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Re: subscripts in v3

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  • Subject: [mg6772] Re: subscripts in v3
  • From: arobson at (Andrew Robson)
  • Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 02:37:39 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Robert (100706.1310 at CompuServe.COM) wrote:
: Since Wolfram are represented on this forum I thought it would be worth
: canvasing other users on how they feel about the way subscripts work in v3. It
: may be that as an Engineer I'm expecting the subscripts to be 'dead' when in
: fact others are looking for them to be 'live'. I can see that mathematicians

I don't think it is as much dicipline as it is application.  I have an
engineering applications, but I see the "natural" interpretation of
subscripts as array references.

: might want them to be live (tensors perhaps?!), however, from a purely
: presentational point of view it would be nice to have a symbol, say sigma.sub.x,
: in which the x remains purely part of the symbol and is not substituted when x
: is evaluated elsewhere. 

You seem to want a font change in the middle of a single symbol to make
it look right.  That's a nice feature, but it seems unrelated to the way
functional subscripts should work.  You should pretty much be able to
get the effect that you want by keeping the subscript from being
evaluated with Hold, but I'll let the pro's address that.

My problems are in the opposite direction -- getting the system to
recognize that X(i)=X(j) when i=j without adding a bunch of rules when
using subscripts.

: I guess the first question is am I being daft by having misinterpreted what
: should be the primary intent - and if not do we want v3 .1 or v4 to be more like
: a textbook representation of the maths.

I am not convinced that Wolfram settled on a "primary intent" when they
defined the subscript function.  It came out really generic, an pretty
much only affects the typography unless you add rules.  I wish that
either I understood the engine well enough to find the rules I want, or
that they had, indeed, decided what subscripts were supposed to mean.


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