I feel that for every new user (but not limited to them, very often I feel the same) the flood of functions is a cursed blessing.

"It's great I can extract part of the matrix in 20 different ways, but which should I use and when? What are the possible issues raised by each?" -- this is something that comes into my mind many times.

Documentation doesn't help so much, I feel that "coding style" should be discussed there more widely; instead it is mostly a collection of "raw" examples. Some are very neat, true, but confusion is still present.

I would like to have a separate tag to mark/find topics about comparison of functions.

Here are a few examples of the kind of topics I have in mind:

My candidate is meant to be used with //. I'm not sure if this is best.

Or maybe we don't need anything new; if so, let's establish a standard appraoch.

  • 1
    I don't much like comparison. To my mind it suggests questions about relational operators. I would suggest best-practice if we're going to go down this road.
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:08
  • I can see that such a tag could help those who are searching the site. However, we already have many questions on the site where the answers discuss best practice. Is somebody going to go through all the old questions and add the new tag to those that need it? If that isn't done, the new tag won't help search much.
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:21
  • How would we enforce the coupling of comparison with the other tags you want it coupled with? I can't see a way to do that, and without that coupling, comparison seems ambiguous.
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:25
  • @m_goldberg I will, there are not so many topics I'd mark anyway. The question is, is this helpful? If so, the more are marked the better, so what we miss some old topics. About coupling, the same way filtering gathering etc work. I don't know if best practice is the best, I feel that it is to narrow. p.s. thanks for the edit.
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:28
  • How would that tag relate to mathematica.stackexchange.com/questions/18/…?
    – Karsten7
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:31
  • 1
    Wouldn't it be the same as the guidelines tag?
    – Karsten7
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:33
  • @Karsten7. wonuldn't at all. It should only be applied to topics like linked above. "I know I can use Part and Extract and Take, what's the point of those 3 functions then?"
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:34
  • Perhaps I would be more enthusiastic about this proposal if you were to edit your question and add the tag wiki you would provide for it. A good tag wiki would help to convince me (and perhaps others) that we need this.
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:34
  • @Karsten7. haven't seen that one! guidelines + functions seems perfect.
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:35
  • + a better tag wiki for guidelines.
    – Karsten7
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:36
  • 1
    @m_goldberg Karsten will try to edit guidelines wiki in a free time, thanks for discussion.
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:38
  • 1
    Related: meta.mathematica.stackexchange.com/q/174/18476
    – Karsten7
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 18:34
  • @Karsten7. Please consider posting an answer that editing guidelines is the way to go. Let's see if others agree.
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 9:50
  • Do you still prefer creating a new tag comparison? If not, like your comment indicated, it'd make more sense if you'd write an answer that also includes the new wiki text and maybe a comment on how that fits into this discussion.
    – Karsten7
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 14:16
  • @Karsten7. wikin not yet thought through but I have post answers
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


My opinion is that + has a little bit broader meaning and I would like to have a solution that tags the group of topics more precisely.

The problem is with functions guidelines about single function, e.g. Condition here:

Placement of Condition /; expressions

I'd prefer to have a clear way to sift that cases.

That's why I'm after or any synonim, with apriopriate wiki (tbd).

  • 2
    I think comparison is too broad and could lead to mis-tagged questions (as @m_goldberg pointed out). The improved tag name would be function-comparison.
    – shrx
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 10:09
  • @shrx I;m fine with that :)
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 10:10

We should go with + with updated wiki (tbd).

Combining tags works quite well for + and friends, so this is not a problem.

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