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Re: Assertions in Mathematica?

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  • Subject: [mg113540] Re: Assertions in Mathematica?
  • From: Helen Read <readhpr at>
  • Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 05:03:14 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <iaj4ob$n70$> <iajftk$qas$>

On 10/31/2010 6:20 AM, Sjoerd C. de Vries wrote:
> I'm afraid I have to strongly disagree with your opinion (rant) on
> Mathematica's documentation. Though the docs are still not perfect, I
> usually find within a few clicks what I'm looking for. I'm actually
> rather fond of the documentation as it is now. The mixture of overview
> pages, tutorials, function doc pages, crosslinks, and the fact that
> doc pages are 'active' is very effective in my humble opinion. Access
> to the docs in function browser, book, and doc centre form is nice as
> well. Navigating around is extremely well done.

I agree. If I don't know the name of the function I am looking for, I 
can usually find it quickly with a quick search or by browsing the 
category pages starting from the home page. If I do the name of the 
function, I just put it in the search field and go straight to it. Once 
there, I read the main description and sometimes the More Information, 
and then look at the examples. Often the Basic Examples are enough, but 
if not, I'll go through the others (particularly under Options).  And 
then the links at the bottom of the page (particularly "See Also") will 
lead me to other useful things.

> There are some lingering issues, such as the occasional lists of
> "typical" option values listed on some doc pages instead of listing
> *all* possible option values, and the use of the same option name in
> completely different functions (like "Method") which often makes
> looking up the specific option doc page useless. And indeed, some
> options are only explained in the examples instead of on the formal
> section of the doc page.

I find the examples to be the most useful part of the documentation, 
especially for the options.

Helen Read
University of Vermont

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