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MathGroup Archive 2009

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writing a function that would print the name of a passed variable

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg97609] writing a function that would print the name of a passed variable
  • From: johnclin at hss.caltech.edu
  • Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2009 04:56:59 -0500 (EST)

I have a question that seems simple but I just could not figure out
how to do it.

I am trying to write a mathematica function that will print the *name*
of the variable that I pass to the function as well as the value
itself.

For example, let's say that I define a variable x = 10.

Now, I want to write a function that will print:
"The variable x contains the value 10".

I tried something like:
displayOutput [varToPrint_] := (
Print["The variable "];
Print[ToString[varToPrint]]; (* <-- this is the problematic line*)
Print["contains the value "];
Print[x];
)

BTW, I do realize that the following works:
x = 10;
Print["The symbol ", HoldForm[x], " has a value of ", x];

So there is something about how Mathematica evaluates expression
inside a function that I am not understanding. Any suggestions?



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