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MathGroup Archive 1990

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Re: Speeding up Mathematica

  • To: uiucuxc!yoda.ncsa.uiuc.edu!mathgroup
  • Subject: Re: Speeding up Mathematica
  • From: uiucuxc!apple.com!malcolm
  • Date: Wed, 14 Mar 90 18:00:09 -0800

I guess these are Steve's Christensen's comments....
	I have also found
	it to be a lot of fun to find tricky ways to optimize Mathematica
	code using lower level Mathematica functions.  Conversations with
	Paul and others at WRI convince me that there are lots of nice
	techniques one can try. - SMC]

OK...that's the last straw.

I read Roman Maeder's book on Mathematica programming and found it to 
remind me of all the reasons I *don't* like Mathematica.  It is a really
well written book, don't get me wrong, but why should it be necessary?

I don't consider a system to be good when you need to know lots of really 
minor details about syntax and when things get evaluated.  Consider this 
little excerpt from the first page (67) I opened to:
	An expression with head Sequence is very elusive.  You cannot
	even look at it with FullForm[].
The book is just filled with "tricky" things like this.  I realize that 
there are good reasons for each of these little gotchas.  But on the whole 
I think Mathematica has way too many of them.  Other languages (Lisp, C,
Prolog) don't seem to have this problem.  I think this (and the cost) are
the biggest weak points for Mathematica.

I'm still a heavy Mathematica notebook user.  These statements aren't any
sort of Apple policy.  I'm just wondering aloud.

								Malcolm



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