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Re: Fonts, Formats, and examples as learning tools

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg113702] Re: Fonts, Formats, and examples as learning tools
  • From: Daniel Lichtblau <danl at wolfram.com>
  • Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2010 03:39:34 -0500 (EST)

----- Original Message -----
> From: "AES" <siegman at stanford.edu>
> To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
> Sent: Sunday, November 7, 2010 4:12:55 AM
> Subject: Re: Fonts, Formats, and examples as learning tools
> In article <ib390l$f56$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
> Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu> wrote:
> 
> > I believe one of the factors involved here is that TableForm is an
> > older
> > function, and that Row and Column (and, more generally, Grid)
> > appeared
> > only in more recent Mathematica versions -- although in some form
> > they
> > clearly had to be working behind the scenes before.
> 
> Good point! -- I never even thought about including Grid in my
> explorations.
> 
> Obviously lots of opportunities here for my often cited (and far from
> mythical) "ordinary users" to run into lots of classic Mathematica
> "gotchas" in this whole programming infrastucture.
> 
> One more instance where there could, and should, be a warning pointer,
> pointing to a unified, detailed, but ordinary user oriented tutorial
> maybe with a title like
> 
> "Lists, Tables, Grids, Rows, and Columns"
> 
> with this pointer located just below the initial definition in the
> Help
> documents for every single command that contains any of the above
> strings.

I've not yet fathomed what might be a "gotcha" in this thread. But no matter. Your ordinary user will observe a See Also section in the Documentation Center entries, that leads from one of these constructs to several others. Just below the See Also is a set of Tutorials. Example: from the page for Grid one finds, for example, a link called "Grids, Rows, and Columns in Mathematica", taking one to
tutorial/GridsRowsAndColumnsOverview
There are other relevant items there as well. For example, under the next heading, More About, one finds "Grids & Tables" and "Layout & Tables" (and several other items of relevance). I notice similar links in the Documentation Center entries for Row and Column.

I have to wonder whether your ordinary user is simply not checking the documentation. I cannot believe that that simple task is only for the extraordinary.

Daniel Lichtblau
Wolfram Research










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