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Re: Wolfram User Interface Research?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg88153] Re: Wolfram User Interface Research?
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 03:45:28 -0400 (EDT)

On 4/25/08 at 5:27 AM, siegman at stanford.edu (AES) wrote:

>In article <fupm08$s2t$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
>Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl> wrote:

>>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.

>Also agree -- but my expectation would be that there are (or could
>be -- and should be) a *great* many more ordinary users than power
>users.

It is hard for me to think of using things like @, @@, /@ to be something
that distinguishes between ordinary users and power users of
Mathematica. Simply using Mathematica often and being willing to
look up unfamiliar operators in code written by others should
cause most users to rapidly start using this things.

>I'm quite familiar with TeX and can "program" in it, though I'm not
>really a TeXpert.  Plain TeX is *much* less complex than
>Mathematica.

I use Mathematica daily but don't use TeX daily. Consequently, I
have a much greater familiarity with Mathematica than TeX. And
as a result, TeX seems more complex and arcane to me than
Mathematica. It would be very surprising to learn I was unique
in this regard.

That is it seems to me usage of things like @, @@, /@ etc are
more an issue of familiarity rather than power user versus
ordinary user.

>>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.

>If that can be done --- and documented for ordinary users --- have
>at it!

There is documentation telling how to connect a front end to a
different kernel. But there won't be documentation talking about
connecting say the version 5.x front end to the version 6.x
kernel. How could there be since version 6 didn't exist when
documentation for version 5 was written?

Similarly, you won't find documentation describing what happens
when connecting say the version 5.x kernel to the version 6.x
front end. No one would reasonably expect this to be something
desirable to do.

So, all you need do is simply try making the connection and see
how you like the result.


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