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I have just learned about the new function Splice from this answer. It turns out that this function used to have a completely different usage! (See below.)

To me, this seems dangerous, to deprecate a symbol and then two versions later introduce completely different functionality to that symbol. What other symbols in Mathematica have been deprecated and then used as the name for a new function?


From my copy of Version 11.3:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ BTW, the output of WolframLanguageData["Splice"]["Timeline"] seems incomplete. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 16:50

3 Answers 3

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The oldest example I can think of is Medium.

Version 1.x:

Medium usage

It got deprecated after version 2, and was then re-introduced in version 6; that usage persists to this very day.

I suppose Accumulate[] also counts.

Version 1.x:

Accumulate usage

If the usage looks awfully familiar, this is because it now exists as FoldList[], and Accumulate[] was then repurposed in version 6.

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The Wolfram Documentation center provides a useful list:

Incompatible Changes since Mathematica Version 1.

It has this to say about Splice:

The symbol Splice has a new definition; its previous functionality can be accessed with FileTemplate.

In addition (another change from 12.0 to 12.1):

CurryApplied and OperatorApplied have superseded the experimental function Curry.

(For historical information on Total (which was called ListSum before release) see this post by Anton Antonov, who developed the function)

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    $\begingroup$ This list appears to not be exhaustive, in particular the other answers here mention some names that aren't present in this list. $\endgroup$
    – Ruslan
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ I think the change from Curry to OperatorApplied is one of the biggest offenders here. I actually used Curry a lot, since I like to code in the tacit style. I really wish I understood why Wolfram Research decided to replace a five-letter name with a well-known meaning in computer science, with a 15-letter name whose meaning can only be understood by reading the documentation for it. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 22:04
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FindCycle was reused, the output format changed, same for EdgeList.

I think the number of renamed/reused function are quite small (I would guess less than 20), though I can not find a comprehensive list.

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