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Re: Inequality not documented in 6.0

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg90065] Re: Inequality not documented in 6.0
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 06:20:26 -0400 (EDT)

On 6/26/08 at 5:34 PM, drmajorbob at att.net (DrMajorBob) wrote:

>>I suppose you aren't counting the description returned by
>>evaluating,

>>?Inequaltity

>The result of that is:

>"Inequality represents a sequence of relational statements."

>Personally, I do NOT count that as documentation,

=46ine. I don't care to argue this specific point

>There's not even a "More" button.

Right. And I believe there is a reason for this fact.

>How would one type ?Inequality in the first place, if one didn't
>already know it existed, with precisely that name?

Better question. Why would you want to do that except as an
attempt to learn about what is returned by

FullForm[x>y>=z>a]

If you think about the documentation for Greater, GreaterEqual
etc., it makes sense for these to have heads identical to the
symbol and a separate page since they can take an arbitrary
number of arguments, i.e., x>y or x>y>z or x>y>z>a etc.

But this scheme makes no allowance for something like x>y>=z>a.
Clearly, something more is needed to allow for this possibility.
But I think it is equally clear the sequence of inequalities is
far more natural to enter as x>y>=z>a than Inequality[x > y, y
 >= z, z > a]. Using FullForm it is easy to verify both are the
same. So, given the far more natural entry possible, what need
is there for more documentation than what is returned by ?Inequality

>And how does a newbie know that?

I would not expect a newbie to know that. In fact, I would not
be surprised many experienced Mathematica users would think to
type in ?Inequality without first having seen Inequality in an
expression they were examining by using FullForm. But I do think
the documentation that does exist is adequate in this particular
case for the reasons given above.

I am not suggesting I think Mathematica documentation is
complete, clear and cannot be improved. I do think this is not
an example of an instance where the documentation is incomplete,
unclear or needs improvement.


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