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MathGroup Archive 2004

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Re: Re: Mathematica language issues

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg53154] Re: [mg53151] Re: Mathematica language issues
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl>
  • Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 06:41:23 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <cqbh9b$4k4$1@smc.vnet.net> <200412250900.EAA18573@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

On 25 Dec 2004, at 18:00, josephoswaldgg at hotmail.com wrote:

> One risk of saying that expressions are "unlikely to have any practical
> use" is that sophisticated programming evironments tend to be used to
> automate tasks that are relatively unrestricted.
>
> Perhaps no human using Mathematica would type in these expressions by
> hand, but it is certainly conceivable that someone might develop an
> application package that would end up generating forms like these as
> intermediate steps while addressing very sensible and practical
> problems.
>
> Think of something like a C language compiler: it is clear that C
> compilers will, even for simple, straightforward C expressions,
> generate machine code that is quite unlike what a human machine code
> programmer would create. If a CPU acted strangely because its designer
> never anticipated codes in these orders, people would complain that the
> CPU has bugs. Perhaps compiler writers would learn to work around these
> bugs, if they were isolated and predictable enough, but these would be
> bugs nonetheless.
>
> People trying to build large systems need building blocks that are
> *robust*, in the sense of behaving predictably *even in situations that
> might not be forseeable*.
>
> You might get a warm fuzzy feeling from experimentation and discovery,
> but people using libraries will end up performing mysterious
> uncontrolled experiments, not of their own choosing, and perhaps
> silently returning bad results.
>
> --Joe
>
>
>

The simple answer to that is that I don't think  Mathemtica was ever 
written for this sort of purpose and WRI as a company does not aspire 
to a share of this market (if it exists). Otherwise obviously they 
would do something about this but the fact is that they don't, which is 
perfectly all right with me though may not be with you.
Mathematica was written for human beings and in fact for human being of 
above average intelligence.  At least for the time being this 
disqualifies it as a tool for the sort of purpose you have brought up 
here. If you are interested in that kind of thing, Mathematica is 
obviously not the right language for you. Why on earth does it have to 
be one? There are countless other purposes it is not suitable for and a 
huge number of other programming languages to choose form.

Andrzej Kozlowski


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