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Re: notation using # with exponents and &
*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
*Subject*: [mg93150] Re: notation using # with exponents and &
*From*: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
*Date*: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 05:48:08 -0500 (EST)
*Organization*: Stanford University
*References*: <ge6nik$ll4$1@smc.vnet.net>
In article <ge6nik$ll4$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> In any case, whether what the Mathematica documentation calls a
> pure function is consistent with some other definition is of
> little practical significance. It certainly isn't helpful to
> call the construct an anonymous function even if this is more
> correct in some sense given doing so is not consistent with the
> Mathematica documentation. Using a nomenclature inconsistent
> with the documentation is certain to cause more confusion rather
> than increase clarity.
I'm afraid I'd flatly disagree with nearly every statement in this
paragraph:
1) Suppose a reasonably widely accepted definition for any technical
term or 'term of art' -- such as the term "pure function", for example
-- exists and is widely used and understood in the mathematical world
(and I've already stated that I'm no expert on the concept of a pure
function).
Then it certainly seems to me that Mathematica would, and _should_, want
to conform to that accepted usage, if at all possible. (And if, for
some good and sufficient reason, they chose to diverge from the accepted
usage, it would help M users if they state this very clearly, and maybe
say why they're choosing to redefine the term.)
2) Calling the construct under discussion an "anonymous function" might
or might not be the optimum choice -- I don't claim to know -- but it
would at least focus attention on what seems to be a major distinction
for the construct -- that it need not have a name, and can be used
without every being named.
3) "Using a nomenclature inconsistent with the documentation is certain
to cause more confusion rather than increase clarity." Well, duh!!!
Is using a nomenclature that is inconsistent _with the established or
already widely accepted mathematical nomenclature for some concept or
construct_ likely to increase clarity and decrease confusion among users?
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