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Re: "At long last, Sir, have you no shame?"

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  • Subject: [mg18385] Re: "At long last, Sir, have you no shame?"
  • From: Martin Kraus <Martin.Kraus at>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 14:13:39 -0400
  • Organization: University of Stuttgart
  • References: <> <7ku02a$> <7l1d2g$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

John A. Sidles wrote:
> Andrew Watson  <abwatson at> wrote:
> > What gives? Is this really something that has stumped the
> > greatest computational minds of the end of the millenium? Is
> > it really so low on the list of priorities that it has
> > persisted for 10 years? Have you no shame?
> Things are slowly getting better at Wolfram, but progress
> is slow.  For example, did the Wolfram folks ever get
> around to fixing/documenting in Version 4.0 another notorious
> Mathematica behavior, that Eigensystem sporadically (about
> 1 time in 10^3) returns complex eigenvectors, given a real,
> symmetric input matrix?  I received email from several
> other physicists who had been bitten by this undocumented
> behavior --- it afflicts several platforms.  But all we got
> from tech support were the same "sheepish chuckles" that
> Andrew experienced.  Net result, no documentation.  This of
> course guarantees that future users will continue to use
> Eigensystem[] in a manner which sporadically & silently
> breaks.  This wasn't Tech Support's fault, the problem
> originated in policies set higher-up at Wolfram Research.
> Seriously, what's going on at Wolfram Research which blocks
> better on-line documentation of this kind of stuff?

Hmmm, I guess we could quickly gather dozens of well known
bugs in this thread. Before doing so: Is there anyone who
would like to set up a database with online access for 
bugs (including workarounds) in Mathematica? 

Perhaps the existence of such a database would force WRI
to include it into their support section in order to get it
under their control. Not the best motivation for a better
bug documentation by WRI but at least it might work. 


Martin Kraus

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