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MathGroup Archive 2008

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Re: Wolfram User Interface Research?


In article <fv1mdf$ona$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
 Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl> wrote:

> You seem to have completely missed my point. You complained about  
> "abstruse" Mathematica symbols such as @, /@, @@ etc. You seem to be  
> oblivious to the fact that
> 
> 1. You never need to use them yourself. Each of them can be replaced  
> by a much more "readable form".
> 2. TeX uses special forms such as {,$, &, %,\ and plenty of even more  
> "abstruse" instructions. A typical fragment of TeX code looks like this:
> 

Not sure I complained about these.  In fact I routinely use a number of 
them --- but also find others in fact mysterious or arcane, for me 
anyway.

What I did ask for --- would still ask for --- was, first of all the 
proper technical name for this class of non-alphabetical symbols or 
commands or operators in Mathematica? -- what they're called as a group, 
to distinguish them from alphabetical symbol names? --- so I could ask 
about them properly.

Second and more important, I asked where, if anywhere, I could find (in 
a single place) a short list (like perhaps a half-dozen page or less) 
summarizing _all_ of these non-alphabetical operators, with a brief 
statement of what each of them does, or what it's good for --- so that I 
could identify ones I'd missed and decide which of these I might want to 
learn more about.

I'd still be happy to have an answer to this query.

And thirdly, I frankly think it would be an interesting exercise in 
interface research --- and a _useful_ one for Wolfram's interface 
designers --- to have some systematic data on which of these 
non-alphabetical operators are heavily used and which are seldom used, 
by different categories of Mathematica users.  I'd at least have an 
interest in that, out of pure curiosity.


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