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Re: Major problem with 6.0.2.1

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg89405] Re: [mg89347] Major problem with 6.0.2.1
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2008 02:34:26 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <200806070651.CAA09649@smc.vnet.net>

You have written a long message describing your frustrations and  
feelings, but not giving us even the slightest hint (besides some  
vague remarks about PlotLegend) of any concrete problem that has  
caused to you write this diatribe.  What then do you expect us to do  
for you?

I am using version 6.0.2.1, the same as you although on the Mac, and  
have no problems with it whatsoever. I also have old notebooks that  
have accumulated since version 1.2, but I certainly do not expect any  
of them to run without revisions. Actually, the great majority do  
(although I revise them anyway, since Mathematica 6 is usually vastly  
more powerful, at least at the kind of things I use it for).  The  
exception are notebooks containing graphics - as you should be aware  
if you ever look at this mailing list. All such problems can however  
be dealt with with a few simple steps, those that can't have  
workarounds. If you are having an urgent deadline and want to use your  
old notebooks, I do not see what prevents you from applying one of the  
following obvious solutions:

1. Use Mathematica 5.2

or

2. Evaluate
<<Version5`Graphics`
amd then try running your old notebooks.

Andrzej Kozlowski


On 7 Jun 2008, at 15:51, Michael Morrison wrote:

> Very recent I upgraded from 6.0.1.0 to  6.0.2.1. I have found this  
> latest
> version of Mathematica almost totally dysfunctional. Now when I load
> notebooks that previously worked fine, almost invariably I get one  
> or more
> messages warning of an error as a result of an internal self-check.  
> (I've
> never seen such messages with earlier versions.) The messages send  
> me to a
> Wolfram site that solicits details about my problem, which I  
> provide, but
> which doesn't explain the message, the problem or how to deal with  
> it. The
> site says that the problem may not affect the execution of my  
> notebook or
> results. But something is affecting execution of a lot of my  
> notebooks!
> Since installing 6.0.2.1, notebooks that used to run fine now cause
> Mathematica to crash (!)---a problem I have not had since about  
> version 4.
> Even when that doesn't happen, trying to run a notebook typically  
> generates
> still more of these irritating self-check errors. I have tried  
> everything I
> can think of to ensure that the problem is not with my PC (cleaned the
> registry, various internal maintenance checks, even defragmented by  
> hard
> disc, etc.) No improvement or change. Moreover, the problems appear  
> on a
> second PC I use where I loaded 6.0.2.1 a couple of hours ago.
>
> I've sent urgent pleas for help to the appropriate Wolfram site but  
> so far
> have received no reply. (I'm facing an urgent deadline in about 8  
> hours and
> am suddenly unable to do anything until this problem gets fixed,  
> since most
> of my notebooks won't execute any more or will do so only amidst a  
> blizzard
> of errors.) If anyone can offer constructive advice I would be most
> grateful. I'm running on a conventional Windows XP machine.
>
> I feel compelled to add that this is only the latest (and by far most
> severe) problem I've had since the release of Version 6. I've used
> Mathematica since about version 2 (very primitive  non-GUI  
> interface, very
> limited help info, couldn't evaluate every integral known to man
> correctly---but it did what you told it to almost always correctly,  
> and it
> rarely crashed). Every subsequent version through 5 improved the  
> product,
> eliminated errors, enhanced usability, and maintained the high  
> standards of
> reliability and freedom from bugs that has made Mathematica the  
> choice of a
> lot of scientists and teachers, including those at my institution.
>
> Then came 6.  Bugs all over the place. Commands that don't work even  
> in the
> help browser (try TableAlignments in TableForm).  A new help browser  
> in
> which a search now provides reams of links somewhere in which you  
> might find
> buried the information you want. Unless the information you need isn't
> there: So far as I can figure out, it's still not possible, now  
> months after
> the release of 6.0 and however may subsequent releases, to find a  
> list of
> what is in the standard packages; neither can I find a single place  
> to see
> all the backward-consistency problems that plague notebooks written
> previously. And so forth.  Important commands that used to work fine  
> now
> sometimes work and sometimes don't (PlotLegend, which I use throughout
> myriad notebooks, now doesn't work at all with many types of plot  
> commands
> where it used to work fine, in versions before 6.). For a while I  
> reported
> these to Mathematica, and always got very constructive replies.  
> However
> usually those replies indicated that the problem is a known bug that  
> would
> be fixed soon. That's fine, but it's now months after the release of  
> 6 and
> many of these problems are still problems (unless they were fixed in
> 6.0.2.1, which I can barely get to work at all).  Moreover, some  
> bugs should
> require user reports (e.g., things that don't work even in the Help
> Browser).
>
> Several teachers I know are so frustrated by 6.0 that they're trying  
> to
> persuade their institutions to switch from Mathematica to a competitor
> So far I've argued strongly against that change here.  But this latest
> debacle with 6.0.2.1 is the straw that broke my camel's back. I don't
> know what's happened at Wolfram, but whatever has happened is a real
> shame.  Mathematica is fast degenerating from a vital research tool
> into software with problems I expect only from a Microsoft product.
>
> Frustrated, furious, and fed up.
>
> Michael A. Morrison
> David Ross Boyd Professor of Physics & General Education
> Dept. Physics & Astronomy
> University of Oklahoma
> Norman, OK 73019
> Phone: 405 325-3961
> FAX: 405 325-7557
> EMAIL: morrison at mail.nhn.ou.edu
> WEB PAGE: http://www.nhn.ou.edu/~morrison
>
>



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