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Contexts

Definitions for Contexts

Function: ACTIVATE (cont1, cont2, ...)
causes the specified contexts conti to be activated. The facts in these contexts are used in making deductions and retrieving information. The facts in these contexts are not listed when FACTS(); is done. The variable ACTIVECONTEXTS is the list of contexts which are active by way of the ACTIVATE function.

Variable: ACTIVECONTEXTS
default: [] is a list of the contexts which are active by way of the ACTIVATE function, as opposed to being active because they are subcontexts of the current context.

Function: ASSUME (pred1, pred2, ...)
First checks the specified predicates for redundancy and consistency with the current data base. If the predicates are consistent and non-redundant, they are added to the data base; if inconsistent or redundant, no action is taken. ASSUME returns a list whose entries are the predicates added to the data base and the atoms REDUNDANT or INCONSISTENT where applicable.

Variable: ASSUMESCALAR
default: [TRUE] - helps govern whether expressions exp for which

NONSCALARP(exp) is FALSE

are assumed to behave like scalars for certain transformations as follows: Let exp represent any non-list/non-matrix, and [1,2,3] any list or matrix.

exp.[1,2,3]; ==>
 [exp,2*exp,3*exp]

if ASSUMESCALAR is TRUE or SCALARP(exp) is TRUE or CONSTANTP(exp) is TRUE. If ASSUMESCALAR is TRUE, such expressions will behave like scalars only for the commutative operators, but not for ".". If ASSUMESCALAR is FALSE, such expressions will behave like non-scalars. If ASSUMESCALAR is ALL, such expressions will behave like scalars for all the operators listed above.

Variable: ASSUME_POS
default:[FALSE] - When using INTEGRATE, etc. one often introduces parameters which are real and positive or one's calculations can often be constructed so that this is true. There is a switch ASSUME_POS (default FALSE) such that if set to TRUE, MACSYMA will assume one's parameters are positive. The intention here is to cut down on the number of questions MACSYMA needs to ask. Obviously, ASSUME information or any contextual information present will take precedence. The user can control what is considered to be a parameter for this purpose. Parameters by default are those which satisfy SYMBOLP(x) OR SUBVARP(x). The user can change this by setting the option ASSUME_POS_PRED [default FALSE] to the name of a predicate function of one argument. E.g. if you want only symbols to be parameters, you can do ASSUME_POS:TRUE$ ASSUME_POS_PRED:'SYMBOLP$ SIGN(A); -> POS, SIGN(A[1]); -> PNZ.

Variable: ASSUME_POS_PRED
default:[FALSE] - may be set to one argument to control what will be considered a parameter for the "assumptions" that INTEGRATE will make... see ASSUME and ASSUME_POS .

Variable: CONTEXT
default: INITIAL. Whenever a user assumes a new fact, it is placed in the context named as the current value of the variable CONTEXT. Similarly, FORGET references the current value of CONTEXT. To change contexts, simply bind CONTEXT to the desired context. If the specified context does not exist it will be created by an invisible call to NEWCONTEXT. The context specified by the value of CONTEXT is automatically activated. (Do DESCRIBE(CONTEXTS); for a general description of the CONTEXT mechanism.)

Variable: CONTEXTS
default: [INITIAL,GLOBAL] is a list of the contexts which currently exist, including the currently active context. The context mechanism makes it possible for a user to bind together and name a selected portion of his data base, called a context. Once this is done, the user can have MACSYMA assume or forget large numbers of facts merely by activating or deactivating their context. Any symbolic atom can be a context, and the facts contained in that context will be retained in storage until the user destroys them individually by using FORGET or destroys them as a whole by using KILL to destroy the context to which they belong. Contexts exist in a formal hierarchy, with the root always being the context GLOBAL, which contains information about MACSYMA that some functions need. When in a given context, all the facts in that context are "active" (meaning that they are used in deductions and retrievals) as are all the facts in any context which is an inferior of that context. When a fresh MACSYMA is started up, the user is in a context called INITIAL, which has GLOBAL as a subcontext. The functions which deal with contexts are: FACTS, NEWCONTEXT, SUPCONTEXT, KILLCONTEXT, ACTIVATE, DEACTIVATE, ASSUME, and FORGET.

Function: DEACTIVATE (cont1, cont2, ...)
causes the specified contexts conti to be deactivated.

Function: FACTS (item)
If 'item' is the name of a context then FACTS returns a list of the facts in the specified context. If no argument is given, it lists the current context. If 'item' is not the name of a context then it returns a list of the facts known about 'item' in the current context. Facts that are active, but in a different context, are not listed.

declaration: FEATURES
- MACSYMA has built-in properties which are handled by the data base. These are called FEATURES. One can do DECLARE(N,INTEGER), etc. One can also DECLARE one's own FEATURES by e.g. DECLARE(INCREASING,FEATURE); which will then allow one to say DECLARE(F,INCREASING);. One can then check if F is INCREASING by using the predicate FEATUREP via FEATUREP(F,INCREASING). There is an infolist FEATURES which is a list of known FEATURES. At present known FEATURES are: INTEGER, NONINTEGER, EVEN, ODD, RATIONAL, IRRATIONAL, REAL, IMAGINARY, COMPLEX, ANALYTIC, INCREASING, DECREASING, ODDFUN, EVENFUN, POSFUN, COMMUTATIVE, LASSOCIATIVE, RASSOCIATIVE, SYMMETRIC, and ANTISYMMETRIC. [Note: system "features" may be checked with STATUS(FEATURE,...); See DESCRIBE(STATUS); or DESCRIBE(FEATURE); for details.]

Function: FORGET (pred1, pred2, ...)
removes relations established by ASSUME. The predicates may be expressions equivalent to (but not necessarily identical to) those previously ASSUMEd. FORGET(list) is also a legal form.

Function: KILLCONTEXT (context1,context2,...,contextn)
kills the specified contexts. If one of them is the current context, the new current context will become the first available subcontext of the current context which has not been killed. If the first available unkilled context is GLOBAL then INITIAL is used instead. If the INITIAL context is killed, a new INITIAL is created, which is empty of facts. KILLCONTEXT doesn't allow the user to kill a context which is currently active, either because it is a subcontext of the current context, or by use of the function ACTIVATE.

Function: NEWCONTEXT (name)
creates a new (empty) context, called name, which has GLOBAL as its only subcontext. The new context created will become the currently active context.

Function: SUPCONTEXT (name,context)
will create a new context (called name) whose subcontext is context. If context is not specified, the current context will be assumed. If it is specified, context must exist.


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