       How to tell Mathematica to stop conditional testing in an If statment if one condition is niether True or False? McCarthy evaluation rules? 'and then' test?

• To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
• Subject: [mg69525] How to tell Mathematica to stop conditional testing in an If statment if one condition is niether True or False? McCarthy evaluation rules? 'and then' test?
• From: "Nasser Abbasi" <nma at 12000.org>
• Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 06:57:17 -0400 (EDT)
• Reply-to: "Nasser Abbasi" <nma at 12000.org>

```I can better describe this with simple example:

------------- code ------------

Remove["Global`*"];
xc = Table[i, {i, 1, 3}]
x = 5;
If[x == b && xc[] == 4, Print["True"], Print["False"], Print["Can't
decide"]]

----- end code -------------
In the above, 'x==b' is neither True nor False, since 'b' has no numerical
value.

But what I want is when this happens, for Mathematica to NOT continue with
the  testing if xc[]==4  is True (because even if it is True, it will
not change the outcome, which is can't decide.

I am looking for something like 'and then'  which says to test the next
condition only if the one just tested was true.

The interesting thing is that if 'b' had a value, say 7, which makes the
first test (the x==b) to be False, then Mathematica does the right thing,
and will not try to check the xc[]==4 condition.  I need it to do the
same thing when also the result of the check is 'undecided', not just
'False' or 'True'.

Is there a way to do this?  Notice in the example above, I get the error
that xc[] is out of bound, but still get the can't decide message.

It is clear to me that the way Mathematica does it now is not the right way.
I do not see why it tries to check for xc[]==4 when it will not make a
difference to the final result.

any thoughts?

thanks,
Nasser

```

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