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Re: Mathematica Player Pro!
David, I haven't tried Player Pro yet but I have long wished for something like the vision you outline. For me, the greatest advantage of live Mathematica notebooks, as opposed to traditional formats for scientific and mathematical exposition, is the ease with which readers can assimilate new material to greater depth. This is true, not only of research work but also of pedagogical material. There could also be a (long overdue!) educational revolution here. I hope that Wolfram Research will make Player Pro free. John Jowett On Apr 14, 11:41 am, "David Park" <djmp... at comcast.net> wrote: > I don't know if this falls within the purview of MathGroup because it has = to > do with the Mathematica business model, but it also is vitally important t= o > how Mathematica is used and its range and scope. > > Anybody who knows me knows that I am a tremendous enthusiast for > Mathematica. I believe it is a truly revolutionary new medium and even in > twenty years the technical community has not come fully to grips with it. > > Mathematica Player Pro is as great an advance as Version 6 is, perhaps eve= n > greater! You can write a notebook in the normal manner and ANYONE who has > Player Pro can read it and get all the interactivity. And anyone who ha= s > commercial packages can distribute free Player Pro versions so that anyone= > can also read and interact with any notebooks written with the package. Th= is > is absolutely fabulous. (And thanks to David Reiss for reminding me of the= > requirement for making packages work in Player Pro. Encode them.) > > There is only one problem: 'ANYONE who has Player Pro' is still not very > many people. WRI is allowing Premier subscribers to give away two free > copies. But why not go all the way and provide free copies of Player Pro t= o > everyone? (And junk Player and all its little restrictions and > convolutions.) Why not go even further and try to convince Dell and Apple,= > and any other OEM, to sell the computers with Mathematica Player Pro > preloaded, just as they now come preloaded with Acrobat Reader? > > Huge numbers of people buy the Adobe Acrobat software because they know fo= r > a certainty that absolutely everybody can read the documents. Everything > from IRS tax forms, restaurant menus to scientific papers on quantum gravi= ty > are available as pdf files. > > I have long believed that all scientific papers and technical reports shou= ld > be written as Mathematica notebooks. But, in practice, this is very little= > done. Rather I think that most users use Mathematica as a super calculator= > or programming language and then export some of the results, or copy out b= y > hand, to the actual paper or report that is either written in Word or as a= > Postscript file using Latex, and then often converting to pdf. The main > reason they do this is because they know very well that most people can't > read Mathematica notebooks. > > A static printed scientific document, or a pdf document, is to a Mathemati= ca > notebook as an ox cart is to a Lear jet. And that vastly understates it. > Active Mathematica notebooks, written in the style of a research paper or > textbook have huge advantages. One, of many, of these advantages is that > they are largely self-proofing. When active definitions are used to carry > out derivations and make graphics and dynamic displays there is a tremendo= us > amount of cross-checking that goes on. When I mentioned this to a scientis= t > friend he perked up - but only for a moment. > > I think some time ago I read that Mathematica notebooks would be accepted = as > documents on the physics and mathematical arXives. But I have never seem o= ne > there and if any exist they are vanishingly few. Everything is Postscript = or > pdf. Mathematica notebooks would be far superior except for the available > readership. > > Providing Mathematica Player Pro free to everyone would unleash a torrent = of > Mathematica use that would eclipse its present reach. More people would > write and distribute Mathematica notebooks because they would know that > everybody could read them. More people would read them (and how could they= > help but be impressed!) and decide they wanted to write notebooks also. It= > would be the second revolution. I believe it is by far the superior busine= ss > model. I just cross my fingers and hope the folks at WRI will come to the > same conclusion. > > -- > David Park > djmp... at comcast.nethttp://home.comcast.net/~djmpark/