[Maxima] A smallish proposal about help
amca01 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 12 03:52:15 CST 2007
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I'll download 5.11.0 then
(still using 5.10.0), and check the "exact" option of "describe". RJF's
comments were along the lines of my next thought, which was that
help/describe or whatever should be able to use regular expressions. I
don't know, though, if any flavour of lisp supports regular expression
> On 2/11/07, Richard Fateman <fateman at cs.berkeley.edu> wrote:
> > Maybe
> > ? foo describes exactly the command or variable or ... foo
> > ? foo* should list/describe all commands that begin with foo
> > ? *foo* should list/describe all commands that include foo in the name
> > ?? foo should list/describe all commands whose descriptions include the
> > word
> > foo
> > ?? *foo* should list/describe all commands whose descriptions include
> > the
> > sequence of characters foo, perhaps within words.
> > I don't know how this stuff works in the current versions, but it should
> > also be possible to put, in a batch file or a loadable file
> > foo(x):= ......
> > describe(foo): "A piece of text that describes the newly defined name
> > foo."
> > Perhaps this is too much to ask of a system that is patched together
> > using
> > awk, python, Microsoft "help" files, etc.
> > If the help system were entirely incorporated in the lisp world view,
> > this
> > would be easier, though of course it would also require that the lisp
> > system
> > pop up windows and menus and similar stuff. (This is all possible in
> > some
> > lisp systems, but perhaps not all.)
> > RJF
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: maxima-bounces at math.utexas.edu [mailto:maxima-
> > > bounces at math.utexas.edu] On Behalf Of Robert Dodier
> > > Sent: Saturday, February 10, 2007 8:53 PM
> > > To: Alasdair McAndrew
> > > Cc: maxima list
> > > Subject: Re: [Maxima] A smallish proposal about help
> > >
> > > On 2/10/07, Alasdair McAndrew <amca01 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > If I want to find out about the mod function (for example) I type "?
> > > mod" or
> > > > "describe(mod)" and I'm presented with a list of 19 items (all
> > including
> > > the
> > > > string "mod") to choose from. I think there should be a way of
> > going to
> > > the
> > > > help for mod directly. As I see it, "describe(mod)" or "? mod"
> > should
> > > do
> > > > just that, and the current behaviour of describe should be relegated
> > to
> > > a
> > > > function called, say, "lookfor" (which is used by Matlab).
> > >
> > > In Maxima 5.11.0 there is a new feature describe(foo, exact)
> > > (with the shorthand ?!) which prints only the info about foo.
> > >
> > > Maybe ? should act like ?!, and invent a different notation (say ??)
> > > for inexact search. Comments?
> > >
> > > best,
> > > Robert
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Maxima mailing list
> > > Maxima at math.utexas.edu
> > > http://www.math.utexas.edu/mailman/listinfo/maxima
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