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Re: GNU readline ability in the front end

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  • Subject: [mg73957] Re: GNU readline ability in the front end
  • From: David Bailey <dave at>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2007 01:22:05 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <es6dah$s1p$>

Frank Hu wrote:
> I'm new to Mathematica and like it.  My main complain is the Frontend  
> lacking basic command line editing facilities.   Specifically:
> 1.  Line editing.  I know there are basic Emacs key-bindings and Cmd- 
> l recalls the previous input.  But what about recalling all previous  
> inputs?  I'm not talking about re-evaluating the n-th input (In[n]),  
> but actually get back what I typed and make slight modifications,  
> without using the mouse.
> 2.  Command history.  Is there anyway to store and restore command  
> history automatically, so I don't have to save every session to a  
> notebook?
> 3.  Filename auto-completion.  Cmd-k completes commands, how about  
> filenames?
> 4.  Also, what's with the one-level undo?  How difficult is to have  
> multi-level undo?
> I know there's JMath, but it does only text.  Am I missing something  
> or the Frontend indeed is insufficient in this regard?
> Frank
I certainly agree about undo - once you build the mechanism to do one 
level undo, why not extend it to multi-level - most machines have plenty 
of memory!

Regarding point 1 - is it completely reasonable to require never to use 
the mouse? You only have to click into a previous input cell to be able 
to alter it and re-execute your code in place - or paste a copy 
somewhere else and re-execute that.

I would also have thought that notebooks provide a much better facility 
than a command history solution! You can always re-open a notebook and 
continue to add to it - which gives you a command history spanning 
several sessions!

I never use the In and Out functions - they seem to be a hang over from 
the days when Mathematica did not have a front end. I think the answer 
lies in your first sentence - use Mathematica for a couple of weeks and 
you will wonder what the problem is!

David Bailey

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