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Re: How should I start with mathematica?

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  • Subject: [mg85488] Re: How should I start with mathematica?
  • From: David Bailey <dave at>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 07:12:28 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <fobjom$mqj$> <fogj22$4dt$> <fojrke$gqg$> <> <fopapm$b65$>

Murray Eisenberg wrote:
> At one of the conferences, there was much criticism over the statement 
> that WRI would no longer offer a printed "The Mathematica Book" as of 
> version 6.  The WRI defense was that 3rd parties would fill the gap.
> Well, 3rd parties haven't.  Maybe a bunch of books are about to appear. 
>   But so far it looks like WRI really dropped the ball on this.  Perhaps 
> WRI folks are so enamored with their "electronic/on-line only" mentality 
> that they just don't care about books any more.  A big mistake, IMHO.
> AES wrote:
>> In other words, approaching a year after its introduction there is 
>> _still_ no really good, really usable, really readable, really 
>> straightforward introduction to all the amazing, but immensely complex 
>> and confusing, old and especially new features of the new 6.0 version of 
>> Mathematica available for either "newbies" or experienced users of the 
>> program, either online or (especially) in any printed _or printable_ 
>> document(s).
>> Given all the immense respect I have for the marvels of Mathematica 
>> (and, as an  aside, its stiff retail price), I still cannot comprehend 
>> how Wolfram can have let this happen.

I completely agree - can you remember who it was who wrote a 
"Mathematica book generator" and posted it here - if you can, I will add 
a link to it on my site, because that is all that we seem to have for 
the foreseeable future!

I think WRI's approach to documentation is a real mistake. Newbies must 
find it almost impossible to get into the software. Also, some of the 
new features of 6.0 - such as all the new capabilities of Import and 
Export are almost buried and unusable because of poor, vague, 
Microsoft-style documentation.

David Bailey

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