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Topic: Usage Messages in Mathematica
Replies: 4   Last Post: Jun 27, 2013 6:23 AM

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Bob Hanlon

Posts: 906
Registered: 10/29/11
Re: Usage Messages in Mathematica
Posted: Dec 29, 2012 3:09 PM
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Using both Format and usage messages seems to work.

Format[f[n_, x_]]:=
Subscript[f, n][x];
f::usage="f[n, x] gives " <>
ToString[f[n, x], StandardForm]<>".";


f[n, x]

f[n, x]//TraditionalForm

Format[g[n_, a_, x_]]:=
Power[Subscript[g, n], a][x];
g::usage="g[n, a, x] gives " <>
ToString[g[n, a, x], StandardForm]<>".";


g[n, a, x]

g[n, a, x]//TraditionalForm

Bob Hanlon

On Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 5:36 AM, Murray Eisenberg <murray@math.umass.edu> wrote:
> And yet usage messages for built-in objects seem to handle in-line
> expressions and subscripts with aplomb. See, for example:
> Subscript::usage
> On Dec 27, 2012, at 5:04 AM, djmpark <djmpark@comcast.net> wrote:

>> An extremely weak features of Mathematica is the design of Usage messages,
>> which seems to be stuck at Version 1, although the technology has moved far
>> beyond that.
>> The present design is not up to the task and full of gotchas. For example,
>> how does one include a box structure, for example a subscripted symbol,
>> within a usage message? If one just enters a subscript then the first time
>> the message is displayed there are quotes around it and the second time the
>> quotes go away. If one starts an InlineCell within the string and enters the
>> expression then that problem goes away. If one then moves the usage
>> definition to a package and Runs the package it works OK. But if one saves
>> and closes the package, quits the kernel and then reinitializes, loading the
>> package, the usage message is defective giving the InputForm of the box
>> expression. Mathematica parses and changes the usage messages when the file
>> is read.
>> The String form is just not adequate for usage messages. Nor is it adequate
>> to contain information on overloading functions. Usage definitions should be
>> expressions. Something like the following:
>> Usage[FunctionName] = {{template, usageExpression}..}
>> (The usageExpression might be a Row containing Strings and mathematical
>> expressions.)...

> ---
> Murray Eisenberg murray@math.umass.edu
> Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
> Lederle Graduate Research Tower phone 413 549-1020 (H)
> University of Massachusetts 413 545-2838 (W)
> 710 North Pleasant Street fax 413 545-1801
> Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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