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Re: HoldForm, TraditionalForm Bug?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg88743] Re: HoldForm, TraditionalForm Bug?
  • From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
  • Date: Thu, 15 May 2008 06:52:45 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <g0902t$kou$1@smc.vnet.net>

In article <g0902t$kou$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
 "David Park" <djmpark at comcast.net> wrote:

> Here is a polynomial. Mathematica rearranges the order of the terms.
> 
> x y - x^3 - 1
> -1 - x^3 + x y
> 
> I would like to display the polynomial without rearranging the order. So I 
> use a HoldForm.   <further input snipped>

Sorry, but given previous posts by both of us, have to say that it seems 
to me you've just provided a perfect example of why even attempting to 
devise a software system or syntax in which users are supposed to be 
able to use the same input both for evaluating (computing, calculating) 
a mathematical expression, and also for displaying (typesetting) the 
expression in a desired fashion, is an inherently bad idea.

And the first several initial responses to your post have simply 
reinforced the claim that it's an inherently bad idea.

And the particular difficulty that's exemplified by this example is only 
one of multiple reasons why it's a bad idea.

Bottom line, at least IMHO:  Attempting to create a software app that is 
simultaneously a top of the line numerical and symbolic computational 
app, and also a top of the line typesetting and publication app, is an 
inherently impossible goal, and attempting it ultimately acts to the 
detriment of both these functions.


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