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Re: Bug with Sequence and Assignment by Part...

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  • Subject: [mg121703] Re: Bug with Sequence and Assignment by Part...
  • From: DrMajorBob <btreat1 at>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2011 04:16:29 -0400 (EDT)
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  • Reply-to: drmajorbob at



On Sun, 25 Sep 2011 04:42:00 -0500, BernieTheJet <berniethejet at>  

> Thank you Leonid for the link, and thank you Oleksandr for pointing me
> to OwnValues, I hadn't ever used that before.
> So everyone's opinion seems to be that this is not a bug and that this
> construct is something of a manipulation of proper Mathematica syntax -
> something approaching a hack - because Sequence is a low-level
> function that one should understand Mathematica's evaluation sequence  
> before
> using.  Ok, that is fine.  Certainly that is one interpretation ('when
> looked at from a certain perspective').  Certainly one can't claim
> that the use of Sequence is hidden, or in anyway indicated to be a
> 'low-level' operator by its presentation in the Help, except insofar
> as it is given a perfunctory presentation.
> But I think that it is just as valid to say that this 'bug' it is
> counter to one of my favourite Mathematica design philosophy which is,
> somewhat similar to Apple in this regard, to remove all the tedious
> and computer-ish work from the user's care, to take care of that
> behind the scenes, while still delivering as much of the power of the
> language as possible.  So for users to have to understand Mathematica's
> evaluation sequence, SequenceHold (which I have never once used, or
> perhaps even needed), or OwnValues (ditto) in order to get logical
> behaviour from a function seems to clearly go against this
> philosophy.  Of course one can counter that there is another design
> philosophy in Mathematica of mixing the best of all worlds, and never  
> forcing
> oneself to strictly subscribe to any one design structure, which I
> also support.
> For me, I just guess that Sequence is a 'hack' that WRI implemented to
> get around the limitation that everything be a List.  A 'hack' in that
> it defied their initial plan that everything be representable as
> Lists, and then a 'hack' in that they couldn't get it to work in a
> logical fashion in all subsequent interactions with other functions,
> as seen here.
> B

DrMajorBob at

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