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MathGroup Archive 1999

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Re: phasing out support for older versions

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg18284] Re: [mg18238] phasing out support for older versions
  • From: David Withoff <withoff at wolfram.com>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999 15:05:27 -0400
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

> As a licensed user of v 3.01, I was about to order the upgrade to 4.0 when I
> read this post. Though I have had nothing but good things to say about
> Mathematica technical support and software, the notion of abandoning support
> for older versions strikes me as unfair to legitimate users who are getting
> along fine with older hardware and software, with no pressing need to
> upgrade either. While probably a numerically small group, they purchased the
> software in good faith, which isn't being reciprocated here. While I
> recognize this is the prevailing paradigm in the software industry, I had
> thought WRI was a classier act and am disappointed to read otherwise.
> Customer loyalty, afterall, has to be earned.
>
> A. Sharma MD
>
> >> Does anyone know whether Mathematica 2.2 will run successfully on an
> >> iMac (Mac OS 8.5.1 and later)?
> >
> >Depends on the release of Mathematica 2.2 that you have:
> >
> >http://support.wolfram.com/Systems/Macintosh/PowerMacCompatibility.html
> >
> >You may want to consider upgrading to Version 4 as support for version
> >2.2 is being phased out.

I think there may have been some misunderstanding here.  Support for
Version 2.2 is not being "phased out", at least not in the sense that
I would understand the meaning of "phased out".   We are still answering
questions about it, and we will continue to do what we can to help out.
It's just that what we can do for old software is not nearly as good as
what we can do for current software.

As we have all undoubtedly experienced in many ways, maintaining old
software (or old anything) becomes increasingly difficult as the software
gets older, and eventually becomes so difficult that the difficulty
exceeds the interest in doing it.  It would be pretty hard (and very
expensive) to support any software in perpetuity.

Version 2.2 isn't quite that old yet, but it's getting there.  It is
already so old that it would be misleading to claim that we can support
it at the same level of effectiveness that we can support current versions
of the software.  Lack of use, fading memories, deteriorating hardware,
and the tremendous need to keep up with newer (and often incompatible)
technologies are already having a significant effect.  So I suppose one
could say that support for Version 2.2 is being "phased out" in the sense
that we are concentrating much more heavily on newer releases, and are
recommending that people interested in high-quality support should
consider upgrading to more recent software.

Dave Withoff
Wolfram Research


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