I am not a programmer and the one thing that really turns me off most manuals and also many answers on SO/mathematica, is the insistence of not giving concrete examples, but instead assuming that the reader will know conventions that enable them to distinguish between the code part and the template part, and furthermore, to know what syntax a template part is. (E.g: Does "varlist" include braces?)

To give a non-mathematica example: I use grep about five times a year, so I always forget the syntax. I don't need a list of all options, I just need to see some typical examples to remember which argument goes first.

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    I don't think I understand what you're getting at... – rm -rf Jan 18 '12 at 12:58
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    Phira is asking for explicit examples without any templates, eg, FindMinimum[{Sin[x] y, x<y}, {{x, 0.5}, {{y,0.25}}] instead of FindMinimum[{f,cons},{{x,x0},{y,y0},...}]. Of course in mathematica the difference is somewhat in the eye of the beholder... – Lev Bishop Jan 18 '12 at 16:48
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    I back up Phira: it is always good to have an explicit example 1) that can be copied and evaluated without any change; 2) that provides the output as well (perhaps even pictures); and 3) that does not require too much reverse-engineering from the reader. – István Zachar Jan 18 '12 at 19:28
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    I agree with this on the basis that many users of Mathematica are not typically professional programmers, or even have any formal programming education and/or experience. Having workable snippets helps reinforce the learning process. – Mike Bailey Jan 19 '12 at 2:22

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