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Re: Compatibility woes

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg76021] Re: [mg75986] Compatibility woes
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 04:44:23 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <>
  • Reply-to: murray at

It's hardly "sudden": it's been nearly 2 entire years since 5.2 was 

I think I prefer Wolfram's approach usually to make BIG changes when 
they make changes, less frequently, rather than the oodles of minor 
changes in much more frequent releases that many software packages make.

And there comes a time when progress precludes total compatibility.

To one of your specifics:

Did you search for ToPackedArray in the search bar on the Documentation 
Center?  It would immediately take you to the "home page" for this 
function.  Evidently this is no longer in any add-on package, let alone 
the old tenuous-status Developer context.

Mark Adler wrote:
> 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

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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