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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


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