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Re: fyi, small note on using Mathematica for object

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  • Subject: [mg125942] Re: fyi, small note on using Mathematica for object
  • From: "McHale, Paul" <Paul.McHale at>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Apr 2012 04:17:02 -0400 (EDT)
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This is not a simple answer.  Here is my best attempt.

"Computer Science with Mathematica" (Roman Maeder),

14.1.4 Object-Oriented Programming in Mathematica
Object-oriented programming is not built into Mathematica.  It has been implemented in the package Classes.m.

It can be downloaded from:

I would argue Mathematica support some object oriented concepts such as polymorphism. 

mfunc[x_Integer] : x^2;
mfunc[x_Real] := x^3;

Encapsulation could be considered a natural fall out of the functional programing style.  Though what you are encapsulating is extremely limited to a method with local scope variables via Module[].

To my eye, inheritance doesn't make sense without classes.

As far as rigid class structure, it appears it is not here, per se.  Roman's book was written for Mathematica 4.  Maybe Mathematica 8 has new additions...

My conclusion is Mathematica is a modern functional programming language.  It is not a modern object oriented programming language.  Many people here resort to Java for their object oriented needs as Java integrates very well with Mathematica.

To be fair, IDE environments like VisualStudio C# set object oriented programming bar so high that all other object oriented environments will be laborious by comparison.  Just my opinion.

Having said all of this, there is a definite gap between Mathematica notebook scripting and Mathematica large program development.  Fortunately the scripting is powerful enough to get me through most tasks.


Paul McHale  |  Electrical Engineer, Energetics Systems  |  Excelitas Technologies Corp.

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-----Original Message-----
From: Ralph Dratman [mailto:ralph.dratman at]
Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2012 5:58 AM
To: mathgroup at
Subject: [mg125942] Re: fyi, small note on using Mathematica for object


Please explain how you mean this. It is not a technique I have been able to find in the Virtual Book or other documentation.

What corresponds to a class, and how does one use a class to create one or more object instances? How does one run a method from an object?

A brief example would be most helpful.

Thank you.


On Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 5:58 AM, DrMajorBob <btreat1 at> wrote:
> Mathematica is already object-oriented WITHOUT all that. What a lot of
> overhead for nothing.
> Bobby
> On Thu, 05 Apr 2012 04:49:54 -0500, Nasser M. Abbasi <nma at> wrote:
>> Just FYI,
>> I wrote this small note on using Mathematica for object-based
>> programming. I found that it works really well for me.
>> Nothing too advanced, just a simple way of using Module[] but in a
>> way to emulate object based programming that I did not know about
>> before.
>> --Nasser
> --
> DrMajorBob at

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