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MathGroup Archive 1997

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Re: GUI for Mma

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg7139] Re: [mg7108] GUI for Mma
  • From: seanross at worldnet.att.net
  • Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 01:57:40 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

function: Mathematics.  The kernel is very good, if a little slow, but
both the 2.2 and 3.0 front ends get in the way of the language.  The 3.0
front end has many advertised features that simply don't work.(file
conversions mostly)  The 2.2 front end editor didn't even have the
functionality of the simple DOS editor.  
   I think Wolfram ought to get out of the front end business and give
us "The Mathematica C++ Library" which would be a bunch of c header
files that could be loaded in to incorporate the features of the
language desired for a particular applicataion.  This would immediately
remedy the two most serious limitations to mathematica: No stand-alone
executables and non-portable code.  I use mathematica heavily now during
my PhD program, but when I return to my Laser research job, I realize
that I can only use mathematica for my own enjoyment or for numerical
speculation.  I can never specify code for a contract to be written in
mathematica.  Were there such a thing as a "Mathematica C++ Library",
mathematica could immediately enter use in the research and industrial
community in general.  I like mathematica better than writing C code
because I don't have to be burdened with memory allocation, remembering
all those pointers and whether I am passing by reference or value and I
don't have to write my own graphing codes.
  Also, as a general engineering principle, the more things something
does, the poorer it does any one of its tasks.  Two mathematica examples
of this are:  NIntegrate: it is so robust and general that it is
abyssmally slow, so I only use it to check my work and nearly always
write a specific integration routine appropriate for the problem at
hand.  3.0 kernel:  It does so much more than the 2.2 kernel that it is
much slower according to my experience and independent review.
  Anyway, the more functions you try to add to mathematica, the slower
it is going to be and will get in the way of the primary reason anyone
uses it:  Fast and accurate answers.


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