Questions on assigning and unassigning definitions to names that represent them, including issues raised by context and localization. Use tag [assignment] for issues relating to Set versus SetDelayed.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

123
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: ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Elegant manipulation of the variables list

I have a list of global variables (some of them are indexed variables), for example: varsH = Hold[U0[1], U0[2], B0, V0[1], V0[2]] Or (if it is easier to handle) ...
28
votes
5answers
14k views

How do I clear all user defined symbols?

Is there some way to do this other than going to Evaluation -> Quit kernel and firing a new one up?
25
votes
5answers
3k views

Clear complains that a subscripted variable is not a symbol or a string?

Here's a small listing where I've used EscqEsc to typeset θ in the notebook: ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Assigning values to a list of variable names

As part of a calculation I need to do something like this Evaluate[{aaa, bbb, ccc}[[ index]]] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} so if index is ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

how to differentiate formally?

I have been wrapping my head around this for a while now and I have not found a solution so far. I want to work with an arbitrary number of variables in mathematica and use some built in functions. ...
18
votes
3answers
756 views

Create an adaptive amount of local variables for error propagation

I intend to write a function which calculates the result and the error for any formula with any amount of variables using the Gauß Error Propagation. The error $\mathrm{d}R$ for a function $R(a,b,c)$ ...
17
votes
4answers
688 views

Making a symbol's new definitions be tried before all previously defined ones

Is there any way to "close" a package (or a symbol, or a context) in that if a user of the package adds definitions to the symbol they will be tried before the package defined ones, just like what ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

How to Set parts of indexed lists?

I would like to assign a list to an indexed variable and then change it using Part and Set like this: ...
29
votes
2answers
1k views

Best practice of passing a large number of parameters to functions

I have a number of functions that all take a large number of parameters. I am wondering what is the best practice of passing these parameters to those functions. I could, of course, simply specify ...
7
votes
4answers
682 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Global variable initialization in packages

Is it a good idea to Initialize variables globally inside a package ? will they be local by default to that package ?
5
votes
2answers
548 views

Table of Variables

I use a list of variables {x1, x2, x3} to Solve a particular set of equations. I am now trying to generalise this depending on ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

How to create functions of arbitrary number of variables? [duplicate]

In the following code what would be the simplest way to generalize it to say some $N_f$ number of $z$ instead of just $z_1$ and $z_2$? ...
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

How to implement the Observer design pattern?

As a programmer with a history with procedural languages, the Observer design pattern inmediately springs to my mind when attacking certain class of problems, mostly UI/notifications related. A ...
13
votes
3answers
456 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
313 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: ...
7
votes
2answers
137 views

How to name a variable with the value of another variable?

A simple but very important (at least for me) question. In some languages for defining a variable, for example, we can do: i=10 "d"&i=30 So I have defined the variable d10, and... d10=30 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How to Clear variables with apostrophe?

An apostrophe ' is often used when we want to distinguish two variables. For example, if we already have a variable t and we may ...
5
votes
3answers
304 views

Assign output of solve to variables [duplicate]

I have this input: Solve[x^2 + 3 x + 2 == 0, x] which gives this output: {{x -> -2}, {x -> -1}} I want the first x ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Constructing variable names from a string

I have groups of descriptive variable names and dont want to write explicit code for each group, e.g. (and this is a contrived simplification) ...
30
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there an equivalent of MATLAB's Workspace window in Mathematica?

For example, in MATLAB, a panel is available where one can see straightaway which variables are used and their dimension sizes. Is such a feature available in Mathematica? I really find it hard to ...
20
votes
3answers
416 views

Why x = x doesn't cause an infinite loop, but f[x_] := f[x] does?

If I execute: In[1] := x = x Out[1] = x and then I evaluate the symbol x: ...
20
votes
2answers
383 views

The dangers of SaveDefinitions — should this really happen?

I have been bitten hard by SaveDefinitions -> True. I'll describe in detail what happened below. My questions are: Is this a bug? What is the most convenient ...
12
votes
1answer
249 views

Orderless pattern matching

The MMA docs state that "In matching patterns with Orderless functions, all possible orders of arguments are tried". Why then does the following not work? ...
10
votes
2answers
288 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
866 views

Preventing Superscript from being interpreted as Power when using Ctrl+^ shortcut?

