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Re: Show and 6.0

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  • Subject: [mg89542] Re: Show and 6.0
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 02:59:24 -0400 (EDT)

On 6/11/08 at 3:16 AM, siegman at (AES) wrote:

>I've just read the three most recent posts in this thread (as they
>appear in my newsreader anyway), and I'd suggest that what is most
>interesting about them is the very substantial _differences_ in
>interpretation and emphasis and viewpoint between these posts --- in
>fact, I think they fairly could be described as very considerable
>contradictions  --- especially between the posts by David Park and
>Bill Rowe.

I just re-read David Park's post in this thread in the archives
and I simply don't see any significant contradiction between
what I posted and his comments.

>And examining the Help for ";" shows how inadequate it is for
>resolving these differing viewpoints.

I just don't understand the basis for this comment. When I enter
; and hit return in the Documentation Center search box, the
first thing I see is

CompoundEpression (;)

in rather large bold face type.

Right under this is

   evaluates expr_i in turn, giving the last one as the result.

Then clicking on the More Information arrow reveals a bullet stating

expr_1;expr_2; returns Null

and goes on to explicitly state no output will be printed.

What is unclear or ambiguous here?

I am aware there are ambiguities in some of the documentation.
But I don't see any here at all.

All that has really happened with respect to the usage of a
semicolon between version 5.2 and 6.0 is to make expressions
generating graphics to behave like any other expression in
version 6.0. That is, Mathematica has become more consistent in
version 6.0 than it was for previous versions with respect to
graphics and other expressions.

>And all of this, by illustrating the potential for confusion that
>can arise at even this elementary level of Mathematica input syntax,
>and the differing impressions that users can form, emphasizes once
>again the need for clear and helpful and much better _user_
>education and documentation (as contrasted to formal or reference

>And, just to flog the horse once more, how poorly WRI has met this

Certainly, there are areas of the documentation that could use
improvement and clarification. But I don't see how this
particular item could be made any more clear.

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