Re: A Package Function Tutorial

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg92323] Re: A Package Function Tutorial*From*: magma <maderri2 at gmail.com>*Date*: Sat, 27 Sep 2008 22:20:37 -0400 (EDT)*References*: <200809231135.HAA00876@smc.vnet.net> <gbjm8k$39f$1@smc.vnet.net>

Mauricio, Reading code written by Mathematica masters is one of the best ways to learn to program in Mathematica. At the same time you shouldn't complain if they write code which is beyond your immediate comprehension. Quite on the contrary! If you read something that you understand right away, you are learning nothing, but if it takes a bit to see how they achieve their magic, you are learning something new and you end up being a better Mathematica programmer. Most available packages are not meant to be educational, so the code - even if visible - is not commented and you have to exercise your existing skills, and probably learn new ones, to understand what it does and how it does it. The purpose of most packages is just to perform a task and you are not supposed to waste too much time learning how to use the package. Simply call the functions correctly and you're set. Opening the box and looking inside to understand its inner workings is up to you and, as I said, the more difficult it is, the more instructive it is. A different matter is of course with educational packages where abundant commenting and explanations should be the rule and looking inside the box should be encouraged. If you had trouble understanding this tutorial right away, I would suggest you read the classic "Programming in Mathematica" by Roman Maeder. You will learn all (but one, I think) the techniques described in the tutorial. Best of all: it is only 280 pages long, so no heavy lifting required.

**References**:**A Package Function Tutorial***From:*blackhole@thebushman.net