I have very strong desire to use superscript as the index of the variable. However, it looks like that the Mathematica automatically recognize the superscript as the power and I got message that my ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Table of references [duplicate]

I have a list of variables (say a, b, c, d, e) that I want to assign in a single command. {a,b,c,d,e} = {1,2,3,4,5} would ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Define a mathematical set

I have a terribly short question: Is there a way to define a pure mathematical set? I tried a bit of googling, but the word "set" has two meanings and the other one (as in setting) as by far more ...
10
votes
3answers
358 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
2answers
381 views

How to take derivative of parameterized coordinate?

Suppose I have a vector in $\mathbb{R}^n$ but $n$ is not known in advance. I want to be able to write functions which operate on the components of that vector, and then I'd like to be able to take ...
8
votes
1answer
156 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
160 views

Different behaviours of Default Argument

I don't really understand the behaviour of Default Argument. If I execute this command in Mathematica: In: {f[a], f[a + b]} /. f[x_ + y_.] -> p[x, y] ...
2
votes
2answers
452 views

How to define a vector with automatically added symbolic elements with subscripts

I want to define a vector lets say k containing elements Symbolize[Subscript[k, 1]], k2, k3 ... etc. When I define lets say k4 . I want the symbol automatically added to vector k. Something like ...
9
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Naming conflicts with Dummy variables in several packages conflicts

I'm using several packages in a notebook. In each packages there is functions defined with dummy variables. When I load the several packages in my session, i've got a warning message: ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

When to use indexed variables

Still learning the fundamentals of the language I would like to ask you what advantages there might be in writing something like: a[1] = 2; a[2] = 4; a[3] = "x"; ...
3
votes
2answers
725 views

Save variables values and definition

I used to do a lot of programming in R and recently switched to Mathematica. One thing that bothers me is that I haven't found a way to save variables, their values and definition! Let's look at an ...
1
vote
0answers
2k views

How to assign (and retrieve) variables with subscripts? [duplicate]

I like to give subscripts to my variable names when the variables are related. I.e., Subscript[r, i] = 3 3 A problem arises when I later assign ...
1
vote
1answer
299 views

Print indexed (by subscript) variable name systematically

I have some variables : Subscript[S, 1], Subscript[S, 2]...etc. But they are defined in a for loop like For[g = 1, g < 4, g++, Subscript[S, g] = g]; Later, I ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Why can't I define vector v as having subscripted elements v_1, v_2, v_3…?

I'm a very beginner in Mathematica 8 programming. While trying to play a little with tensor analysis I encountered a problem. How to define for example vector in such manner: v={$v_1,v_2,v_3$} For ...
3
votes
1answer
314 views

Can I create a dynamic number of rows in TabView through an iteration?

I have written code, with the help of stackoverflow of course, and I want to make it user friendly so that other people in my lab can use it. I'm playing with DialogCreate and similar functions. I ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

How to clear all variables except one?

I have a lot of variables: $a,b,c,d, \ldots $ I want to clear the values of all of them except $b$. It's really lengthy to write Clear[a]; Clear[c]; ... Is ...
10
votes
4answers
492 views

How to use pattern matching to assign values to Subscript[f,x_]?

I want to define two subscripted functions Subscript[f,1] and Subscript[f,2]. To keep the assignments local, I would like to ...
8
votes
3answers
654 views

Variable variable names

I have two variables, $ u \in \{0,40\}$ and $\gamma \in \{0,1\}$. I take $10$ values of $u$ and $5$ values of $\gamma$ and using their combinations as a pair of input parameters, I perform some ...
9
votes
3answers
427 views

Problem when defining variable in Mathematica

I'm trying to run this: domain := {n, 0, 10}; Plot[n, domain] but it doesn't work. Instead, it generates the message ...
8
votes
6answers
811 views

Using a built-in symbol as a variable

I want to produce a Mathematica Computable Document in which N appears as a variable in my formulae. But N is a reserved word in ...
5
votes
1answer
269 views

Define a function with the condition that it must be positive

I have a function f(x) and I want to define a new function g(x) that is equal to f(x) only ...