Re: "Do What I Mean" - a suggestion for improving Mathematica experience

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg97021] Re: "Do What I Mean" - a suggestion for improving Mathematica experience*From*: David Bailey <dave at removedbailey.co.uk>*Date*: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 05:22:47 -0500 (EST)*References*: <godm5e$481$1@smc.vnet.net>

Bill Rowe wrote: > > A common notation in statistics is Subscript[s,xy] typically > meaning the covariance of x and y. Since Mathematica by default > doesn't handle subscripted variables well, I might choose to use > xy to represent the covariance of x and y. How, could you > determine I meant a new variable xy instead of the product x y? > A 'CommentOn' function could warn about the variable xy if variables x and y already existed, and then leave it to the user to think about what they intended. Yes - DWIM is probably impractical, but a generator of intelligent suggestions, could possibly be useful, I think. A lot of error messages are extremely opaque to a beginner, e.g. Set::setraw: Cannot assign to raw object 1. >> If the user finds the help attached to the ">>" he may figure out what is wrong, but an explanation that related to his actual code would probably help. In my experience, a lot of beginners simply ignore error messages that they don't understand! David Bailey http://www.dbaileyconsultancy.co.uk