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MathGroup Archive 1999

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Re: incompatibilities between releases of Mathematica (was: Mathematica Link for Excel and Excel 2000) Organization: Princeton University - CIT/IS/ASIG

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg19376] Re: incompatibilities between releases of Mathematica (was: Mathematica Link for Excel and Excel 2000) Organization: Princeton University - CIT/IS/ASIG
  • From: Joseph Yoon <jyoon at Princeton.EDU>
  • Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 00:04:44 -0400
  • References: <7or5mr$153@smc.vnet.net> <innclip7ouvmd$osf$5@dragonfly.wolfram.com> <7p00pc$76e@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

"P.J. Hinton" wrote:
>
> Perhaps you could help us out by describing in precise terms exactly what
> you mean by "broken."  The likelihood that you will get your code working
> to your satisfcation will increase if you can post specific, minimal
> examples that reproduce the problems you've been running into.

Actually, I'm not talking about custom code, although that would also be
affected by the changes in v4. You can just see by the latest addition to the
WRI website regarding free updates to application packages that v4 is *NOT*
backwardly compatible. Lots of notebooks that worked in v3 also are "broken."

Other software packages take pains to insure backwards compatibility, MS Office,
etc, so that you can read documents written in prior versions. When a class or
method is deprecated in Java, you can still use it with warning flags generated
so that you can update the code at a later time. There is a gradual process of
"improvement" instead of things just breaking.

Now, I expect more from WRI because I have a higher opinion of the company than
let's say Microsoft. It would be helpful to have, instead of just a list of
imcompatibilites between versions, an explanation of why those changes were
made, wordarounds for them, etc. Maybe they are there in the documentation and I
just haven't found them yet. I'm all for progress and enhancements but been a
programmer for 20 years, I know the importance of legacy systems. We may like to
get rid of them but they are going to be with us for a long time. And
programmers hate going back to fix legacy code.

On a side note, here's a programmer's dream setup:

1. An IDE (I use VisualAge) with your choice of editor (Emacs, WinEdit, etc).
2. Mathematica.
3. HTML/XML/Java.
4. Oracle8i for persistence storage (perhaps the Java API that Todd Gayley is
working on will provide JDBC for this).
5. A good UML modeling tool (Rational Rose?).

No C, C++, perl and other viruses that kill brain cells.

Finally, I love Mathematica. I love my wife, too, and she isn't perfect either.
She may have been at one time but then she married me.

Joe Yoon


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