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Re: Re: HoldForm, TraditionalForm Bug?

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  • Subject: [mg88794] Re: [mg88743] Re: HoldForm, TraditionalForm Bug?
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at>
  • Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 05:35:56 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <g0902t$kou$> <>

If one is using the Mathematica for exclusively for typesetting, there  
is absolutely no need to evaluate anything. In which case what, on  
earth, is the relevance of this supposed "perfect example"? Perfect  
example of what?

It may be argued that the desire to obtain fully "traditional" output  
when using Mathematica for computation (evaluation) is a rather  
ambitious one, perhaps excessively so. But, I am sure very few choose  
"Output Form"  as the default output format. Nevertheless, if that is  
what you wish you can do so! What stops you?  In fact you can even set  
up the FrontEnd to return all output in InputForm, if that is what you  
really like. What's wrong with other people being able to make other  
choices? Does it not strike you as rather arrogant to argue that to  
satisfy your own personal preferences (or perhaps ignorance)  Wolfram  
should reduce the choices available to other users? For in  
Mathematica, unlike in most other programs, you do not need to use any  
of the Front End features you do not like, in fact, you do not need to  
use the Front End at all. That's something you seem to be completely  
unable to grasp.

I cannot find almost any merit in all your posts on this subject  
except or one argument that curiously you never choose to make (I  
wonder why?). The argument is, of course, that people who do not need  
and do not like any of the new Front End features but do wish to have  
some of the new features of the Kernel, should not have to pay for the  
development of the former. This could be easily dealt by making the  
Mathematica Kernel available separately (at a lower price) and giving  
users a choice of front ends, including a very cheap (or better free)  
one, much like that in version 2.

(An just by the way, by the way, the solution to the original problem,  
already posted by several persons:

PolynomialForm[HoldForm[x y - x^3 - 1], TraditionalOrder -> False]

does not seem dreadfully complicated to me.)

I have not been able to

Andrzej Kozlowski

On 15 May 2008, at 19:52, 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.

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