Re: Re: Re: Does Mathematica really need more printed,

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg88320] Re: [mg88272] Re: [mg88231] Re: [mg88197] Does Mathematica really need more printed,*From*: "peter lindsay" <plindsay at mcs.st-and.ac.uk>*Date*: Thu, 1 May 2008 06:27:41 -0400 (EDT)*References*: <fuhfdc$ihb$1@smc.vnet.net> <fuhrka$s88$1@smc.vnet.net>

Ideally you want a book *and* the interactive help pages side by side. In some circumstances there just is no substitute for the printed word. Paper is far easier to read [ sorry, but it just is ] . They should never have done away with Wolfram's printed manual - it was superb. P Lindsay On 30/04/2008, Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu> wrote: > > Each Mathematica 6 Documentation Center page is a Mathematica notebook, > and when it appears it includes the usual control for magnifying > everything, up to 300%. Surely that suffices. > > And I believe the default is configurable by means of the Options > Inspector: you use the Global category; search for Magnification; then > change that from the default value 1 to something higher. > > Unless you need severely compensating assistive technology, that should > suffice. > > > Richard Palmer wrote: > > I have an additional concern regarding current on-line > documentation. Some > > of it does not have a resizable font. That makes it difficult for > people > > like me that have glasses and use portable computers with smaller > screens. > > I hope that can be fixed in a subsequent release. > > > > > Regards, Richard > > > > > > On 4/28/08, AES <siegman at stanford.edu> wrote: > >> In response to Andrzej Kozlowski's comment > >> > >>> Judging by quite many "ordinary users" I known, the views you have > >> been > >>> expressing, particularly those on the need for printed software > >> manuals > >>> rather make you a memeber of a minority, and moreover a rather > >>> rapidly declining one. I for one, . . . > >> > >> Does Mathematica really need printed, more introductory level > >> documentation (aka books, or manuals) to add to its excellent, but less > >> readable, online documentation? > >> > >> Let's take an experimental or "reality-based" approach to this question > >> (however much that approach may be out of favor with our current > >> administration in Washington . . .) > >> > >> Adobe Illustrator is, in my opinion anyway, an excellent piece of > >> technical software, comparable in quality and usefulness and at least > >> somewhat comparable in technical complexity, to Mathematica. > >> > >> There's probably a sizable overlap --- or at very least, a very sizable > >> _potential_ market overlap --- between Illustrator and Mathematica > users > >> (new graphics commands that are very Illustrator-like have in fact been > >> added in 6.0). > >> > >> Both programs have something of an initial learning curve for "ordinary > >> users"; both have excellent detailed online reference documentation. > >> > >> Mathematica is, I would judge, actually substantial more complex and > >> requires more learning for an average individual than does Illustrator. > >> On my Mac, Illustrator 11 is 75 MB for the app itself, plus another 75 > >> MB of supplemental stuff. I didn't try to dig inside the Mathematica > >> package, but it's over 1 GB in my Applications folder, plus whatever > >> additional material is stuffed away elsewhere on my HD. Illustrator > >> manuals tend to be 300 to 500 pages; the Mathematica Book for v5 was > >> just under 1500. Mathematica users, especially less experienced ones, > >> might need more forms and varieties of documentation, that Illustrator > >> users. > >> > >> So, to get some idea what sort of introductory printed books and > manuals > >> might be useful for Mathematica, we might ask: what sort of > introductory > >> printed books and manuals are readily available, right now, for > >> Illustrator? (Noting again that Illustrator also has good, well > >> organized, readily accessible online documentation, Help files, and > >> tutorials --- along with helpful user forums on its web site.) > >> > >> A quick look at amazon.com then brings up a list of at least twelve > (12) > >> such introductory books or manuals on Illustrator (list appended > below). > >> All of these books are currently available in stock on amazon (and > three > >> are on my bookshelf) --- as compared to _none_ (as yet, anyway) for > >> Mathematica 6. > >> > >> At least half of these Illustrator manuals can be identified as current > >> editions of earlier versions that were published for earlier versions > of > >> Illustrator. In other words, earlier versions apparently sold well > >> enough that authors were willing to write and publishers were willing > to > >> bring out 2nd, 3rd, even 4th editions of these manuals, updated for the > >> current version of Illustrator. > >> > >> Or in other words, for me anyway: The experimental evidence is that > >> these books _clearly meet user needs_, sufficiently so that authors > are > >> willing to invest their energies in writing them; publishers publish > >> them; and users buy them, including more than once; > >> > >> Should Wolfram maybe recognize this point? > >> > >> ===================================== > >> > >> * Adobe Illustrator CS3 Classroom in a Book by Adobe Creative Team > >> (2007) $35 > >> > >> * The Adobe Illustrator CS3 Wow! Book by Sharon Steuer (2007) $24 > >> > >> * Adobe Illustrator CS3 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques by Karlins > >> and Hopkins (2007) $10 > >> > >> * Real World Adobe Illustrator CS3 by Mordy Golding (2007) $20 > >> > >> * Illustrator CS3 Bible by Ted Alspach ( 2007) $25 > >> > >> * Adobe Illustrator for Fashion Design by Susan Lazear (2008) $35 > >> > >> * Fashion Designer's Handbook for Adobe Illustrator by Centner and > >> Vereker (2007) $50 > >> > >> * Illustrator CS3 for Windows and Macintosh (Visual QuickStart Guide) > >> by Weinmann and Lourekas (2007) $20 > >> > >> * Adobe Illustrator CS3 Revealed by Chris Botello (Aug 31, 2007) $45 > >> > >> * Best Practice: The Pros On Adobe Illustrator by Toni Toland (Aug 16, > >> 2006) $35 > >> > >> * Adobe Illustrator CS2 Revealed, Education Edition by Chris Botello > >> (2005) $40 > >> > >> * Illustrator CS for Dummies by Ted Alspach (2003) $25 > >> > >> ===================================== > >> > >> > > > > > > > -- > Murray Eisenberg murray at math.umass.edu > Mathematics & Statistics Dept. > Lederle Graduate Research Tower phone 413 549-1020 (H) > University of Massachusetts 413 545-2859 (W) > 710 North Pleasant Street fax 413 545-1801 > Amherst, MA 01003-9305 > > -- peter lindsay computing officer mathematical institute university of st andrews ky16 9ss phone: 01334463756 The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland : No SC013532

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: Re: Re: Re: Does Mathematica really need more printed,***From:*Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz@mimuw.edu.pl>