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MathGroup Archive 1997

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Re: Useful Dumb User Questions

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg9032] Re: Useful Dumb User Questions
  • From: "charles loboz" <charles at please.no.spam.syacus.acus.oz.au>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Oct 1997 00:05:29 -0400
  • Organization: Unisys - Roseville, MN
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Mark Evans <evans at gte.net> wrote in article <61cog3$4in at smc.vnet.net>...
> Hello,
> 
> This is a general message to the Mathematica wizards who populate the
> newsgroup, and also to the beginners.
.......  remainder snipped


In general you propose that Mathematica should be tailored to what
beginners expect. Some time ago I had the same idea - now I think I was
wrong. Not because I became one of the 'gurus'!

Mathematica is a sophisticated product for doing very sophisticated things.
Trying to compare it to Microsoft products, which are intended for
mass-market and are doing relatively (to mma) simple things is wrong.
Trying to compare it to a calculator - which is designed to do very simple
things - is even worse. After all we are talking about a product which can
do cellular automata, queuing systems, stochastic differential equations
and many others, widely disparate things.

I am not saying that mma couldn't be simplified. But trying to simplify it
could reduce possibility of doing more advanced things. 

I agree very much with the statement that mma is difficult to learn. But
I'd rather have something difficult to learn and powerful than something
easy to learn but limited in scope.

I do not like mma interface that much, feels awkward. Still, we are dealing
here with a product appealing to a very limited market (in comparison with,
say, Excel)




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