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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Re: Where is the Mathematica Book in

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg78134] Re: Where is the Mathematica Book in
  • From: Paul <pehowland at>
  • Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2007 07:18:57 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <f2ejvs$id$> <f2h9i2$1a7$>

On 2007-05-17 12:08:02 +0200, David Bailey 
<dave at> said:

> W. Craig Carter wrote:
>> Many things in Mathematica 6 are an improvement---I have to agree that 
>> the documentation center is not one of them.  I often (and prefer to in 
>> many cases) work offline. Having the Mathematica book while working on 
>> an airplane was very useful.
>> However, I do appreciate the ability to create multiple help-center windows.
>> WCC
>>> The Mathematica Book is online at
>>> On Mon, 14 May 2007 02:49:32 -0500, Mark Adler <madler at>
>>> wrote:
>>>> The old help function was actually helpful.
> Yes, indeed - please will Wolfram pull together the 6.0 documentation, 
> combine it with those parts of the 5.2 book that are still valid (most 
> of it) and create an up-to-date version of the Mathematica book! I 
> agree, that too many trees would be consumed to print the thing, so it 
> would only be available electronically. However it is necessary to have 
> well thought out continuous prose to put features into their correct 
> context.
> David Bailey

I second all of this.  Whilst the new help system is an improvement 
when used as reference guide, it is abysmal as any kind of overview or 
tutorial on Mathematica.  If I was starting from scratch with 
Mathematica now, I don't think I would ever be able to get into it.  
The guide, IMHO, needs two additional features: a) a logical "table of 
contents" which would allow be to see at a glance the overall features 
of Mathematica and the help on them; b) a few tutorial threads (much 
like Sun provide on their Java pages) which I could follow that would 
take me from complete novice through to guru.


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