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Re: Does Mathematica really need more printed, introductory documentation?
In article <fv6uhs$rk2$1 at smc.vnet.net>, Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl> wrote: > Is it really "reality based" to be comparing books about Adobe > Illustrator (all versions going as far back as 2003) with books only > about version 6 of Mathematica ? Sounds to me more like a reflection > in a distorting mirror masquerading as "reality" (something > unfortunately very common these days in the media and in large > sections of the Academia). Andrzej, it's Wolfram itself has portrayed version 6 as a massive and major upgrade --- "Wolfram reinvents Mathematica!" --- "500 major new features" --- "a revolutionary new version" --- which also involves significant features of previous versions being removed, replaced, or changed in major ways. And of the 12 Illustrator manuals I listed, nine of them have publication dates in 2007 and are (or at least claim to be) updated for Illustrator's current versions as of those dates --- for a product whose upgrades have been, I think it's fair to say, much more gradual and evolutionary in character than Mathematica's v5 to v6 upgrade. I included the three items from 2006, 2005 and 2003 only for historical interest, since they apparently hadn't --- yet, anyway --- been updated. I think my amazon search on the string "Adobe Illustrator" actually brought up something over 2000 hits (though of course there have nowhere that many actual earlier books). Beyond these facts, I think I'll let the remainder of your comments speak for themselves. > Why don't you perform a search for books about Mathematica (all > versions) and compare your findings with your list of books about > Illustrator? The picture will become very different and much closer to > "reality". The fact is, that the vast majority of essential features > of Mathematica are described in these earlier versions and that any > one who has mastered them should be able to update his knowledge to > version 6 without a huge extra effort. > > As I already expained earlier: I would not buy any printed "manual > style" book about Mathematica and I remain highly skeptical that such > a book would be successful enough to justify the effort of writing it. > However, this only one person's view based on mere speculation. > However, I am (of course) very interested in any books *applying* the > new features of Mathematica 6, but that is an entirely different matter. > > Andrzej Kozlowski