18,153 reputation
bio website
visits member for 2 years, 9 months
seen 9 hours ago

Frequently Asked Questions

WReach? Is that connected to WRI somehow?

The "WR" in my name has nothing to do with the company that develops Mathematica. It is just a coincidence.

Why do you start all your global variable names with $?

I use dollar signs for ad hoc global variables because I have been bitten too many times by accidentally assigning an own-value to a symbol that I happen to use, for example, in a symbolic equation. So I am in the habit of writing $x instead of x. I stick to that convention even for longer symbols like $initialUrl. Just like the regular symbol convention, Mathematica's predefined global symbols all start with a capital letter after the $. My ad hoc symbols always start with a lower case letter, so there is no conflict.

Why do you put semicolons and commas at the beginning of the line instead of at the end like a normal person?

I don't think of it that way. Rather, I switch from horizontal to vertical layout when a single expression is too long to fit on one line. This has the interesting side-effect of making the important delimiters stand out and line up. I first ran into this practice in the SQL community. SQL "programs" have the unpleasant property that they must be written as a single statement -- even if that statement is a hundred lines long (or more!). Sometimes Mathematica expressions share that property.

18,153 Reputation

55 yesterday
20 2 days ago
10 Oct 19
+10 09:57 upvote
40 Oct 18
115 Oct 17
70 Oct 16
20 Oct 15
90 Oct 14
40 Oct 13
40 Oct 12
55 Oct 11
80 Oct 10
60 Oct 9
30 Oct 8
30 Oct 1
40 Sep 30
200 Sep 29
10 Sep 28
20 Sep 27
55 Sep 26
10 Sep 24
40 Sep 23
65 Sep 22
110 Sep 21
10 Sep 20
10 Sep 19
215 Sep 18
55 Sep 17
90 Sep 16
95 Sep 13