[seqfan] Re: Rant on Maple code

Charles Greathouse charles.greathouse at case.edu
Thu Aug 13 16:46:15 CEST 2009

I see many different purposes for programs.  Two of the most
important, for me, are code that runs quickly and code that explains
the sequence.  Presumably doublefactorial is the fastest on systems
that have access to it, so that would be an important program to
have.*  Another computationally efficient version for older versions
might be good.  Then a program like
f := n->(2*n)!/(n!*2^n);
or even
f := mul(2 * i - 1, i = 1..n);
is also useful.  Sometimes a definition will be unclear for one reason
or another, but programs have to be explicit.

* I have learned about functions I'd never used through the OEIS. For
example, I had never used Pari's znorder until I saw it there.  So
even 'obvious' functions like this can be useful -- consider someone
coming from a Maple V background but using a newer version, for

Charles Greathouse
Case Western Reserve University

On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 8:39 AM, Raff, Paul<praff at math.rutgers.edu> wrote:
> I don't think we should be oppressing the finance-inclined people around, or
> any other group for that matter. Most of them aren't mathematicians like we
> are, and most of them would go through their life having no problem
> calculating something like futurevalue( n, 2, 2) -- and doing it numerous
> times -- without recognizing that this value is simply 9n. It's simply not
> in their language.
> This is what I view the OEIS as - it's a place where people find out things
> that they wouldn't have realized. For those where mathematics is their
> profession, it leads to more publications. For others, it may simply make
> their day easier.
> So yes, I agree that the code examples shown, for the most part, are crap.
> But they're right - even the one you said was wrong, Joerg (you forgot the
> floor). What I would like to see, which I presume can happen easily with the
> wiki, is the better code coming first with the "trivial" code coming last.
> [paul]
> Paul Raff
> Graduate Assistant - Monitoring Message Streams
> Rutgers University
> http://math.rutgers.edu/~praff

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