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Re: Adding markers on the surface of a Plot3D?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg89427] Re: Adding markers on the surface of a Plot3D?
  • From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2008 02:29:17 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <g2b4o8$nm2$1@smc.vnet.net> <200806070700.DAA09985@smc.vnet.net> <g2fuii$2md$1@smc.vnet.net>

In article <g2fuii$2md$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
 Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl> wrote:

> This is, of course, a  
> perfect illustration of the concept of "integration" as in "the  
> world's only fully integrated technical computing system" ....

Some day maybe we can have some further debate on whether the 
grandiose concept of a "fully integrated xxxxxxx system" is or is not 
always a good thing.  As a start:

*  Microsoft Office, I suppose, could be called a "fully integrated 
<something> system" -- and many people thoroughly dislike it for just 
that reason, much preferring a set of smaller, leaner, more modular, set 
of independent tools, interacting using internationally standardized 
formats, in which, if a better tool for one part of the task comes 
along, they can switch to it ,

*  Some people would in fact call this latter process "innovation".  
Developers of big "fully integrated xxxxxxx systems" tend to try to 
suppress innovation that they don't control, suppress other approaches 
that aren't part of their system, and also tend to try to suppress 
standards and formats that let people go around them.  (MS, of course, 
has never done anything like this . . . )

*  "Fully integrated xxxxxxx systems" in any area of life tend to get 
bloated and unwieldy and increasingly difficult to get one's arms 
around; the documentation tends to get immense and unreadable and 
increasingly difficult to learn; the interface necessarily becomes 
increasingly complex and hard to learn; there tend to be increasing 
unwanted or unexpected side effects between different parts and 
functions of the system, leading to an increase in unpleasant surprises 
that can be increasingly difficult to track down.  (Sound like some of 
the posts that appear on this newsgroup?)

I guess I'm at base a modular type -- I can appreciate and handle, just 
barely, Mathematica at its present size.  I don't believe that viewing 
Mathematica as "the world's only fully integrated technical computing 
(and technical communication?) system" is a good, or desirable, or for 
that matter even achievable outcome, and the warning bells resulting 
from pushing toward this goal -- if that's what it is -- are already 
ringing loudly.


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