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Topic: Usage Messages in Mathematica
Replies: 4   Last Post: Dec 29, 2012 10:24 PM

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Murray Eisenberg

Posts: 2,097
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Usage Messages in Mathematica
Posted: Dec 29, 2012 10:24 PM
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Same thing on my Mac OS X installation of Mathematica 9. (Quotes the
first time in output from ?f, not thereafter.)

On the other hand, of course, simply evaluating f::usage produces output
with no quotes.

On Dec 29, 2012, at 3:13 PM, djmpark <djmpark@comcast.net> wrote:

> No, on my system (M9, Windows 7) the first time
>
> ?f
>
> is evaluated I obtain a usage message with quotes around it. If the same
> statement is evaluated again the quotes go away. Of course, it is the first
> evaluation that the user will see.
>
>
> David Park
> djmpark@comcast.net
> http://home.comcast.net/~djmpark/index.html
>
>
>
> From: Bob Hanlon [mailto:hanlonr357@gmail.com]
>
>
> Using both Format and usage messages seems to work.
>
> Clear[f];
> Format[f[n_, x_]]:=
> Subscript[f, n][x];
> f::usage="f[n, x] gives " <>
> ToString[f[n, x], StandardForm]<>".";
>
> f::usage
>
> f[n, x]
>
> f[n, x]//TraditionalForm
>
> Clear[g];
> 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::usage
>
> 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
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>

>

---
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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