[Maxima] Atom vs Symbol in Maxima manual
macrakis at alum.mit.edu
Sun Nov 18 15:22:54 CST 2007
On Nov 18, 2007 2:11 PM, Vadim V. Zhytnikov <vvzhy at mail.ru> wrote:
> ...But I see that in many-many places Maxima manual uses term atom
> in the context where actually is appropriate...
> It seems to me we should make more clear distinction
> between atoms and symbols and change wording in the
> manual accordingly.
Agreed. One of the reasons for the confusion is that in the early days of
Maxima, MacLisp had no standard word for a symbol.
There is another confusion we need to be careful about, too, that between a
symbol or identifier on the one hand, and a variable name. A variable name
may be not only a symbol, but also a subscripted expression, e.g.
diff(x[i]^2,x[i]) => 2*x[i]. Unfortunately, parts of Maxima don't allow
arbitrary variable names where they should: limit(x[i],x[i],0) => internal
error (bug 1834217).
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