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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Re: Bug with Limit?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg74216] Re: Bug with Limit?
  • From: Eric Smith <eric at brouhaha.com>
  • Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 03:57:11 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <200703021134.GAA03672@smc.vnet.net> <esb4eh$3ql$1@smc.vnet.net> <et5t8o$lin$1@smc.vnet.net>

I wrote:
> Making the documentation clear is a problem for the designers
> of Mathematica.

"dimitris" <dimmechan at yahoo.com> writes:
> Everything is clear and "out there"...(at least for me!)

I went to the Help Browser page for the Limit function, and the
way the page was written did not suggest that a Limit with no
direction specified would use a default direction.

I have no doubt that you can dig around with a much of commands
like you showed in your posting, and figure it out.  That was
not my point.  Naive users like me expect the help browser to
provide this sort of information.  Especially when we've been
taught (incorrectly, according to some people in this forum)
that the mathematical definition of a limit is that it has
the same value from all directions, unless a direction has been
specified.  Expert mathematicians may know otherwise, but
many of the common introductory calculus textbooks present it
that way.  Thus if Mathematica does it differently (undoubtedly
for very good reasons), the Help Browser should explain it,
without the user needing to do a lot of extra digging.

Eric


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