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Re: Mathematica's (and others) ancient widget toolkit ... why?

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  • Subject: [mg51752] Re: Mathematica's (and others) ancient widget toolkit ... why?
  • From: "symbio" <atazad02 at>
  • Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 01:17:45 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <clst85$3o1$>
  • Reply-to: "symbio" <atazad02 at>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In addition, it seems Mathematica was intially designed on Apple/Mac, and 
focuses on postscript and quicktime formats, but today's users are mostly PC 
Windows, they should really change their focus to cater to their new and 
much larger customer base.  Needs a complete GUI make-over.

"Jens Benecke" <jens at> wrote in message 
news:clst85$3o1$1 at
> (also sent to suggestions at
> Hello,
> this is a personal opinion of mine, regarding the use of Motif (or 
> whatever
> the Mathematica GUI was developed with) under Unix/Linux.
> I have been using Mathematica for some months and I like its features but
> the GUI looks like it hasn't evolved since 1980. (see attached screenshot
> for comparison)
> Since about 1998, more advanced toolkits are available that are much 
> easier
> to develop for (I know, I use them), like Qt and Gtk, and it is supposed 
> to
> be very easy to port Motif based apps to Qt (see
> (though I haven't 
> used
> *that* feature yet). Qt is also 1:1 source code compatible across Linux,
> UNIX, Windows, and MacOSX which might be an added plus.
> The gains would be considerate: Mathematica would automatically gain 
> faster
> graphics display, proper font display, font useage and font antialising,
> better window manager/desktop/printing integration, Mathematica and its
> tools would automatically respect the user's preferences of display colors
> and font sizes and if you really want to spoil the Linux user base, 
> provide
> pre-packaged RPM packages to install, which properly integrate into the
> system and can be managed by the system's RPM frontends (SuSE's YaST for
> example), instead of clunky text based install scripts.
> What I'd like to know is, am I the first to notice this? Why continue
> selling a version of Mathematica that even though its *features* are 
> great,
> looks like it's been lying there and rusting since 1980, doesn't support
> mouse wheel actions,  pops up tooltips that don't disappear even if you
> change virtual desktops, doesn't support proper cut&paste and drag&drop 
> via
> XDnD, takes seconds to redraw a window on a 1.8GHz-P4, uses seemingly
> non-standard fonts that make headers in the documentation invisible on a
> SuSE Linux 9.1 standard installation, and so on?
> Seriously, your software works great, but it is absolute hell to use. It
> would be much more productive (and fun!) if it would behave and look
> properly, like the rest of my desktop. Please consider this for the future
> of Mathematica.
> Thank you!
> -- 
> Jens Benecke
> - Europas kostenlose Mitfahrzentrale seit 1998
> - Webhosting mit Extras - PHP ab ¤9 - SSH ab ¤19
> - 100% saubere Postfächer, garantiert!

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