Questions on Mathematica's scoping constructs (Block, Module, With, etc.)

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109
votes
7answers
5k views

What are the use cases for different scoping constructs?

Mathematica includes three functions that I know of which can be used to effectively (if not actually) define a variable and give it a value within a local scope: ...
42
votes
4answers
923 views

How to avoid nested With[]?

With[ {v1 = #}, With[ {v2 = f[v1]}, g[v1, v2] ] ] How to avoid nested With[] like the above? I'd like to use ...
35
votes
3answers
1k views

Why modules with no variables?

I was reading some code, in particular, recipe 4.13 on unification pattern-matching in Sal Mangano's Mathematica Cookbook, and there were many instances of Modules with no variables in them, such as ...
25
votes
1answer
256 views

What does Internal`InheritedBlock do?

What does the function Internal`InheritedBlock do? How is it different from the regular Block?
23
votes
4answers
560 views

Enforcing correct variable bindings and avoiding renamings for conflicting variables in nested scoping constructs

Using global variables the following turns an "expression" into a Function: expr = 2 x; Function[x, Evaluate[expr]] Of course ...
22
votes
2answers
981 views

What are some advanced uses for Block?

I read the answers to this question (What are the use cases for different scoping constructs?) and this one (Condition, Block, Module - which way is the most memory and computationally efficient?). ...
18
votes
1answer
211 views

“With” as part of the “Dynamic Interactivity Language”

I noticed that in Mathematica's Function Navigator With is listed as being part of the "Dynamic Interactivity Language". It is not the first (or even the fourth, ...
17
votes
2answers
316 views

Module trash collection behaviour

I have asked this question before on the Wolfram community forum (http://community.wolfram.com/groups/-/m/t/83845?p_p_auth=Gxoxe65B) but not with great success. Module creates temporary variables of ...
15
votes
2answers
274 views

What is the purpose of Internal`LocalizedBlock?

I have come across the (internal) use of of the function: Internal`LocalizedBlock I am trying to determine its purpose. It seem to behave like ...
14
votes
1answer
326 views

Is the sharing of variables in Module/Block within Compile documented behavior?

Today I noticed something, I think for the first time. When used inside Compile variable values within Module (and ...
14
votes
1answer
306 views

Modules that initialize themselves on first call

I use a lot of functions that extract a specific data item from a file with many data items. I want these functions to load data (slow) and return the item (fast) on first call, but just return the ...
13
votes
2answers
365 views

I define a variable as local to a module BUT then the module uses its global value! Why?

I have a question about modules and local variables. Here's my example: h = 5; Module[{a, h}, a[h_]= h^2; a[4]] (*Out[2] = 25*) I expected the module to ...
13
votes
3answers
407 views

Variable scope similar to other languages

Mathematica, unlike many other languages, defines the variables in the global scope unless it is explicitly asked to define a variable in a local scope, e.g., using ...
13
votes
1answer
307 views

Is garbage collection broken in version 10.0.0?

Bug introduced in 10.0.0 and fixed in 10.0.1 In version 10.0.0 under Windows I am observing the following behavior: ...
12
votes
1answer
216 views

Messages leak out from Block

When assigning message to a symbol localized by Block, I would expect that this message is not accessible outside of Block, but ...
12
votes
0answers
184 views

Compile not correctly initializing a variable defined inside Module

In the following example, inside the minimumX's Module, x is initialized to 1, but the ...
11
votes
4answers
329 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
2answers
430 views

Syntax highlighter shows error for Manipulate when it's inside a Block or a Module

I'm putting my new copy of Mathematica 10 through its paces and I noticed a weird change in the colouring scheme that I find very annoying, and I'd like to get some insight into why it's happening. ...
10
votes
2answers
683 views

Scoping in assigning a derivative

While answering another question, I stumbled upon a problem I cannot easily resolve. To assign the derivative of a function to another function, typically one can do this with a ...
10
votes
2answers
261 views

Strange results while nesting scope constructs?

I did a handful of tests with Block, With, and Module and had a couple of new surprises. ...
10
votes
2answers
260 views

Avoiding MainEvaluate in a CompiledFunction to fetch global variables

I'm trying to write a simulation using Mathematica 8.0. Since I will most likely be doing the same operation over and over again, I'm trying to Compile whatever I ...
10
votes
1answer
134 views

What are the scoping rules for function parameters shadowing System` symbols?

Here are some very contrived code snippets, highly unlikely to appear in real code, but still I am curious why they behave like this: ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How to use local variables with indices in a Mathematica Block environment?

I have the following code: Subscript[f, i_][x_] := Block[{a}, Subscript[a, i] = 3 x; Subscript[a, 1] ] If I evaluate for example ...
9
votes
2answers
293 views

Localizing variables within a Manipulate

I have a notebook with several examples of very similar computations, each involving the same variable/parameter names of the ingredients used in a final ...
9
votes
3answers
306 views

Find variable name from DumpSave on a scoped variable

I saved an InterpolationFunction in a ".mx" files using DumpSave on a variable that was scoped by a ...
9
votes
2answers
130 views

How does $CellContext` work?

