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MathGroup Archive 2000

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Re: Linux: how compatible with add-ons ?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg22185] Re: Linux: how compatible with add-ons ?
  • From: "P.J. Hinton" <paulh at wolfram.com>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 01:24:20 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: "Wolfram Research, Inc."
  • References: <88dp2d$15o@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

On 16 Feb 2000, AC baltazarius wrote:

> I recently (about 4 months ago) bought Mathematica for Students v4.0.1. At
> the same time I bought some MEI products (courseware) and Wolfram's Calculus
> WIZ.
> 
> I bought the Windows version of Mathematica for Students. For some reasons I
> have to use Linux more and more and all my applications are shifting over
> the Linux platform.
> 
> I would like to ask Wolfram for a system transfer from Windows to Linux. But
> before doing so I would like to make sure my add-ons package will still run
> under Linux.
> 
> I made a search on deja.com and found these articles:
> http://x31.deja.com/[ST_rn=ps]/getdoc.xp?AN=556950397&CONTEXT=950635188.4542
> 95583&hitnum=1
> and
> http://x31.deja.com/[ST_rn=ps]/getdoc.xp?AN=559917761&CONTEXT=950635188.4542
> 95583&hitnum=0
> 
> Where a guy states that all my MEI courseware products will run under Linux
> and so would Calculus WIZ.
> 
> I have no doubt the MEI products will run under Linux because after all,
> these are "just" a bunch of notebooks (which is very good for compatibility
> reasons !). But isn't Calculus WIZ using some binaries which would be
> platform dependant ? Calculus WIZ isn't even compatible with v4.0.1 of MFS
> under Windows. Wolfram had sent me a free copy of MFS 3.0.1 so I could use
> Calculus WIZ.
> 
> So, is there a trick so I could use Calculus WIZ under Linux ? Or there is
> no trick and it will work on first try ? : ) If Calculus WIZ would still
> require MFS 3.0.1 under Linux that wouldn't more of a problem than it is
> under Windows. I would just ask for a system transfer of 3.0.1 to Linux too.

I cannot say for certain whether Calculus Wiz has been tested rigorously
with the Linux front ends for Mathematica 3.0 or 4.  You may want to
contact <info at wolfram.com> to see if you can find a more definitive
answer.

If there are compatibility issues, I suspect that the source of the
problem is in the implementation of notebook manipulation functions on the
X Window version of the front end.

You may be aware that Mathematica 3.0 and 4 both feature functions that
can be used to script the behavior of notebooks and the front end itself.
Some of these functions provide for specification of behavior which make
sense under Windows and MacOS, but they are very hard to guarantee for X
because of the "functionality without policy" nature of the windowing
environment.  For example, exact placement of newly created windows can be
requested by the front end, but ultimately it is at the mercy of whatever
window manager is in use.  There are some ways to hack around this for
specific window managers, but its a very fragile route to take.

Designers of interactive courseware make extensive use of these
manipulation commands through buttons.  It may be that some of the
Calculus Wiz notebooks function as designed under X, but that there are
others that yield strange results, such as a cell pasted in a wrong
location or in a different notebook altogether.

-- 
P.J. Hinton
Mathematica Programming Group           paulh at wolfram.com
Wolfram Research, Inc.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.




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