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MathGroup Archive 1997

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Re: Useful Dumb User Questions

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg9064] Re: [mg8988] Useful Dumb User Questions
  • From: Kristina Langer <langerk at wl.wpafb.af.mil>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 01:42:44 -0400
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

>I watch other dumb users sit down at some of these programs and "get it"
>almost immediately.  So therefore I conclude that MMA is hard to use,
>even though it is not hard for me personally, and in fact I find it very
>productive.

I don't agree that Mma is inherently hard to use - at least not any harder than
the average programming language on the market.  It seems to me that the
problem is with the users who are too impatient to master the basics before
moving on to the "hard" stuff.  Everything seems hard when the fundamentals
have not been learned.  I mean, most would agree that operating an automobile
is not really all that difficult, but this is only because in the beginning we
nagged our parents for weeks of driving lessons.  

At the same time, I do not condone slamming on users who seem plunge in head
first.  Not only is it mean, it's also pointless.  As far as I know, this news
group was not created solely as a forum for power users.  If someone is
offended by the new user questions, just delete 'em!  I personally enjoy
helping others along - kinda like a good deed for the day thing.

Maybe what Mma needs is a packaged tutorial program included with the software.
There are some very good external tutorials out there, but having one come with
the main program might offer more of an incentive for new users to take the
time to run through it.  I recently purchased Adobe Illustrator and even
knowing next to nothing about computer graphics, was up and running in about an
hour thanks to the tutorial program.

Just my thoughts.....


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