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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Re: Missing information in Mathematica 6.0 Documentation

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg80432] Re: [mg80379] Missing information in Mathematica 6.0 Documentation
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 04:47:05 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <200708201004.GAA04956@smc.vnet.net>
  • Reply-to: murray at math.umass.edu

Indeed, this is just one instance of a general oversight in the 
Documentation Center -- neglecting to say explicitly that you must load 
the package in which a function identified as being from a package is 
defined.

Thus if you go to the Histogram reference page, at the top you'll see in 
gray, "HISTOGRAMS PACKAGE SYMBOL", but nowhere on the page does it show 
the expression to load the package.  And that gray legend at the top is 
easy to miss.

Moreover, if you follow the "More about" link at the bottom of the page 
to go to the Histograms Package page, you'll just find a list of the 
packages two functions (along with some further "More about" links), but 
still nothing about loading the package!

In Mathematica 5.2, the page for a package typically showed near its 
start the expression needed to load it.  (In the case of function 
Histogram, this was the Help Browser page on Graphics`Graphics`.)

Owen, HL (Hywel) wrote:
> In Mathematica 5.2 I knew I had to load a Graphics package to plot things like
> Histograms. In Version 6.x, I assumed that a lot of these functions had
> gone into the core, so didn't need to be loaded.
> 
> For example, I tried just running:
> Histogram[Table[RandomReal[{1-0.05,1+0.05}],{100}]]
> 
> Nowhere in the documentation for 6.0 can I find that I now need this
> command:
> Needs["Histograms`"]
> 
> Luckily I found an example on the Demonstrations website.
> 
> Can the Mathematica Documentation team put this sort of stuff into the
> documentation please? This stuff should be in the help files.


-- 
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


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