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Arrow Syntax is Dumb

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg30660] Arrow Syntax is Dumb
  • From: aes <siegman at>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 20:32:35 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Sorry for inflammatory Subject: [mg30660] line . .  but I'd suggest that having 
the syntax

   Line[ {{x1, y1}, {x2, y2}} ]


   Arrow[ {x1, y1}, {x2, y2} ]

is, shall we say,  a "considerably less than optimum" design choice from 
the user's viewpoint.

I see the point, that an arrow (at this time anyway) has only two 
points, while a line may have multiple points,

Nonetheless, it seems common sense that an arrow *is* nothing more than 
a two-point line, and therefore it would be a whole lot more consistent 
to use the same syntax.  

A user might for example have some Lines in a graphic pointing from text 
labels to data points, and then learn for the first time about Arrow.  
It would seem obvious to just change those "Lines" to "Arrows" in the 

And, there could be lots of future uses for "broken arrows" -- i.e., 
multiple-segment arrows, which zig-zag around some obstacle in a graphic 
before reaching their target -- in which case consistency with the Line 
syntax would be even more useful.

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