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Re: Re: HoldForm, TraditionalForm Bug?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg88761] Re: [mg88743] Re: HoldForm, TraditionalForm Bug?
  • From: "J. McKenzie Alexander" <jalex at>
  • Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 05:29:37 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <g0902t$kou$> <>

I'm probably jumping into this thread a bit late, but isn't this the  
sort of thing that Interpretation was designed to handle?  The  
following generates an object which displays in the form you want but  
which is interpreted as the standard symbolic expression.

  Style[HoldForm[x y - x^3 - 1], SingleLetterItalics -> True,
   FontFamily -> "Times"], x y - x^3 - 1]



On 15 May 2008, at 11:52, AES wrote:

> In article <g0902t$kou$1 at>,
> "David Park" <djmpark at> 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.

Dr J. McKenzie Alexander
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE

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