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Re: Mathematica skill level snippet(s)

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  • Subject: [mg104824] Re: Mathematica skill level snippet(s)
  • From: fd <fdimer at>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2009 04:25:57 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <200911917250.789293@jfultz2winlap> <hdbhn2$jol$>

On Nov 10, 10:10 pm, "Nasser M. Abbasi" <n... at> wrote:
> From: "John Fultz" <jfu... at>
> "Stephen Wolfram wrote a blog post which included a ListPlot of the function
> count from Mathematica's inception to version 7.
> The plot is about a third of the way through the post.  Note the number here is
> significantly below your number because you're counting all System` symbols,
> whereas he was counting System` *functions*.
> "
> Yes, I know about this blog (it is one of the references already on my
> page), and I actually remember spending sometime trying to find how did Dr
> Wolfram would have counted the number of functions, but I could not figure
> it out (the command used to generate the plot was not shown in the blog.)
> Do you know how to find how many of the Symbols are actually Functions such
> as Sin,Cos etc.. vs. say function options or other type of symbols? Since
> the Head of a Function is a Symbol itself I can't just look at the Head of
> each symbol to find out?
> In[6]:= Head[Sin]
> Out[6]= Symbol
> In[7]:= Head[Joined]
> Out[7]= Symbol
> If I filter by attribute, which I think may be the way to do it, then which
> set of attributes to use? Listable? gives only 264
> Length[Select[Names["System`*"], MemberQ[Attributes[#1], Listable] & ]]
> 264
> So, need more attributes which all apply to functions, then get a unique
> list out, then count it? But I do not know what all the attributes should
> be.
> If you know  _please_ let me know, and I will add this information to the
> table.
> thanks
> --Nasser

I believe that any user of a complex software (like MS word for
example) will use just a fraction of the functionalities in it - a
knowledge which generally increases with time. From my experience it
is usually easier to do things in Mathematica than in any other
program. Compare with SPSS, which I tried to use a while ago: I had to
navigate through many menus with heaps of functionalities, and very
difficult to reproduce steps. Mathematica has some it functions not
well documented for sure, like GeoPosition for example, what I
understand as it is quite recently incorporated.

What I'm not quite happy with is when some options are given as
strings (for e.g. the ColorFunction option in DensityPlot[Sin[x y],
{x, 0, 3}, {y, 0, 3},  ColorFunction -> "BlueGreenYellow"] ), this
confuses me a bit as I can't know all the options available apart from
looking in the documentation (how could I know there is also an
ColorFunction->"Rainbow"? Is there a general way of finding all
possible names a option my have?).

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