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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.


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