MathGroup Archive 2008

[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index]

Search the Archive

Mathematica notebooks the best method for technical communications (Was: Another stylesheet question)

In article <fsg6t7$jdd$1 at>,
 "David Park" <djmpark at> wrote:

> Mathematica notebooks are the best method there is for 
> technical communications 

Would this were true.  It's not.

Making Mathematica notebooks become the primary method for both 
preparing *and communicating* technical communications (broadly 
interpreted to include teaching, writing, presentations, and 
publications) in both the academic and professional worlds might be a 
laudable goal, and a number of people (David Park very much included) 
have put sincere and laudable efforts into trying to make it be the case.

Sorry, it's _not_ going to happen.

Wolfram is partly to blame for this -- very much including the currently 
ongoing version 6 documentation disaster.

But there are also very major and fundamental reasons why this goal very 
possibly should not happen, or should not be attempted, or simply could 
never happen in any case.

To focus on just one aspect of this topic (out of many), I would point 
out that major professional societies have (since Isaaac Newton's time!) 
carried the burden of developing two of the major worldwide channels of 
technical and scientific communications, namely scientific and technical 
journals (and archives), and scientific and technical meetings

And, these societies are struggling to adapt, and in many ways 
successfully adapting, today to the Internet, electronic technologies, 
"open access", and other emerging complexities of information 
transmission and communication.  It's an expensive and 
resource-consuming struggle

The primary "communication methods" or formats for user input of 
technical material  to essentially all such journals and meetings today 
-- "user input" being of course the primary source for all such material 
-- are TeX (or LaTeX), PDF, and (unfortunately, but it's the reality) MS 

I've been heavily involved with a couple of these societies, and a close 
observer at least, if not a major contributor, to the major and 
stressful evolution of professional society publication and meeting 
activities and methods in recent years.  I've also been a heavy personal 
user of Mathematica since I heard Steven Wolfram introduce version 1 to 
an overflowing auditorium at my university several decades ago.

I can only say that I would be a vehement opponent of any proposal 
within these societies to divert resources to an effort to add 
Mathematica notebooks to the format list above.

[And, given the current situation, I'd be a vehement opponent of any 
efforts within my university to spend university resources on making 
Mathematica a *preferred* and heavily university-supported computational 
and communications technology within my university.]

  • Prev by Date: Re: Re: Re: smallest fraction
  • Next by Date: Re: Re: Limit[(x - Log[Cosh ]) SinIntegral , x -> Infinity]
  • Previous by thread: Re: Re: Limit[(x - Log[Cosh ]) SinIntegral , x -> Infinity]
  • Next by thread: Re: Mathematica notebooks the best method for technical communications (Was: Another stylesheet question)