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Re: When is a List not a List?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg91043] Re: When is a List not a List?
  • From: David Bailey <dave at Remove_Thisdbailey.co.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 03:25:13 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <200807310656.CAA07700@smc.vnet.net> <g6ucgu$pd1$1@smc.vnet.net>

AES wrote:I'll bet the coloring
> problem with List vs Table is precisely "an [accidental] design 
> choice/artifact, not a necessity preordained by fate" -- and an 
> unfortunately unfortunate "design choice/artifact".
> 
> The only things more unfortunate are (a) that M has a fair (and 
> increasing?) number of these Gotchas; (b) M's documentation is 
> substantially less helpful than it could or should be either in 
> diagnosing or in warning about them; and (c) it's far from clear that 
> anyone at WRI really recognizes these points.
> 
I think it is rather too easy to criticise like this and forget the 
complexity and range of tasks that Plot can handle. In this context the 
confusion arises because the evaluation of the argument to Plot 
determines not only what is to be plotted, but also the number of graphs 
to plot. Flexibility like that probably always entails a few gotchas.

The beauty of Mathematica is that you can always write your own function 
that does exactly what you want, calling the system-supplied function 
internally.

David Bailey
http://www.dbaileyconsultancy.co.uk


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