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Re: Re: Player Pro and Packages

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  • Subject: [mg88102] Re: [mg88057] Re: Player Pro and Packages
  • From: "Richard Palmer" <rhpalmer at>
  • Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 05:59:42 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>

Player Pro is, in my opinion, a very good start.  The capability, where it
works, does exactly the right thing to replace old fashioned powerpoint
presentations for technical talks.  It's a huge market.  Here is what needs
to be fixed:

   1. Every copy of player pro contains a copy of math reader  If people
   are forced to go to wolfram to fill out forms to get math reader, most of
   the effectiveness of the approach is gone.
   2. Player Pro needs to work with Add On Packages.  otherwise, the
   usability of these packages is limited.  I think that the only limits that
   might be placed on the code should be something like the limits that are on
   the JAVA virtual machine.
   3. Player Pro needs to be absolutely Free.  This may be effectively
   true already.  If it isn't, any price barrier to using it needs to be
   removed.  The additional Mathematica Licenses will more than make up for any
   forgone revenue on Player Pro Licenses.


On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 4:08 AM, AES <siegman at> wrote:

> In article <fukeq9$s3s$1 at>,
>  "Ingolf Dahl" <ingolf.dahl at> wrote:
> > What I meant was that it is very difficult to protect and claim
> ownership
> > for clear text file formats, like the Mathematica notebook format or the
> > format.
>      This raises an interesting intellectual property (IP) question
>      which I'm not qualified to answer, namely can one obtain some
>      form of legally enforceable IP protection on a _format_?
>      --- especially one which is expressed in such a simple and
>      clear text form that it's easy to reverse engineer?
>      If so, this format may not be "protected by obscurity",
>      but may still be protect-able against unlicensed use
>      by taking legal action against unauthorized users.
>      [My understanding is that Adobe retains some rights over
>      modifications, extensions, variations on PDF, while allowing
>      anyone to use it without a license (?); and Don Knuth certainly
>      did this with TeX.  Maybe it's only the _name_ of the format
>      that is legally protected?  ---  If you modify the format itself
>      in any way, you can't call or refer to the result as "PDF" or
>      as "TeX"???]
> > Hopefully Wolfram finds some new business concept to make the money roll
> in.
> I would fully share this hope -- provided that it means that
> *  The primary or core part of Mathematica itself remains primarily a
> very powerful _computational_ tool, and secondarily an adequately
> powerful _display_ tool for outputting or displaying the results of
> those computations.
> *  And that this primary or core part is not further encumbered by
> adding separable additional tasks -- e.g., typesetting, more complex
> formatting capabilities, attempting to make it also a primary
> _publication_ tool -- and trying to embed them directly in the core.
> *  With the reason for this being that the core, and its documentation,
> should remain as lean as possible, within the already large requirements
> of those two tasks --- which are, in reality, going to make this core,
> and its documentation, very large _just_ with those two primary tasks.
> *  And with the further proviso that this Mathematica core uses, or
> requires, for its generalized file and data input and output functions
> _only_ open, widely used, widely available, preferably even ISO
> standardized formats.
> So, my 'Silicon-Valley-style' entrepreneurial vision for Mathematica
> would be that:
> *  IF Wolfram can provide and maintain this kind of core tool ---
> repeat, a _core tool_ --- that is readily usable by ordinary users, and
> has good but simplified documentation for those users, but also has lots
> of much more sophisticated aspects for more sophisticated users and
> experts --- about what v6 provides today, or a bit trimmed back -- for a
> 'street price' of, let's say, not more than $300 (in current dollars) to
> all purchasers; and
> *  IF they can build around this core various profitable product lines
> of specialized packages (or "plug-ins"?) for many specialized fields,
> and specialized data services at various levels and in various fields,
> and various types of "Player" products of varying cost and degree of
> sophistication (from free upward); and
> *  IF they can maintain a little better backward capability and avoid
> the really destructive disruption of the v5 to v6 transition in the
> future; and
> *  IF they can _greatly_ improve their 'ordinary user' documentation for
> their core product;
> then I think they'd have a quite good chance to build the kind of very
> widespread, world-wide, innumerable-fields-of-study-wide  "Mathematica
> ecosystem" that someone referred to in another post --- and, hopefully,
> make a lot of money, and beat down their major competitors, in the
> process.
> But if they just continue making their base (core) product ever more
> complex, ever more confusing, ever more obese --- the v5 to v6
> trajectory extrapolated --- well, I suspect that I, and a lot of other
> users, will sooner or later be gone --- even if I don't know where to.
> Over and out . .  .    AES

Richard Palmer

Home 508 877-3862
Cell 508 982-7266

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