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Re: Re: Mathematica Player Pro!

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  • Subject: [mg87790] Re: [mg87724] Re: Mathematica Player Pro!
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 22:34:34 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

I'm glad to see that people here are excited about Player Pro.  We certainly
are, too, and we put it together as a direct response to many requests we got 
directly from the user community.  And feedback from users, including your 
remarks made here about Player Pro, has been and will continue to be followed 
with interest at the highest levels within Wolfram Research.

I know that many of you are aware of this, but I'll remind people that there is 
a free alternative right now, which is the Publish-for-Player website in 
combination with the freely available Mathematica Player...

It has a few more limitations than Player Pro, but quite a lot can be 
accomplished with it.

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Wed, 16 Apr 2008 05:03:10 -0400 (EDT), John Jowett wrote:
> 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> 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 to 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
>> even 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 has commercial packages can distribute free Player Pro
>> versions so that anyone can also read and interact with any notebooks
>> written with the package. This 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
>> to 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
>> for a certainty that absolutely everybody can read the documents.
>> Everything from IRS tax forms, restaurant menus to scientific papers on
>> quantum gravity are available as pdf files.
>> I have long believed that all scientific papers and technical reports
>> should 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 by 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
>> Mathematica 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 tremendous amount of cross-checking that
>> goes on. When I mentioned this to a scientist 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 one 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 business model. I just cross my fingers and hope the
>> folks at WRI will come to the same conclusion.
>> --
>> David Park
>> djmp... at comcast.net

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