The only official info about $CellContext` I was able to find is: placeholder for the context of a symbol inside Dynamic ...
9
votes
1answer
132 views

Is it possible to use the global definition of a symbol as part of its new local definition set in a Block?

Consider the following expression: Block[{Print = CopyToClipboard}, doSomething[]] Now all calls to Print from ...
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
2answers
137 views

Question about scoping data in a multi-level Manipulate construction

Background: In a module containing an outer / inner manipulate I select the key of data with a dropdownlist in the outer manipulate. Data is read and displayed in the inner manipulate for edit ...
8
votes
2answers
152 views

Possible to scope an anonymous function within Module?

This is my first question. I'm fairly new to Mathematica and completely new to SE, so I apologize if this question is trivial. I'm working on a problem that requires a function to be redefined ...
8
votes
1answer
131 views

Temporary variable not removed in Mathematica 10

Bug introduced in 10.0.1 and fixed in 10.0.2 In Mathematica 10, the documentation still states that a symbol with attribute Temporary will automatically be removed when it is no longer needed. Now ...
8
votes
1answer
110 views

Does the syntax coloring I see indicate a real problem?

I need a behaviour provided by: x = 2; Block[{x = HoldForm[x]}, x] x FrontEnd marks ...
8
votes
1answer
148 views

Is it possible to write a function immune to symbol redefinitions in any Block surrounding its invocation?

Normally, semantics of symbols used in a function definition can be changed by their redefinitions in Blocks surrounding the function invocation: ...
8
votes
1answer
131 views

How to assemble and disassemble a function into steps

I've watched many programmers (both novice and expert) write functions in Mathematica and have observed a common behavioral pattern. This pattern has many elements that would be automated and thus ...
7
votes
4answers
465 views

How to set Block local variables by code?

I need to create a user-defined Block function where the Block variables' values are defined by code. For example, imagine I ...
7
votes
6answers
602 views

How can you give a Module a context and have its local variables and Modules belong to that context?

What would be the best way to give a module its own context and have its local variables and Modules belong to that context?
7
votes
4answers
618 views

Why do I see the error “only assignments to symbols are allowed” when using a Module and not otherwise?

When I type Remove["Global`*"] foo[] := Module[{Subscript[a, 1] = "x"}, 0]; foo[] I get the expected error "only assignments to symbols are allowed". I ...
7
votes
3answers
369 views

How do I avoid scoping collisions of iterator variables?

Yesterday I had an issue that kept for quite a while. My code wasn't producing the right results. Now I know why and I am wondering how to avoid the issue in future. Consider the following code. ...
7
votes
1answer
266 views

Returning a value from a Module

In the following simple example MyMod := Module[{i}, Do[ Return[1], {i, 3} ]; Print["test"] ] I expected the module to exit on ...
7
votes
2answers
156 views

How to define UpValues in a different context from within a package

I'm trying to create a function (in a package) to import a lot of data and create a symbol with UpValues to return specific results about the data. I've got it working fine in a regular notebook, but ...
7
votes
1answer
250 views

Variable scoping in Module

I don't understand why $a$ and $b$ are not local in the following code: ...
7
votes
1answer
107 views

Context of localised (dynamic) symbols

When you localise a symbol with Module, the created unique symbol is usually in the current context. There seems to be an exception to this which has further ...
7
votes
1answer
257 views

Module variable scoping in Scheduled Tasks?

I ran across a scoping puzzle while experimenting with ScheduledTasks, and I'd be grateful for an explanation from the sages here. I found a workaround by intuitive horse sense, but was unable to ...
7
votes
3answers
601 views

What is the right way to construct DynamicModule

When I'm creating DynamicModules for CDF purposes I'm usualy basing on my experience with that, particular goal and content rather than on deep insight. I want to ...
7
votes
1answer
197 views

FullDefinition and Module local variable

I have a question about FullDefinition and how it interacts with the local variables of Module. I've created a few functions ...
7
votes
1answer
204 views

Difficulty catching thrown errors in asynchronous tasks

In this Question, Leonid explained that module variables can get garbage collected from a chain of asynchronous tasks unless their Temporary attribute is cleared ...
7
votes
1answer
120 views

Strange behaviour of Internal`InheritedBlock

I was going to post an answer for fast way to replace all zeros in the matrix. I was even quite happy because timings were the same order of magnitude as others. The idea was to overwrite ...
7
votes
0answers
295 views

Compile recursive function modifying global variables

How to compile recursive formula when it relies on more than a few global variables (global to the topmost compiled function)? It is unreasonable to pass on all such variables to each recursive ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Module with “local functions”

I am trying to use a Module having "local functions", i.e., those which I need to define only inside this module. So I tried this: ...
6
votes
1answer
231 views

A smarter nested With?

I often find myself writing code that looks a bit like this: ...