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MathGroup Archive 1997

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Re: Useful Dumb User Questions

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg9095] Re: Useful Dumb User Questions
  • From: "charles loboz" <charles at please.no.spam.syacus.acus.oz.au>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 23:33:11 -0400
  • Organization: Unisys - Roseville, MN
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

You touch upon two different issues in your mail.

I totally agree with the first one - a shabby treatment of mma users by
wri, selling - very much needed - bug fix release as a significant upgrade.
I bought my 10 months ago for a full price and now they want 700 A$ for
3.0.1 upgrade. I think they have also some other off-putting problems.

I tend to disagree with you on the second issue - poor documentation. It
gets some time to get used to - but after that it is quite good. I even
started to appreciate the thick book - the mma manual. I think it is a bit
like UNIX documentation - once you are 'in' it is very good, concise and
precise. As to other books - they definitely vary in quality. I found 'mma
- a guide for physicists' (or something like that) a very good introductory
text - and there are other very good ones as well (Gray for example). For
real mma style programming my personal favourities are Meader and the
recent 'power programming - the kernel' - definitely worth the money.

In general I think there are many good books on mma - but all books on mma
are good.

Sergio Rojas <sergio at scisun.sci.ccny.cuny.edu> wrote in article
<61hsno$dbs at smc.vnet.net>...
> charles loboz (charles at please.no.spam.syacus.acus.oz.au) wrote:
> : Mark Evans <evans at gte.net> wrote in article
<61cog3$4in at smc.vnet.net>...
> 
> : 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.
> 
>     I have the impression that converting Mathematica in a mass-market
>     product is the main concern of WRI rather than improving the 
>     package. It comes to my mind all that expectation created by WRI 
>     before "launching" Mathematica 3.0. At the end the product came out 
>     with so many bugs. Now those who, impressed by the WRI propaganda,
>     bough the product in its early release have to pay more to get a
patch. 
>     Why not provide the users 0f 3.0 with a free upgrade? It remains me
>     that something similar happen with the pentium bug with the
difference
>     that Intel replace for free theirs fault.
> 
>     On the other hand, instead of finding the package difficult to learn
or
>     understand, I found it poorly documented. Only a few well written
books
>     can be found in the market, and the reason is probably the desire of
>     making money rather than documenting the package in the appropriated
way.
>     Fortunately there is this group where one can interact and cover the
>     deficiencies in documentation.
> 
> Rojas
> 
> 
> 


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