Re: Wolfram User Interface Research? [off-topic!]
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg88136] Re: Wolfram User Interface Research? [off-topic!]
- From: Steve Gray <stevebg at roadrunner.com>
- Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 03:42:23 -0400 (EDT)
- References: <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <200804211836.OAA09742@smc.vnet.net> <email@example.com> <200804230807.EAA28845@smc.vnet.net> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>You'd be surprised (or perhaps not) at how many mathematicians,
>scientists, and engineers I know say about Mathematica something that
>many have said about APL: that it's too hard to learn and too strange
>and unfamiliar, i.e., either unlike traditional mathematical notation or
>unlike FORTRAN and a certain CAS that's a glorified, enhanced FORTRAN.
About my experience with Mathematica: I've been using it for several
years and always getting what I want done with less frustration and
much more productivity than if I were using C (which I hate). There
are still large parts of Mathematica that I don't know and don't use, but one
can ease into programming it by starting off with plain old procedural
methods and put in more functional methods in time. If I need lots of
speed in parts of my code, I've posted the problem here and have
gotten very good responses.
One off-putting feature of Mathematica is the ability to write (if not
always to read!) code that consists of strings of $&~/_@, etc. I know
some but not all of them but use them sparingly because I have to read
code I wrote a few years ago and those obscure strings makes that
Of course learning lists is essential from the beginning, but
I found that to be intuitive and quite appealing, even though I had
not used LISP or any other list-oriented language previously.
Even though I paid for Mathematica myself, I have found it to be well
worth the money.
(Just to show that I'm not being paid by WRI for this, I think
NKS is a total crock, and I worked on CA for years.)
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