms makes the code more compact, but sacrifices > some level of readability. Are there guidelines or suggestions that > have built up over the years of whether these are "good" or "bad" to > use? > > If it's simply personal preference, what do you like to use? > -- > Many thanks, > Will Robertson > > -- 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**:**Programming style: postfix/prefix vs. functional***From:*"Will Robertson" <wspr81@gmail.com>