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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



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