I am trying to write a Demonstration, which I believe means I must write it as a Manipulate, not a DynamicModule. My question is essentially the same as "Dynamic lists as function arguments", but I cannot figure out how to get the answer given there to work inside a Manipulate.

Below is a minimal non-working example that indicates what I am trying to accomplish. Basically, I want to use a HorizontalGauge with a list of two values as a Control object in a manipulate. I first tried using an IntervalSlider, but I need to do some computing with the values of the interval's endpoints and as far as I can tell, the TrackingFunction option does not work with IntervalSlider. At least the function I provided never seemed to get called, whereas functions I provided to Slider the same way work fine.

h[Dynamic[point_], opt___] :=

 {{pt, {0.6, 0.7}}, 0, 1, (h[##]) &}

The above displays correctly, but does not allow me to move the markers. My intention for taking Part 1 of Dynamic[point] is to get past the Dynamic Head to the list itself. I've tried With[{point=pt},...] and many other arrangements of the Dynamic calls with no luck. I can't believe this fairly common task is so difficult, so I assume I'm missing something obvious.


2 Answers 2


In version 10.1 this sort of works, but the sliders are sticky; I have to click once to move them rather than click-and-drag. I recall having this problem before (with Slider, not HorizontalGauge) but I cannot recall the cause or solution. How does this behave in whatever version you are using?

h[d_, opt___] := Dynamic[HorizontalGauge[d, opt]]

Manipulate[{pt}, {{pt, {0.6, 0.7}}, 0, 5, (h[##] &)}]
  • $\begingroup$ In version on MacOS 10.13.6 I get what sounds like the same behavior. When I click in the gauge, the nearest marker moves to the position I clicked and the value of pt is updated. Dragging does nothing. Thanks, I can make this work in a pinch. Can you explain why the argument of h is not inside a Dynamic? Do you think it might be worth fiddling with mouse events to try getting click-and-drag to work? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 1:11
  • $\begingroup$ Huh, this exhibits the same behavior, too: h[Dynamic[point_], opt___] := Dynamic[HorizontalGauge[Dynamic[point]]] I just hadn't tried clicking outside the markers. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 1:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Stephen (1) According to the specification of Manipulate: "The form {u, umin, umax, func} can also be used; what is evaluated is then func[Dynamic[u], {umin, umax}]." Since it is already passed in a Dynamic head thought perhaps nesting a second one was a source of trouble. (2) I feel like this should just work and wondered if it was a version-specific bug. I don't know how to get it working, and the fact that you're trying to do this for a Demonstration adds restrictions that make alternatives difficult. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 12:39

I couldn't get the HorizontalGauge to work and resorted to using IntervalSlider for this problem after fixing the bug in my TrackingFunction. (Or rather, stumbling across a TrackingFunction that worked.) In my opinion, there's something fishy about passing List arguments in Manipulate


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