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Re Need a new type of Hold

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg7623] Re [mg7538] Need a new type of Hold
  • From: Ersek_Ted%PAX1A at
  • Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 16:15:57 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In [mg7538] Dave Wagner replied to my desire for a new type
of Hold (see below).  My original correspondence was [mg7499].

I recently figured out how to change HoldForm so that it works pretty
much the way I want the new type of Hold to work.
The only problem is that I lose the usual implementation of HoldForm
along the way.

Can someone out there build this feature without messing up HoldForm.


In[1]:=   Unprotect[HoldForm];
               (g=!=FullForm && g=!=Set && g=!=SetDelayed &&
                g=!=List && g=!=Part)  :=  g[a, expr, b]

              (*  "a___" and  "b___" are BlankNullSequences  *)

In[2]:=   foo=HoldForm[z+2+d+a+3]

Out[2]=  z+2+d+a+3

In[3]:=   foo-d+4

Out[3]=  9+a+z

In[4]:=  HoldForm[z+2+d+a+3] //FullForm

                HoldForm[Plus[z, 2, d, a, 3]]

In[5]:=   foo+b

Out[5]=  5+a+b+d+z


Originally I didn't want  to have any type of Hold to show up in the 
I couldn't make it work that way, but that isn't important.

Some important points:
 -  This should work on any expression, not only those with Plus for a Head.
 -  I want to use the held results later on without releasing the hold.
 -  When the held result is used in later calculations, the hold should be
    released automatically.

In the above I included ( g=!=SetDelayed && g=!=List && g=!=Part ).
This isn't needed for the performance I wanted earlier, but I thought it was 

an enhancement.

          Ted Ersek
          ersek_ted%pax1a at

Dave Wagner replied:
>At first I thought that what you really want to do is define your
>own addition operator, but then I decided that what you are trying to
>do is fundamentally inconsistent with the way
>Mathematica works (I won't say "impossible", since everytime I say
t>hat some smart-aleck figures out a way to do it.)
>Here's why:
i>n your first output, the 2 and the 3 don't combine.  Yet, in the second
>output, they have combined with the 9.  What should happen if I type
>"foo + b"?  Should the result be "z+2+d+a+3+b" or should it be
>"5+a+d+a+b".  Or should it be something else?  The fact is, if you want
>the 2 and 3 to combine, then they should have combined in the first
>output; if you want the order of the terms to be strictly maintained,
>then the second output should have been "z+2+d+a+7" (let's assume that
>it's okay to combine adjacent terms).  One or the other, you can't
>have it both ways.
>By the way, if it's a non-associative addition operator that you're
>after, I don't recommend removing the Orderless attribute from Plus,
>or you'll break a lot of other things.
>         Dave Wagner
>         Principia Consulting

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