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A.13 Incompatible Changes

A.13.1 Since Version 1

Every new version of Mathematica contains many new features. But careful design from the outset has allowed nearly total compatibility to be maintained between all versions. As a result, almost any program written, say, for Mathematica Version 1 in 1988 should be able to run without change in Mathematica Version 5—though it will often run considerably faster.

One inevitable problem, however, is that if a program uses names that begin with upper-case letters, then it is possible that since the version when the program was first written, built-in functions may have been added to Mathematica whose names conflict with those used in the program.

In addition, to maintain the overall coherence of Mathematica a few functions that existed in earlier versions have gradually been dropped—first becoming undocumented, and later generating warning messages if used. Furthermore, it has in a few rare cases been necessary to makes changes to particular functions that are not compatible with their earlier operation.

This section lists all major incompatible changes from Mathematica Version 1 onward.

A.13.2 Between Versions 1 and 2

FilledSmallSquare 260 new built-in objects have been added, some of whose names may conflict with names already being used.

FilledSmallSquare Accumulate has been superseded by FoldList; Fold has been added.

FilledSmallSquare Condition (/;) can now be used in individual patterns as well as in complete rules, and does not evaluate by default.

FilledSmallSquare The functionality of Release has been split between Evaluate and ReleaseHold.

FilledSmallSquare Compose has been superseded by Composition.

FilledSmallSquare Debug has been superseded by Trace and related functions.

FilledSmallSquare Power no longer automatically makes transformations such as Sqrt[x^2]x.

FilledSmallSquare Limit now by default remains unevaluated if it encounters an unknown function.

FilledSmallSquare Mod now handles only numbers; PolynomialMod handles polynomials.

FilledSmallSquare CellArray has been superseded by Raster and RasterArray.

FilledSmallSquare FontForm takes a slightly different form of font specification.

FilledSmallSquare Framed has been superseded by Frame and related options.

FilledSmallSquare ContourLevels and ContourSpacing have been superseded by Contours.

FilledSmallSquare Plot3Matrix has been superseded by ViewCenter and ViewVertical.

FilledSmallSquare FromASCII and ToASCII have been superseded by FromCharacterCode and ToCharacterCode respectively.

FilledSmallSquare Alias has been superseded by $PreRead.

FilledSmallSquare ResetMedium has been subsumed in SetOptions, and $$Media has been superseded by Streams.

FilledSmallSquare StartProcess has been superseded by Install and by MathLink.

FilledSmallSquare Additional parts devoted to Mathematica as a programming language, and to examples of Mathematica packages, have been dropped from The Mathematica Book.

A.13.3 Between Versions 2 and 3

FilledSmallSquare 259 new built-in objects have been added, some of whose names may conflict with names already being used.

FilledSmallSquare N[expr, n] now always tries to give n digits of precision if possible, rather than simply starting with n digits of precision.

FilledSmallSquare All expressions containing only numeric functions and numerical constants are now converted to approximate numerical form whenever they contain any approximate numbers.

FilledSmallSquare Many expressions involving exact numbers that used to remain unevaluated are now evaluated. Example: Floor[(7/3)^20].

FilledSmallSquare Plus and Times now apply built-in rules before user-defined ones, so it is no longer possible to make definitions such as 2+2=5.

FilledSmallSquare The operator precedence for . and ** has been changed so as to be below ^. This has the consequence that expressions previously written in InputForm as a . b ^ n must now be written as (a . b)^n. V2Get[file] will read a file using old operator precedences.

FilledSmallSquare \^ is now an operator used to generate a superscript. Raw octal codes must be used instead of \^A for inputting control characters.

FilledSmallSquare In Mathematica notebooks, several built-in Mathematica functions are now output by default using special characters. Example: x->y is output as xy in StandardForm.

FilledSmallSquare More sophisticated definite integrals now yield explicit If constructs unless the option setting GenerateConditions->False is used.

FilledSmallSquare HeldPart[expr, i, j, ... ] has been superseded by Extract[expr, i, j, ... , Hold].

FilledSmallSquare Literal[pattern] has been replaced by HoldPattern[pattern]. Verbatim[pattern] has been introduced. Functions like DownValues return their results wrapped in HoldPattern rather than Literal.

FilledSmallSquare ReplaceHeldPart[expr, new, pos] has been superseded by ReplacePart[expr, Hold[new], pos, 1].

