Re: Does Mathematica really need more printed, introductory documentation?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg88231] Re: [mg88197] Does Mathematica really need more printed, introductory documentation?
- From: "Richard Palmer" <rhpalmer at gmail.com>
- Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2008 06:48:19 -0400 (EDT)
- References: <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have an additional concern regarding current on-line documentation. Some of it does not have a resizable font. That makes it difficult for people like me that have glasses and use portable computers with smaller screens. I hope that can be fixed in a subsequent release. Regards, Richard On 4/28/08, AES <siegman at stanford.edu> wrote: > > In response to Andrzej Kozlowski's comment > > > Judging by quite many "ordinary users" I known, the views you have > been > > expressing, particularly those on the need for printed software > manuals > > rather make you a memeber of a minority, and moreover a rather > > rapidly declining one. I for one, . . . > > > Does Mathematica really need printed, more introductory level > documentation (aka books, or manuals) to add to its excellent, but less > readable, online documentation? > > Let's take an experimental or "reality-based" approach to this question > (however much that approach may be out of favor with our current > administration in Washington . . .) > > Adobe Illustrator is, in my opinion anyway, an excellent piece of > technical software, comparable in quality and usefulness and at least > somewhat comparable in technical complexity, to Mathematica. > > There's probably a sizable overlap --- or at very least, a very sizable > _potential_ market overlap --- between Illustrator and Mathematica users > (new graphics commands that are very Illustrator-like have in fact been > added in 6.0). > > Both programs have something of an initial learning curve for "ordinary > users"; both have excellent detailed online reference documentation. > > Mathematica is, I would judge, actually substantial more complex and > requires more learning for an average individual than does Illustrator. > On my Mac, Illustrator 11 is 75 MB for the app itself, plus another 75 > MB of supplemental stuff. I didn't try to dig inside the Mathematica > package, but it's over 1 GB in my Applications folder, plus whatever > additional material is stuffed away elsewhere on my HD. Illustrator > manuals tend to be 300 to 500 pages; the Mathematica Book for v5 was > just under 1500. Mathematica users, especially less experienced ones, > might need more forms and varieties of documentation, that Illustrator > users. > > So, to get some idea what sort of introductory printed books and manuals > might be useful for Mathematica, we might ask: what sort of introductory > printed books and manuals are readily available, right now, for > Illustrator? (Noting again that Illustrator also has good, well > organized, readily accessible online documentation, Help files, and > tutorials --- along with helpful user forums on its web site.) > > A quick look at amazon.com then brings up a list of at least twelve (12) > such introductory books or manuals on Illustrator (list appended below). > All of these books are currently available in stock on amazon (and three > are on my bookshelf) --- as compared to _none_ (as yet, anyway) for > Mathematica 6. > > At least half of these Illustrator manuals can be identified as current > editions of earlier versions that were published for earlier versions of > Illustrator. In other words, earlier versions apparently sold well > enough that authors were willing to write and publishers were willing to > bring out 2nd, 3rd, even 4th editions of these manuals, updated for the > current version of Illustrator. > > Or in other words, for me anyway: The experimental evidence is that > these books _clearly meet user needs_, sufficiently so that authors are > willing to invest their energies in writing them; publishers publish > them; and users buy them, including more than once; > > Should Wolfram maybe recognize this point? > > ===================================== > > * Adobe Illustrator CS3 Classroom in a Book by Adobe Creative Team > (2007) $35 > > * The Adobe Illustrator CS3 Wow! Book by Sharon Steuer (2007) $24 > > * Adobe Illustrator CS3 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques by Karlins > and Hopkins (2007) $10 > > * Real World Adobe Illustrator CS3 by Mordy Golding (2007) $20 > > * Illustrator CS3 Bible by Ted Alspach ( 2007) $25 > > * Adobe Illustrator for Fashion Design by Susan Lazear (2008) $35 > > * Fashion Designer's Handbook for Adobe Illustrator by Centner and > Vereker (2007) $50 > > * Illustrator CS3 for Windows and Macintosh (Visual QuickStart Guide) > by Weinmann and Lourekas (2007) $20 > > * Adobe Illustrator CS3 Revealed by Chris Botello (Aug 31, 2007) $45 > > * Best Practice: The Pros On Adobe Illustrator by Toni Toland (Aug 16, > 2006) $35 > > * Adobe Illustrator CS2 Revealed, Education Edition by Chris Botello > (2005) $40 > > * Illustrator CS for Dummies by Ted Alspach (2003) $25 > > ===================================== > > -- Richard Palmer
- Re: Re: Does Mathematica really need more printed,
- From: Murray Eisenberg <email@example.com>
- Re: Re: Does Mathematica really need more printed,