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MathGroup Archive 2002

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Re: Re: Re: Functionality and Reliability

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg35030] Re: [mg35010] Re: [mg34983] Re: [mg34958] Functionality and Reliability
  • From: David Withoff <withoff at wolfram.com>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 02:13:36 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

> > Much as I might like to blame my problems on marketing, this tradeoff
> > is almost never an issue, primarily because fixing bugs and adding new
> > features are almost never distinct tasks.
>
> Of course I agree with all of the above, but it does not cover
> everything that can be said. I think there are also fairly clear cases
> involving usually some rather old parts of Mathematica that  would
> benefit from an overhaul, and I was trying to find reasonable
> explanation why this has not yet been done. One obvious candidate that
> comes to my mind is the Assumptions mechanism in Integrate.

I guess I'm not sure what sort of explanation you are seeking.
The overhaul you mentioned is already being done.  Were you assuming
that it was not?  Were you thinking it would be easy?  Is there
an assumption that Wolfram Research is somehow unaware of the
limitations of this technology?

Perhaps I am misunderstanding something here, but it seems as
if the requested explanation may in fact be a progress report on
internal research and development efforts, so that everyone can
see what is being done and what is not being done and why, and can
assess for themselves whether the priorities are to their liking.
Other than being a lot of work I'm not sure what that would reveal,
except that different people have different priorities.

More generally, although I don't want to make light of the concerns
expressed in this thread, I'm still a bit unclear on what could
realistically be done in response and that is not already happening.

> ... the few cases of problems that are
> well known, have been around for a while and where it is pretty clear
> how they could be fixed.  I was looking for a "good explanation" why it
> has not yet been done.

Is the Assumptions facility in Integrate one of the examples that you
have in mind?  It is not at all clear to me how this can be "fixed",
although there are some promising possibilities, any of which will
involve a lot of work.  I am not myself aware of any problems where
there is not (what I would consider) a "good explanation".

Dave Withoff
Wolfram Research


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