When I want to impress a Mathematica novice I show him how we can use spaces to denote multiplication (telling him also to be careful not to forget the space as in xy:-)!).

As far as I know this feature (or the feature for the exponent that suppresses the ^) does not exist in other CAS or programming languages (I am not sure about Maple) at least without importing packages.

So, what gives this ability of Mathematica? What is different in the implementation of multiplication? It has to do with Front End?

  • $\begingroup$ I think my question is different. I know about Mathematica's different road comparing with other CAS or languages w.r.t. such staff. In fact, I have the book A Beginner's Guide to Mathematica, version 4 (Gray and Glyn) that addresses similar issues. I am not interested in WHY, I rather want to know WHAT gives this ability of Mathematica? It has to do with the multiplication implementation or it is the power of Front End? $\endgroup$ – Dimitris Apr 14 '18 at 0:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "I am not sure about Maple" in Maple, it is a little confusing, since Maple actually have two languages. The document mode and the worksheet mode. In worksheet Maple language, you need *, in document mode Maple lanuage, you do not one between symbols. A space will work. When using Maple, I avoid the document mode. $\endgroup$ – Nasser Apr 14 '18 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ I think it is the difference in syntax, namely using [] for function calls. That is WHAT allows a parser to be constructed that can unambiguously interpret the juxtaposition of expressions as multiplication. (That is the point of the duplicate.) The "power" is in the syntax. Previous designers of programming languages weren't bold enough to break with standard mathematical notation tradition (my opinion). $\endgroup$ – Michael E2 Apr 14 '18 at 1:19
  • $\begingroup$ Ok. I got the point☺! Duplicate accepted! $\endgroup$ – Dimitris Apr 14 '18 at 1:24

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.