FilledSmallSquare ToHeldExpression[expr] has been superseded by ToExpression[expr, form, Hold].

FilledSmallSquare Trig as an option to algebraic manipulation functions has been superseded by the explicit functions TrigExpand, TrigFactor and TrigReduce.

FilledSmallSquare AlgebraicRules has been superseded by PolynomialReduce.

FilledSmallSquare The option LegendreType has been superseded by an additional optional argument to LegendreP and LegendreQ.

FilledSmallSquare WeierstrassP[u, , ] now takes and in a list.

FilledSmallSquare $Letters and $StringOrder now have built-in values only, but these handle all possible Mathematica characters.

FilledSmallSquare StringByteCount is no longer supported.

FilledSmallSquare Arbitrary-precision approximate real numbers are now given by default as digits`prec in InputForm. This behavior is controlled by $NumberMarks.

FilledSmallSquare Large approximate real numbers are now given by default as digits*^exponent in InputForm.

FilledSmallSquare HomeDirectory[ ] has been replaced by $HomeDirectory.

FilledSmallSquare Dump has been superseded by DumpSave.

FilledSmallSquare $PipeSupported and $LinkSupported are now obsolete, since all computer systems support pipes and links.

FilledSmallSquare LinkOpen has been superseded by LinkCreate, LinkConnect and LinkLaunch.

FilledSmallSquare Subscripted has been superseded by RowBox, SubscriptBox, etc.

FilledSmallSquare Subscript and Superscript now represent complete subscripted and superscripted quantities, not just subscripts and superscripts.

FilledSmallSquare FontForm and DefaultFont have been superseded by StyleForm and TextStyle.

In the notebook front end, changes that were made include:

FilledSmallSquare The file format for notebooks has been completely changed in order to support new notebook capabilities.

FilledSmallSquare Notebook files are now by default given .nb rather than .ma extensions; .mb files are now superfluous.

FilledSmallSquare The front end will automatically ask to convert any old notebook that you tell it to open.

FilledSmallSquare The kernel command NotebookConvert can be used to convert notebook files from Version 2 to Version 3 format.

FilledSmallSquare The default format type for input cells is now StandardForm rather than InputForm.

FilledSmallSquare The organization of style sheets, as well as the settings for some default styles, have been changed.

FilledSmallSquare Some command key equivalents for menu items have been rearranged.

A.13.4 Between Versions 3 and 4

FilledSmallSquare 61 new built-in objects have been added, some of whose names may conflict with names already being used.

FilledSmallSquare N[0] now yields a machine-precision zero rather than an exact zero.

FilledSmallSquare FullOptions has been superseded by AbsoluteOptions, which yields results in the same form as Options.

FilledSmallSquare Element[x, y] or now has built-in evaluation rules.

FilledSmallSquare The symbols I and E are now output in StandardForm as (\[ImaginaryI]) and (\[ExponentialE]) respectively.

FilledSmallSquare A new second argument has been added to CompiledFunction to allow easier manipulation and composition of compiled functions.

A.13.5 Between Versions 4 and 5

FilledSmallSquare 44 completely new built-in objects have been added, some of whose names may conflict with names already being used.

FilledSmallSquare Precision and Accuracy now return exact measures of uncertainty in numbers, not just estimates of integer numbers of digits.

FilledSmallSquare Precision now returns the symbol MachinePrecision for machine numbers, rather than the numerical value $MachinePrecision.

FilledSmallSquare N[expr, MachinePrecision] is now used for numerical evaluation with machine numbers; N[expr, $MachinePrecision] generates arbitrary-precision numbers.

FilledSmallSquare ConstrainedMin and ConstrainedMax have been superseded by Minimize, Maximize, NMinimize and NMaximize.

FilledSmallSquare SingularValues has been superseded by SingularValueList and SingularValueDecomposition. SingularValueDecomposition uses a different and more complete definition.

FilledSmallSquare FindRoot[f, x, , ] is now used to specify a starting vector value for x, rather than a pair of values. The same is true for FindMinimum.

FilledSmallSquare DSolveConstants has been superseded by the more general option GeneratedParameters.

FilledSmallSquare TensorRank has been replaced by ArrayDepth.

FilledSmallSquare $TopDirectory has been superseded by $InstallationDirectory and $BaseDirectory.

FilledSmallSquare The default setting for the MathLink LinkProtocol option when connecting different computer systems is now "TCPIP" rather than "TCP".