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[This post needs better tags than I could come up with. Edits to the tags would be particularly welcome.]

I realize that it is trivial to define a function that takes an interval (i.e. two endpoints, $a < b$), and an integer $n > 1$, and returns a list of $n$ evenly spaced points $x_1 = a, x_2, \dots, x_{n-1}, x_n = b$,1 but still, given that this functionality is frequently needed, and is commonplace in other scientific computing environments, I am surprised not to be able to find a Mathematica built-in for it in the docs.

Did I miss it?

(BTW: I'd love to lay my hand on some stash of such "useful functions that should be included-by-default in Mathematica but aren't".)

1 For example,

linearmesh[a_, b_, n_Integer /; n > 1] := Range[a, b, (b - a)/(n - 1)]
linearmesh[10, 20, 300] // N // Short

Some may prefer this instead:

linearmesh2[a_, b_, n_Integer /; n > 0] := Range[a, b, (b - a)/n]
linearmesh2[10, 20, 300] // N // Short


I'm sure there are more clueful ways to implement this...

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1) No, you didn't miss it -- it's called Range. If you frequently need certain convenience wrappers for Range, then put them in your initialization package. 2) As to a list of "useful functions that should be included-by-default in Mathematica but aren't", I suggest that what you would want to see on such a list would be very different from what I would want to see, and this would be true for any pair of users, making a universal version of such a list essentially impossible. The range of the interests of the user base is simply too broad. –  m_goldberg Sep 20 '13 at 17:12
Maybe FindDivisions? Depends on how exact you need to be. –  chuy Sep 20 '13 at 18:28
@m_goldberg, instead of pairwise comparison b/w users' desired functions, what about pooling all users and rank ordering preferences. Think of FAQs or even SE which relies on tagging and synonyms to relate similar questions. –  alancalvitti Dec 16 '14 at 14:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The three argument form of Array is convenient and I've used this a few times in different answers (example). The definition is quite simple:

linearmesh[a_, b_, n_Integer] := Array[# &, n, {a, b}]

and it gives you the same answers as your first example. Note that in your second example (with spacing $(b-a)/n$), you have 301 samples. This definition is used when you want 300 partitions, not 300 points.

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P.S. I thought this must have been asked before, but the only post I could find was a question on MATLAB's logspace. –  The Toad Sep 20 '13 at 18:05

This function works exactly like MATLAB's linspace as it gives you n points (rather than n+1):

linspace[x0_, x1_, n_] := Range[x0, x1, (x1 - x0)/(n - 1)];
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How is this different from the OP's linearmesh? –  Michael E2 Dec 16 '14 at 12:14

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