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Re: Replace and ReplaceAll -- simple application

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg106115] Re: Replace and ReplaceAll -- simple application
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net>
  • Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 05:39:36 -0500 (EST)

On 12/31/09 at 3:13 AM, fateman at cs.berkeley.edu (Richard Fateman)
wrote:

>No, I think it is not masochism. It is an attempt to provide a
>useful to answer questions that come up from time to time from
>people who would otherwise dismiss a CAS as useless and stupid
>bedause they find unexplainable (to them) behavior.

>Some posts explains that a CAS really could do the mathematically
>obviously correct thing, even if it appears they do not.

But using pattern matching to do replacements is not doing mathematics.

>They may point out that a group of fans insists that the right thing
>for users to do is to discard their mathematically obvious
>understanding and study programming.

>But when the weight of all mathematical obviousness is on one side,
>and the developers could fix a bug but simply refuse to do so, then
>that is simply stubbornness.

Do you have some definition for "bug" other than performance in
a manner different than documented?
That is, failure of any software to do what a user expects is
certainly not a bug if that is what the software is documented
to do.

The key problem here is a novice user of Mathematica might think
of using replacement rules as doing mathematics. That simply
isn't the case. And since replacing one thing with another is
not mathematics, insisting the result makes sense mathematically
simply isn't a realistic expectation.



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