Questions about how Mathematica evaluates expressions, tracing evaluation (Trace*), handling expressions in unevaluated form (Hold*, Unevaluated), nonstandard evaluation, etc.

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12
votes
2answers
120 views

Why the Block command does not forget the $ContextPath variable

I do not understand this behavior: ...
12
votes
1answer
432 views

Get the current iteration count

I would like to be able to get the current iteration count, the one that if exceeds $IterationLimit makes the evaluation stop. After not finding a magical variable ...
12
votes
2answers
423 views

Preventing Numerical value from being evaluated

I have searched stackoverflow (and comparable pages) for quite a while now (got redirected from there to this specialized stack), and I surrender. I am trying to evaluate an expression that is small ...
11
votes
7answers
326 views

Question about evaluation control

I want to make a function that takes a function as a parameter and prints an integral with the function inside. I've tried this: ...
11
votes
3answers
258 views

Numbers in alternate bases transcend the evaluator?

It looks to me like a number in a base other than base 10 gets evaluated before the evaluator ever gets a chance to be tweaked. For example, FullForm[16^^abcdef] ...
11
votes
4answers
317 views

Using With to scope over pure functions

Consider this example: given an option for a function func as "x" :> (a&), how can one assign different values to ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

A one line proof that one is zero using Mathematica 10

a = (Sqrt[2] + 1) (Sqrt[2] - 1) - 1; {a/a, Simplify[a]/a, b/b == Simplify[b]/b} {1, 0, True} This one line "proof" that ...
11
votes
4answers
293 views

Replacing parts of a held expression with held parts of another expression

I'm applying the Trott-Strzebonski technique in order to replace inside a held expression. ...
11
votes
3answers
183 views

Creating a custom context with a Hold construct

I'm trying to create a function "InContext" to execute a piece of code inside a certain context (and to return the result of evaluating that piece of code). One approach is to place the code inside a ...
11
votes
2answers
307 views

Clever use of DownValues, or failure to understand the “Mathematica Way.”

I needed to look at the changes in the values of about 4000 items from one year to the next. I have a table with identifiers and values for each year. Not all of the items are in each list. The ...
11
votes
1answer
254 views

Old values are not freed/garbage collected when you re-evaluate an assignment

For this code: (* Cell 1 *) generate := Module[{x}, x = Range[100 * 1000 * 1000]; x]; (* Cell 2 *) g = generate[]; MemoryInUse[] If I evaluate cell 2 ...
11
votes
3answers
525 views

Labeling plots without evaluation

This is my first question here so please excuse my mistakes. Let us consider a rather contrived example: ...
11
votes
2answers
255 views

can a ColorFunction have side effects?

Can anyone explain this (to me) odd behavior. If I run this code once (fresh kernel) it works as intended. ...
11
votes
3answers
776 views

Every second evaluation in notebook front end is slow

I'm having a rather baffling problem that Wolfram was unable to help me diagnose, and I'm hoping one of you geniuses in residence here can figure it out. (I don't get access to the Technical Support ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

General::ivar is not a valid variable when plotting - what actually causes this and how to avoid it?

I was just evaluating a couple of expressions and started to get errors like this: ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

All curves in plot have the same style. Cannot be fixed with Evaluate[]

Usually, when I plot multiple curves in Mathematica Plot[{x,x^2,x^3},{x,0,1}] they are given different colors. However, if I try to construct a list inside the ...
10
votes
4answers
185 views

How do I evaluate the terms in an expression, but not the expression itself?

I am trying to write a set of homework questions. I would like the output to evaluate the constants but not the sum, so that I may present the homework question as something like this: ...
10
votes
2answers
263 views

Make a button that evaluates a function over and over

I would like to have a command "RedoButton" which would make a button (or whatever control is suitable) that when clicked would print the value of a certain function over and over in the same place. ...
10
votes
2answers
218 views

Bags and non-standard evaluation

What can internally be happening here? Is the evaluator just messing with us and going non-standard because it's a Bag? Or am I just not seeing how something like ...
10
votes
4answers
345 views

How to pass a list of arguments into HoldAll

I have a list of arguments (which in reality is lengthy): arguments = {a, b, c} arguments2 = {a_, b_, c_} f[Sequence@@arguments2] := a + b + c Note: It seems ...
10
votes
3answers
188 views

Pattern matching on Orderless functions inside Hold

MatchQ[Hold[1 + 2], Hold[2 + 1]] returns False. But in the presence of a Blank[] in the ...
10
votes
3answers
318 views

How can I hold UpValues but evaluate other expressions?

Consider these definitions: own = "OwnValue"; down[_] = "DownValue"; sub[_][_] = "SubValue"; N[n] = 3.14; _[___, up, ___] ^= "UpValue"; The attribute ...
10
votes
3answers
323 views

Why does ++++x return an increment of 2 when the value of x is only incremented by 1?

This line returns 3: x = 1; ++++x However, the value of x after the increment is only ...
10
votes
2answers
370 views

How do I get Mathematica to return a function call unevaluated?

How do I get Mathematica to return a function call (conditionally) unevaluated? I expect this may use the slightly-mysterious Hold function. As a toy example, ...
10
votes
1answer
240 views

Why does the documentation call functions “pure”?

