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what's in a name? (legal and conventional constructions of identifiers)

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg119833] what's in a name? (legal and conventional constructions of identifiers)
  • From: Alan <alan.isaac at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 07:47:26 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica at googlegroups.com

I find the documentation at http://reference.wolfram.com/mathematica/tutorial/DefiningVariables.html
to be completely inadequate.  Is there a better place to look?

Compare http://docs.python.org/reference/lexical_analysis.html#identifiers

The main thing I want to understand is  i. what special keyboard characters are allowed, and ideally ii. what naming practices are conventional. I think the rough answer for the ASCII character set is that the $ is the only special character that is allowed, but you should not end a name with it. Is that right? (I'm aware of the camelCase convention.)

Hints that are not in the above documentation but clearly should be are: do not use underscores in variable names, do not use subscripts in variable names (perhaps with a discussion of Symbolize), and do not end a variable name with $.

Thanks,
Alan




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