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Compatibility woes

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  • Subject: [mg75986] Compatibility woes
  • From: Mark Adler <madler at>
  • Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 03:49:02 -0400 (EDT)

I have been using Mathematica since 1.0.  For every new version or
update, my previous notebooks have all worked without modification.

Not so with Version 6.

Of course, the first clue is that Mathematica offers to fix my old
notebooks when I load them the first time.  Get rid of semicolons
after Plot[] and Show[], change Random[] to the new versions, that
sort of thing.  That's all somewhat annoying, but I suppose tolerable.

Then it complains about old packages that, it says, will mess up the
new graphics or other functions.  So it complains about loading, for
example, Graphics`Colors`.  If I don't load it, I no longer have
DeepSkyBlue, or PaleGreen used as plot line colors.  If I do load it,
I am allegedly at risk that something else will be screwed up.

It can't find Developer`, so how do I get ToPackedArray[]?

All in all, I am disturbed that after loading only a few notebooks,
I've run into so many incompatibilities.  I fear that I've only
scratched the surface, and many more are laying in wait.

What is the justification for this sudden and flagrant disregard for
backward compatibility?

Yes, I'm having fun playing with Manipulate[], but I'm wondering if I
made a mistake to download the new version.

Mark Adler

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