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MathGroup Archive 2009

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String as a variable name

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg100276] String as a variable name
  • From: "A. B." <functionalcoatings at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 06:31:28 -0400 (EDT)

In a data analysis package I use often, a facility is provided for
substituting a string for the name of a variable. Quoting from the user
manual:

"String Substitution Using $:
Wherever Igor expects the literal name of an operand, such as the name of a
wave, you can instead provide a string expression preceded by the $
character. The $ character tells Igor to evaluate the string expression and
substitute that value as the name it expected."

For example, I can write:
VariableName="variable"+"1"
$variableName=10,

the variable whose name is variable1 would then be assigned the value 10.

I was looking for an equivalent in Mathematica. I tried looking into the
Symbol function, but haven't found a way to use it for this purpose. Thus,
something like:

Symbol["variable"<>"1"]=10

does not work.

I sometimes need to create variables during the execution of a program whose
names are made up from concatenated strings and I need to be able to assign
values to them.

Any idea ?

A.B.



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