Clearly, functions in mathematica are not pure functions according to the definition on Wikipedia (no side effects - basically implementabe with table lookups): ...
10
votes
2answers
315 views

Unexpected differences with various uses of NormFunction

I would expect all of the following to give the same answer (2.12467) but only half of them give this answer. The others seem to be using the default ...
10
votes
2answers
169 views

Subtle difference in conditional rules placement

I had gotten used to thinking of the placement of a condition in a rule definition as logically immaterial. In my specific example, namely ...
10
votes
2answers
528 views

DSolve cannot solve for certain branches of the solution

Update - This has been fixed in 10.0.0 Could somebody please tell me, why I am always getting an error message when trying to run the following code: ...
10
votes
1answer
195 views

TimeConstrained dynamic change of maximum time

I would like to run a time consuming function: TimeConstrained[f[x],maxseconds] and be able to change maxseconds during running (increasing or decreasing max ...
10
votes
1answer
105 views

Aborting from inside a ScheduledTask

If you have an Abort[] inside a ScheduledTask expression, what does it abort? The scheduled task evaluation, or any main kernel ...
10
votes
1answer
415 views

Manipulate evaluation sequence

Manipulate doesn't always evaluate in the order I expect it to. What is the evaluation sequence for Manipulate and other ...
10
votes
2answers
208 views

Return partial result when MemoryConstrained aborts NDSolve

I use NDSolve to solve a large set (~400) of coupled ODEs. Sometimes, the memory (~4GB) gets filled up, and my computer becomes impossible to work with, because it ...
9
votes
4answers
223 views

Leave expression tree formatting the same when a replacement rule is applied

If I type e1 := 3 x + 2 (1 + y) z // TreeForm, I get an expression tree. If I then type e1 /. x -> 3, I get another ...
9
votes
2answers
299 views

How to see which arguments are passed into a function

It is often that one wonders which arguments are evaluated before being passed into a function. I would like to know if it is possible to see which argumets are being passed into a function without ...
9
votes
2answers
536 views

How to make Mathematica re-evaluate a cell after some event?

I am doing a little project to demonstrate something: ...
9
votes
1answer
94 views

Different behaviour of ValueQ inside and outside of a loop

I need to store a rather big number of variables and I tried to do that by storing each variable as Z[n] with varying n. I guess this was not my best idea. The first problem I encountered is when I ...
9
votes
1answer
273 views

Get the name of a symbol passed to a function

I'm trying to get the name of a symbol passed to a function with this: f[x_] := {SymbolName[x], x} SetAttributes[f, HoldFirst] x = 5; f[x] But ...
9
votes
2answers
326 views

Defining a ForEach function

Consider the following function definition: ForEach[iterators__] := Table[#, iterators] &; Two questions about it: I. It works perfectly if you call it like ...
9
votes
1answer
128 views

Tracking Initialization

How to track Initialization step by step? Any tricky solution is ok. One condition, x should be ...
9
votes
2answers
234 views

ScheduledTask with scoped variables. Working with timed evaluation

I guess I have to try harder and focus more but timed evaluation always frustrates me. I will show the issue on simple example of delayed trigger. ...
9
votes
3answers
136 views

Implement settable properties

I am looking for advice on implementing the following. (It is possible that the answer is that it is simply not a good idea to do this.) I would like to have an object similar to ...
9
votes
1answer
97 views

Why does $Failed have attribute HoldAll?

Why does $Failed have attribute HoldAll? Are there typical situations where $Failed is ...
9
votes
2answers
156 views

A notebook created on demand from a main document showing executable input along with output cells

I would like to make Mathematica documents with hidden calculations, such that they can be visualized on demand. In general it can be done in several forms and I actually use some. I would like to ask ...
9
votes
1answer
268 views

Performance of Dispatch and lists of Rules

The issue outlined here seems to be no longer present in version 10, if you use a Dispatch table! This because a Dispatch table ...
9
votes
2answers
240 views

Another difference between Set and Setdelayed. Evaluation shortcut?

A little while ago I wondered why f[x_] = f[x] gives an infinite iteration. I ended up discovering the following difference in evaluation between ...
8
votes
3answers
652 views

Why are functions called first-class objects in Mathematica?

I've heard lots of people say a function is a first-class object in Mathematica. "Everything is an expression, including function." "There is no distinction between functions and data." Having read ...
8
votes
3answers
304 views

How to write a function-defining function which stores the function arguments in a stack?

I have a function-defining function SetAttributes[DefFn, HoldAll]; DefFn[f_[args___], body_] := f[args] := body; I am trying to modify this function to record ...
8
votes
3answers
208 views
8
votes
3answers
170 views

With/Function(/etc) replacement behaviour

Can anyone explain to me this behaviour? I've been having more than a couple of similar doubts these last weeks. For example f[_?NumericQ] := 8; Now, if I do ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Keyboard shortcut to evaluate notebook

(If this is entirely trivial, although I couldn't find an answer as much as I searched the archives, I will delete the question.) How could I add a keyboard shortcut to evaluate the entire notebook ...