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

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  • Subject: [mg51751] Re: Mathematica's (and others) ancient widget toolkit ... why?
  • From: "symbio" <atazad02 at>
  • Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 01:17:41 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <clst85$3o1$>
  • Reply-to: "symbio" <atazad02 at>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I second that!  I feel your pain, Mathematica really could do a lot better 
in terms of graphics and controlling, rendering, rotating and movie-making 
too.  For example, the only way you can export animation graphics now is by 
saving into a GIF file which is totally 1980's and antique!  There are so 
many better ways, such as exporting into AVI, MOV, MPEG, etc.. formats.  I 
too agree that although a GREAT GREAT tool, it really needs a complete 
make-over to keep up with today's modern display technology, including font 
handling to fit much more naturally into Windows' desktop environment.  It 
seems the environment was designed to fit the Unix base because everything 
is output in Postscripts format, but today there is probably at least as 
many PC Windows based users as Unix/Linux, IF NOT MORE!!! Mathematica should 
really pay attention to this important market segment, and there is ROOM for 
an INCREDIBLE amount of improvement right now!!!  I also completely agree 
with you on the burden and troubles of the antiquated way of 
loading/unloading packages into Mathematica, it seems to me such an advanced 
software with algorithmic solution-finding engines should have figured this 
part out already, that is to save the user from having to install/load 
packages for function access, instead all this should be transparent from 
the user.

"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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