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Re: Re: The FinancialData Function

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  • Subject: [mg87101] Re: [mg87073] Re: The FinancialData Function
  • From: robert prince-wright <robertprincewright at>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 03:19:23 -0500 (EST)

I share your concerns, but hold more hope that Wolfram realise that charging ~$2500 for a license and $500 for Premier Service results in some obligations to their customers. 
  That said, I was disappointed that their Tech Support didn't follow up on the concerns I expressed about 6mths ago - is their statement that FinancialData is 'experimental' a caveat intended to warn us all that it's not to be used for serious work? I hope not. We are all now pretty used to the fact that Mathematica is well written, and that QA/QC is exceptionally good (despite those who think they or others can do better). Given this, I am sure they have fully understood just how powerful the curated data facilities can be for the user. Renegging in the FD function would not be acceptable to me and I suspect many others.  
  Now, you mention the data paclets could be at risk and that Yahoo could suddenly start charging WRI (if they are not already). The solution would be simple, however, since I know there are many financal data providers out there who could fill the gap - at a cost. 
  I would like to hear from WRI about this since its a key issue.

AES <siegman at> wrote:
  I've never heard of this function, but have one immediate strong 

Is there -- or will there soon be -- a fully open, officially 
standardized, fully and openly specified, widely and near universally 
accepted, stable, long-term, NON-proprietary set of **formats** 
for the data and information that is to be transmitted back
and forth between data providers and data users in this

[Something akin to the more or less open, universal and stable graphics 
standards that have emerged over time.]

Lacking that, I wouldn't personally go near this kind of financial data 
distribution system and related tools like FinancialData for building 
anything that was of any real and continuing importance to me.

Think of mapping data, GPS and topographic data, or satellite imagery 
and related software tools as an analogous system. I play with some of 
this data, plan journeys using MapQuest, hiking trips using Google Earth 
(an incredible tool), etc -- but if someone suddenly decided to change 
all the standards for this data, I could still use all my old stored 
data and tools -- or just do without. (There would of course be many 
important commercial enterprises that would be much more seriously 

But then suppose people get important, continuing personal or business 
activities deeply involved in an information system that uses tools like 
FinancialData; the data providers and Wolfram somehow get cross-wise 
commercially; and the data providers threaten to change their formats 
just enough to screw Wolfram (and all FinancialData users).

Or, suppose the data providers decide to throw digital rights management 
complexities all over their data, as is the case now with music, films, 
video -- and the deep pockets financial data providers manage to bribe 
Congress to require that all computer tools like FinancialData contain 
provisions to enforce these DRM complexities.

This may all come across as paranoid fears, and maybe it is -- but look 
what has actually happened in other areas of widely distributed 
electronic information distribution . . .

Robert Prince-Wright
TX, 77006

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