Table formatting proposal

Eric W. Weisstein eww at
Wed Jul 28 17:47:14 CEST 1999

On Wed, 28 Jul 1999, John Conway wrote:

> I put a much simpler proposal to Neil quite some time ago, and still
> think it's better - namely that one just separate "rows" of a table by
> semicolons.  So Pascal's triangle would be
>    1;1,1;1,2,1;1,3,3,1;1,4,6,4,1;...
>   I still think this is a good idea, because it's easy to read, and
> because it allows for "weird" formats that not infrequently happen -
> for instance the nonzero numbers of types of polyhedra with given
> numbers of vertices and faces are
>    ;;;;;1;;1;1,1;2;2,2;...,
> with the rows corresponding to edges.
>    John Conway

Works for me.  And then the semicolons are just treated as commas for the
purposes of lookups.  This simple approach certainly eliminates the need
for a sequence to specify the "number of entries in each row".

However, I still like the idea of specifying in some way the index
sequences (plug in the numbers from these sequences into such-and-such a
function, say, binomial coefficient, and you get the current sequence)
where appropriate.


* Eric W. Weisstein                                                *
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