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Re: Mathematica: Long divison for polynomials

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  • Subject: [mg84079] Re: Mathematica: Long divison for polynomials
  • From: David Reiss <dbreiss at>
  • Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2007 06:37:18 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <> <firel5$rsq$>

As yet another semi-frequent contributor to this group I'd like to
point out the following option that I often exercise.  When I answer a
question by a Mathematica user who appears to need the answer quickly
I simply CC the answer to him  or her as well.  Then, independent of
the Moderation, the (hopefully) useful content of what I have to say
gets to the questioner promptly and is shared more universally when it
appears in the group...


On Dec 7, 7:01 am, DrMajorBob <drmajor... at> wrote:
> I agree with Daniel completely and, in addition, I'll just point out that  
> quite a few individuals like myself donate many hours & much energy  
> answering questions on Mathgroup, for absolutely no compensation but the
> chance to learn something in the process and the fun of doing so.
> It wouldn't be fun to see half the messages revolve around debating  
> (arguing incessantly, really) which CAS is best. I've seen and been a  
> participant in similar time-waster threads off-line, and I'm quite certain  
> that we're very fortunate (thanks to Steve Christensen) not to have such
> things constantly polluting, even dominating, the mailings.
> I do sometimes wonder what other CASs do differently, but really, I don't  
> have time to worry about it, here or anywhere else.
> Bobby
> On Fri, 07 Dec 2007 02:12:14 -0600, Daniel Lichtblau <d... at>
> wrote:
> > Caren Balea wrote:
> >> Thank you for your answers!
> >> As the reply in the newsgroup is quite slow I did try a different  
> >> newsgroup
> >> and receive an answer right after 21 minutes (rather than to have to
> >> wait
> >> a whole day in this newsgroup):
> >>
> bd8e9a5475af5fe9?hl=it
> >> There is also an interesting discussion about how meaningful it is
> >> to have a moderation in this particular newsgroup.
> >> Frankly, I agree with what they are saying.
> >> I'm curious though whether my post is going to be displayed or not.
> >> [I am offering a totally free service to those who want to use it.
> >> You should probably go elsewhere if it does not meet your needs.
> >> -- Moderator]
> > There has been substantial commentary in sci.math.symbolic, going back
> > several years, over the various ups and downs of having a moderated
> > forum comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica. Here is a URL to a reply I made in
> > one such thread, a few months ago.
> >
> > I've had some involvement with this since the beginning so I think I can
> > clarify and address a few issues. Bear in mind that I am replying as one
> > who sometimes writes to the forum; neither this reply, nor other posts
> > to the group, are part of my official job responsibilities.
> > First, the group began life, and remains, as a moderated mailing list
> > forum known as MathGroup. It was extended to a Usenet group around 12-13
> > years ago. I think this was partly in response to a need to remove the
> > many Mathematica-centric posts from sci.math.symbolic. And also there
> > was a desire to extend the mailing list reach to more people for whom it
> > was an appropriate venue, but who might not otherwise find it.
> > So what are the gripes about this moderated group? They fall into a few
> > categories.
> > (1) Turnaround time. It takes a day or so for a post to appear. So what
> > are the disadvantages to the relatively slow turnaround? One is that
> > feedback to the person posing questions is slow. This, I concede, is a
> > very real drawback. But short of cloning the moderator, I don't see a
> > good way around it. Suffice it to say, the advantages to having a
> > moderator (or at least to having the one we have), in my opinion, far
> > outweigh this. More below.
> > (2) Another perceived drawback to the turnaround time is replication of
> > effort in responses. I've seen this issue raised but frankly I think it
> > is mostly baloney. The vast majority of responders know good and well
> > that others are also likely to respond, and they do so anyway. The fact
> > is, Mathematica is a complex program, and often there are multiple ways
> > to achieve a stated goal. Responders know this and oftentimes "best
> > practice", or several reasonable forms thereof, emerge in the
> > multiplicity of responses. About the only actual drawback is that some
> > responders might delay an extra day to see if others answer first, and
> > this can prolong the process per (1) above.
> > (3) There has been persistent griping about the moderation amounting to
> > "censorship". Depending on how you define the terms, I suppose perhaps
> > this can be a valid sort of remark. But the upshot is that whether you
> > call it moderating or censorship, the moderator keeps a huge amount of
> > garbage out of the group. If you have not seen similar groups
> > effectively crippled by rants, be happy. Likewise with spam. Suffice it
> > to say that these problems have arisen and persisted for long stretches
> > of time. But never, absolutely never, has such a fate befallen
> > comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica. The group has remained consistently
> > useable, with outages only in rare times (like two or three over a
> > period of a dozen years) when the moderator's systems or ISP have
> > suffered grievous damage.
> > (4) One particular censorship gripe concerns the rule against mention of
> > competing programs. I myself am a bit sympathetic to this one; if there
> > were a single restriction I could change, this would be it. That said, I
> > think that unrestricted allowance of such could pose a problem. That is,
> > we might see the sort of degeneration into rants ("Why can't Mathematica
> > do X? Program MZZZ does it?" followed, a day later, by "Why can't
> > Mathematica do Y?..."). In past I've seen at least some tendency toward
> > such posts, and it is generally thwarted by this restriction, which
> > means the restriction has some merit. Also it helps to keep the focus on
> > Mathematica per se, which is what the group is all about.
> > As to what are the best places to take Mathematica related questions,
> > answers will vary and to some extent it can depend on what you need.
> > MathGroup aka comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica remains a compelling venue
> > when the one day turnaround is acceptable, and high quality of response
> > is needed. It is the forum with the most expertise. I think this is in
> > large part because the moderator keeps out garbage, thus making the
> > signal-to-noise ration quite high. Were it to degenerate to some of the
> > things I have seen, I doubt most of us would maintain interest for long.
> > So yeah, the turnaround time is an issue, but there are advantages to
> > the moderating that, for myself at least, far outweigh this drawback.
> > Daniel Lichtblau
> > Wolfram Research
> --
> DrMajor... at

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