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:
>>>> 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
>>>
>> 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.
>
> --
> 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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