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Re: Notebook that auto-executes when opened?

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  • Subject: [mg97530] Re: Notebook that auto-executes when opened?
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at>
  • Date: Sat, 14 Mar 2009 18:15:25 -0500 (EST)

On 3/14/09 at 5:38 AM, siegman at (AES) wrote:

>>>On Mar 11, 4:25 am, Bill Rowe <readn... at> wrote:

>>But this doesn't change the fact Mathematica implements a
>>programming language which while being heavily orientated to
>>mathematics is general purpose. As such, the user is expected to
>>know what they are doing and "Are you sure?" warnings are not

>Many other users seem to find that warnings like this have "saved
>their bacon" on more than one occasion, and many, many other
>high-quality software products seem to contain such warnings.

You are missing the point. There is a fundamental difference in
say Illustrator and a programming language. With a program like
Illustrator, the expectation is you are editing or creating a
document interactively. Here, dialogs that warn before doing
something that cannot be recovered from are reasonable. The same
would be true for Mathematica *if* the only usage mode of
Mathematica was a similar interactive mode. But Mathematica
implements a general programming language. Such warnings add
overhead any program created and halt the program for user
interaction. Neither of these outcomes are desired in a
programming language. So, similar warnings in a programming
language are not at all reasonable.

The particular function that started this sub-thread was
DeleteFile. Surely, there can be no doubt as to the intent of
this function. I see no need to ask a user "Are you sure?" with
such a clearly descriptive name. Frankly, there is no viable way
to protect a user who would carelessly use DeleteFile. For a
careless/inattentive user, a dialog asking "Are you sure?" gets
a click on the OK/Yes button with no real thought. And the end
result is precisely the same.

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