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Re: Re: Wolfram User Interface Research?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg88083] Re: [mg88053] Re: Wolfram User Interface Research?
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl>
  • Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 05:56:12 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <fuhfdc$ihb$1@smc.vnet.net> <fuhrka$s88$1@smc.vnet.net> <200804211836.OAA09742@smc.vnet.net> <fukeo8$s2j$1@smc.vnet.net> <200804230807.EAA28845@smc.vnet.net>

On 23 Apr 2008, at 17:07, AES wrote:

>    Is the primary market for Mathematica supposed to be
>      "Mathematica programmers", skilled in the arcana of the
>      more abstruse parts of Mathematica, or "ordinary users"
>      whose primary interests and skills lie in many, many other
>      fields -- and who want Mathematica to be (for them) just
>      an easy to learn, easy to use, easy to remember tool?

Mathematica could not function the way it does unless it satisfied  
both types of users. It has to be powerful enough for professional  
programmers if not for other reason than just the fact that a large  
part of Mathematica itself (and all add on packages) are written in  
the Mathematica programming language. It also has to satisfy enough  
"ordinary users" for even more obvious reasons. In my opinion it has  
always performed both functions admirably.

These "abstruse" parts of Mathematica are not obligatory for "ordinary  
users" but for Mathematica programmers and developers (and many "power  
users") they make life a lot easier.

I believe you are familiar with TeX; at least you mention it often  
enough. Do you seriously claim that Mathematica has more of these  
"abstruse parts" than TeX? Have you ever heard words like "TeXPert",  
"TexMaster" etc? Are you able to program or even understand a set of  
advanced TeX macros, like, for example, the AMS ones?

Finally, in all your posts you never seem to mention the very essential  
(in the case of Mathematica) distinction between the Front End and the  
Kernel. The great majority of new functionality in v. 6 concerns the  
former. In principle there is no reason why Mathematica should not be  
available with alternative Front Ends. It used to be possible to run  
later versions with earlier Front Ends. I have not tried this with v.  
6 but that would be one way to do away with most of the new  
"complexity" that you seems to displease you so.

Andrzej Kozlowski




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