MathGroup Archive 2009

[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index]

Search the Archive

Re: Introducing the Wolfram Mathematica Tutorial Collection

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg99514] Re: Introducing the Wolfram Mathematica Tutorial Collection
  • From: AES <siegman at>
  • Date: Thu, 7 May 2009 06:33:28 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <gtnjqr$3e9$> <gtrl4a$1pp$>

Bob F (author of the original post appended below) and I are evidently 
very much in agreement about the value of PDF documentation.  Let me 
just add one note.  

Split windows are certainly good, particularly if you have either large 
(or multiple) monitors and/or excellent eyesight.  

An equally good, maybe even better, alternative is to be able to jump 
back and forth (preferably with a single keystroke or mouseclick) 
between two different full-screen "environments" or "views", with 
Mathematica open and running in one of these and the PDF documentation 
open and viewable in some reader-friendly application in the other.

The "Spaces" capability in Apple's Leopard OS provides a sophisticated 
way to do this; the Cmd-Tab application switching capability in earlier 
Mac operating systems is almost equally handy.  I'd assume there are 
equivalent capabilities on most other platforms.

A non-trivial side benefit is that in this situation you know where you 
are at all times; and some accidental or mistaken keystroke in one space 
can't mess up what you're doing in the other space.

In article <gtrl4a$1pp$1 at>, Bob F <deepyogurt at> 

> I think people are missing the value and use of these PDF documents.
> Yes, Mathematica currently does have the same content (and more as the
> "Tutorial Collection" does not seem to have the "How To" examples and
> perhaps more, but so far that is all I have noticed as missing in the
> new PDF files), but to get to it you might have to click many, many,
> mnay links to get to it. Surely people don't enjoy having to do all
> the clicking of links and going back and forth between windows that
> the DC user interface forces one to do?
> In these new PDF versions, the entire topic is within one single
> document. You can now do a search in the PDF file for some string and
> get ALL the occurences. In my use of the DC, the search mechanism
> within the Documentation Center gets extraneous content and also
> misses some important content IMO. But, now that you have the PDF
> file, you get a summary of all the occurances of what you are looking
> for visible alongside of the content (in Acrobat Pro anyway - not sure
> about other PDF viewers), so you don't spend so much time going back
> and forth looking for things the way you do in the DC - just another
> click in the search window which is adjacent to the main PDF window.
> IMO a better documentation interface is a combination of what both the
> PDF and the DC interface has plus the ability to "split" a window
> (either horizontally or vertically as the need arose) so that you can
> scroll in both halves and read two different parts at the same time,
> or even more than two if you want (plus the ability to go decrease the
> number of splits back to just one if you want). Something like what
> vim or emacs or many other editor programs do that people use and have
> been using for many many years. The DC user interface is good, but it
> could be better.
> In fact this divided screen ability would be so very handy for
> notebook windows as well. Would save a LOT of time in scrolling around
> to find something that happened before and that you would dearly love
> to have visible on the screen at the same time as you are typing
> something many many lines below it that used some part of what was
> screens above or below the current position.
> Another user interface issue I would like to see -- it would be so
> nice to have some sort of "auto completion" mode your could turn on or
> off as you needed -- perhaps a template of the command as you type.
> Something that would supply the complete command and you simply change
> it as you go to fit your needs, plus once you have the basic command,
> there should be some way to modify it by perhaps right-clicking and
> have all the optional parameters displayed and you pick and choose
> which are needed. This would be so much more productive than looking
> up the command in the DC, reading thru pages and pages of options
> sometimes and finally finding the one that is needed, and then back to
> the notebook and type in the just found optional parameter.
> -Bob

  • Prev by Date: two graph problems in Adjacency types
  • Next by Date: InputField in Dialog or Document Windows
  • Previous by thread: Re: Introducing the Wolfram Mathematica Tutorial Collection
  • Next by thread: Re: Introducing the Wolfram Mathematica Tutorial Collection