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Re: Re: more gripe about the new documentation center (DC) in Mathematica

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  • Subject: [mg77916] Re: [mg77862] Re: more gripe about the new documentation center (DC) in Mathematica
  • From: DrMajorBob <drmajorbob at>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 06:59:12 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <f530gp$16k$> <2100665.1182169006756.JavaMail.root@m35>
  • Reply-to: drmajorbob at

I'm confident Wolfram can improve the new Help system without taking us  
back to the old.

It's a big operation; just give 'em a little time.


On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 06:06:05 -0500, David Bailey  
<dave at> wrote:

> Nasser Abbasi wrote:
>> 1) so I start DC, and click on the "index of functions" link, near the
>> bottom, and after a little while, I get a new screen showing all the
>> functions listed alphabetically. Great, I said, now I can see all the
>> functions out there in one place.
>> I searched for the function PrincipalComponents but it is NOT listed.
>> But if one does search for PrincipalComponents from that DC tiny search
>> window (after erasing what was there every time), this function comes  
>> up.
>> So why was it not lised in the index of functions output?
>> Does this mean that the "index of functions" only lists those functions  
>> that
>> does not exist inside packages which requires loading first?  This makes
>> this listing less effective then.
>> 2) When I ask DC to search for something, there is no indication it is  
>> busy
>> searching. On a slow PC, one thinks it is frozen, or may be the command  
>> did
>> not 'go through',  and tries the same search command again. There  
>> should be
>> something spinning or some indication that the command was actually  
>> accepted
>> and being processed. This is a UI design 101 thing.
>> Sometimes DC takes more than 5 seconds to return a result on my old PC.
>> 3)For whatever it is worth, I still think the 5.2 help system is MUCH  
>> better
>> for learning and finding what is in the new system.
>> I do not really need the DC as it is, I can just as well use Google
>> directly, which I find myself doing more, since the same information in  
>> DC
>> is already on WRI web pages and Google finds it just as fast. The  
>> earlier
>> help system provided a structure to the documentation which added an  
>> exrtra
>> dimension which DC does not provide.
>> The people have spoken: We want the the old help system back. (WRI could
>> always keep the new DC for those users who prefer Google style
>> documentation).
>> Thank you for listening.
>> Nasser
> Yes, I too hope they will upgrade the next version of Mathematica by
> putting back the old help system - for most of the reasons you have
> mentioned!
> Wouldn't it be great to have 6.0 functionality with a 5.2-style help  
> system!
> David Bailey

DrMajorBob at

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