[Maxima] Mathematica compatibility functions
macrakis at alum.mit.edu
Sun Sep 14 15:09:26 CDT 2008
On Sat, Sep 13, 2008 at 12:17 AM, John Lapeyre <pdl at johnlapeyre.com> wrote:
> > > Mma Maxima
> > > -------------------
> > > Riffle join
> > > Join append
> > > Append cons
> > > Union (lists) union (sets)
> I read in the archives that you thought some Mma
> names are poorly chosen. I have no doubt thats true.
> But for the names above ?
I don't think there's any point in trying to prove that Maxima names are
better or worse than Mathematica names. I think you'll find that the
various language communities (Maxima/Macsyma, Mathematica, Maple,
Matlab/Octave, R/S, Awk, perl, etc.) all have different names or notations
and even different semantics for similar concepts.
Trying to prove that one name is better than other based on "common-sense
English" interpretations of the names is a fool's errand. English simply
doesn't have that precise semantics for verbs like "join" or "combine". The
modern mathematical and computer-science meanings of words like 'sort' and
'join' is *inspired by* ordinary language, but certainly not defined by it.
In railroad practice, to "sort" railroad cars means to split them up by
destination; after sorting them, you then "marshall" them into trains going
to the next (final or intermediate) destination. The technical computer
science meaning of 'sort' (to put in order by some criterion) and 'marshall'
(to represent in-memory data objects so that they can be transmitted
serially) are certainly inspired by the older usage, but not defined by it.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Maxima