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Re: Text-based interface: Editing line input

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg91900] Re: Text-based interface: Editing line input
  • From: Szabolcs Horvát <szhorvat at>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 05:27:32 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: University of Bergen
  • References: <gaaquo$12q$>

Ken Johnson wrote:
 > I have been enjoying mathematica, for a bit. While some might consider
 > me a minimalist, I enjoy the text-based interface over the notebook
 > style usage. However I severely miss the ability to move the cursor
 > left and right for editing a single line. The documentation itself
 > suggests pasting lines, but most of my pasting requires a little
 > editing too. So instead of pasting whole lines of input, I resort to
 > partial line paste, adding different text, then pasting the remaining
 > relevant portion of a line.

I would not call it being minimalistic ... it is more like senseless 
self torture ... But it seems that doing everything from a command line 
has become the new fad these days.

Yes, you can use Mathematica from a very primitive command line, lose a 
lot of the functionality, but gain nothing  ...  Or you can use it with 
a very advanced command line where you *can* (but are not *forced to*) 
go back and edit any of the previous inputs (not just the current line), 
use automatic expression formatting and colouring, see graphics as the 
output of some functions, or even use graphics as input!  This advanced 
command line interface to Mathematica is called the Front End.

 > Is there any way to be able to freely move the cursor on a line? I
 > have obviously tried the arrow keys, and also have tried emacs style
 > movements as well with no luck (ctrl-b ctrl-f for backwards and
 > forewards). Any suggestions?

Your question is OS specific and you didn't say which OS you use.  On 
Windows try starting math.exe, which is a real console mode program (not 
MathKernel.exe).  All the usual input features of cmd.exe such as line 
editing and command history will be present.

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