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Re: Re: Logarithmic Plot

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  • Subject: [mg96480] Re: [mg96393] Re: Logarithmic Plot
  • From: David Bakin <davidbak at>
  • Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 03:11:38 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <>


I agree with you on "class 2" questions.  But on "class 1":  Sometimes even
these questions, for whatever reason, spark a response from one of the great
people at Wolfram or the really experienced and knowledgable people in this
group - and sometimes these responses frequently go far beyond the minimum
required and explain something really interesting about Mathematica, or
programming in general, or algorithms, or who knows what.  I'm willing to
read a bunch of similar answers (and even a few rants) in response to the
"class 1" questions on the chance of finding one of those exemplary answers.

Now, you mention that you'd rather just point to how to get the
documentation in those cases: I think that is appropriate.  But one hopes
that the documentation writers - or dare I suggest, usability specialists? -
at Wolfram are paying attention:  if the same kind of question is asked
often (as has been noted in another thread recently) then there's something
inadequate about the current help/doc/error message/usage message system.

(For example, this group gets a lot of questions from people who don't
understand a particular error message. It has recently been noted that
usage/error messages can contain any kind of formatting.  Why don't more of
them, then, include hyperlinks into the doc center?  For another example,
there are also a lot of questions from people who don't understand why they
got a particular error message in a particular context.  Maybe there should
be a package (optional for experienced users!) that, when a message is
issued, analyzes it and the stack and tries to figure out some
context-specific help.  (It might require a hook similar to $NewSymbol which
is applied to the whole message, unlike $MessagePrePrint which is applied to
only expressions included in a message.)  Sort of a DWIM (*) facility for

-- David

(*) DWIM == Do What I Mean - invented for InterLisp by Warren Teitelman
On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 3:43 AM, Alexei Boulbitch
<Alexei.Boulbitch at>wrote:

> Yes, Ben,
> there are several simple approaches. If you type the word "logarithmic" in
> the slot of the Help window you will find
> some. So, you simply have not spent enough time with the doc center.
> The following note I address to the MathGroup community. May be it needs to
> be discussed.
>  I often find questions in the Forum which show that the one who posted the
> question did not make his "homework".
> That is, he did not look into the Help before asking, did not look into a
> proper textbook in Mathematics (rather than Mathematica), Physics, Biology
> (or whatever else depending upon the problem
> to be solved), or into a reference book, into a manual etc.
> This situation I would classify as the class 1. I understand of coarse,
> that answering any questions on Mathematica is a kind
> of sport and makes a lot of fun for most of us.
> However, I find that answering such questions objectively makes harm to
> those people who posted them in such a way. I find
> that in this case it is much better to point out a book where one finds the
> answer, textbook, manual or finally, a key-word
> that would help or any other way to go, rather than a solution itself.
> There are however, the class 2 situations. These are much heavier, and I
> believe they are also met sometimes in this Forum.
> Sometimes I have an impression that some people post here questions in
> which they formulate their own work in a hope that
> somebody will think instead of them, and instead of them fulfill the whole
> work or its part. It may be a student's task, or
> a part of the Diploma or PhD work, even the one done against payment. I
> believe one can distinguish such questions from
> "correct" ones. I have the impression that the Gurus of Mathematica use to
> answer these as well. I personally find that
> such questions should not be answered at all.
> I invite all of you to form and may be, to formulate here your own opinion
> on this problem.
> Hi, I could use some help.  Basically I have imported a set of data points
> (concentration of compound vs. time)
> and plotted it in Mathematica.  Part of my assignment now is to post the
> Log[concentration] vs. time.  Is there an
> easy command to do this in Mathematica?  I've played around and looked in
> the doc center but the only way I can figure
> to do it is manually calculate the values and then plot them.  There must
> be a better way.
> --
> Alexei Boulbitch, Dr., Habil.
> Senior Scientist
> IEE S.A.
> ZAE Weiergewan
> 11, rue Edmond Reuter
> L-5326 Contern
> Luxembourg
> Phone: +352 2454 2566
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