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Re: Clever Tricky Solutions

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg95800] Re: Clever Tricky Solutions
  • From: David Bailey <dave at removedbailey.co.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 07:01:46 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <27271771.1228394784179.JavaMail.root@m02> <ghavpg$o9j$1@smc.vnet.net> <ghdmvt$frc$1@smc.vnet.net> <ghf70d$pdu$1@smc.vnet.net> <ghj02i$ffs$1@smc.vnet.net> <ghlmd8$jv7$1@smc.vnet.net> <gho38k$6h$1@smc.vnet.net> <ghqjsa$11u$1@smc.vnet.net>

Helen Read wrote:
> David Bailey wrote:
>> Helen Read wrote:
>>>> I agree something like this should be built in to Mathematica, but in 
>>>> the meantime, how about defining a little function such as:
>>>>
>>>> showAll[pl_List,opts___Rule]:=Module[{plRanges,x1,x2,y1,y2},
>>>>      plRanges=Map[AbsoluteOptions[#,PlotRange]&,pl];
>>>>      x1=Min@plRanges[[All,1,2,1,1]];
>>>>      x2=Max@plRanges[[All,1,2,1,2]];
>>>>      y1=Min@plRanges[[All,1,2,2,1]];
>>>>      y2=Max@plRanges[[All,1,2,2,2]];
>>>>      Show[pl,PlotRange->{{x1,x2},{y1,y2}},opts]
>>>> ];
>>>>
>>>> showAll[{px1,px2}]
>>> This would so not be worth it for my Calculus students. 
>>> Show[{plot1,plot2,plot3},PlotRange->Automatic] is a far simpler thing 
>>> for them to deal with
>>>
>> Don't you ask your students to load some code (or arrange for it to load 
>> automatically) before they start work? You could give them all sorts of 
>> useful tweaks and extra functions by doing that. One way to load code 
>> automatically is to create a Configuration/Kernel/init.m file with 
>> definitions in it, or perhaps just a Get command to load stuff from 
>> elsewhere.
> 
> When I have some code I want the students to run for some specific, 
> limited situation purpose, of course I provide a file with 
> initialization cells that I have written. But a built-in function like 
> Show that the students use every day would not be worth messing with. 
> The students use Mathematica on University owned computers all over 
> campus and on their own laptops, and there is no way to get a custom 
> init.m file everywhere it would need to be. If I put some code altering 
> the behavior of Show into an init.m file on the machines in our two math 
> classrooms, it would only serve to confuse the students when they were 
> working somewhere else. It just wouldn't be worth it. It's far better 
> for the students to learn to throw in PlotRange->Automatic in Show, and 
> have a Show function that works consistently wherever they are working.
> 
> --
> Helen Read
> University of Vermont
> 
> 
Helen,

I hardly ever suggest modifying built-in functions - it is confusing, 
and can break between versions, however, I suggested creating a new 
function - showAll - which would not create such problems!

David Bailey
http://www.dbaileyconsultancy.co.uk


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