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Re: why does DownValues not return all downvalues for a

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg99421] Re: [mg99369] why does DownValues not return all downvalues for a
  • From: Bob Hanlon <hanlonr at>
  • Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 05:43:29 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: hanlonr at

v = DeleteCases[

g["x"]["y"] = 1;

{#, #[g]} & /@ v

Bob Hanlon

---- Michael <michael2718 at> wrote: 

I'm trying to get the functionality of "associative arrays" or "alist"
or "hash tables"  to work in Mathematica.  However I'm seeing a quirk
and I wonder if anybody can explain what is going on or suggest a
better approach?

I can define a simple associate array like so:
If all my parameters are strings, then I can find the "keys" to my
alist with the following function:
StringKeys[y_] := DownValues[y] /. {( _[y[str_String]] :> _) -> str};
SetAttributes[StringKeys, HoldFirst];

In[141]:= StringKeys[f]

Out[141]= {"blue", "red"}

However, if I try to define a more complex alist, I cannot find any
way to retrieve the definition!

In[142]:= g["x"]["y"] = 1;

In[143]:=  DownValues[g]

Out[143]= {}

In[144]:= UpValues[g]

Out[144]= {}

Any ideas?



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