Re: v.7.0 issues
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg93910] Re: v.7.0 issues
- From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
- Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 05:09:04 -0500 (EST)
- Organization: Stanford University
- References: <email@example.com> <200811261010.FAA19484@smc.vnet.net> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On Nov 25, 7:18 am, "alexxx.ma... at gmail.com" <alexxx.ma... at gmail.com> wrote: > I thought it could be a good idea to start a thread where to detail > all the issues (both positive and negative!) discovered by early > adopters of ver.7.0: > detail your experience here! > > Alessandro Alessandro: Are you limiting this to "early adopters" only -- or can "non-adopters" chime in also? If the latter, then the overwhelmingly negative issues for me are not any of minor or routine (but still damaging) bugs and glitches that will come along with any major new version of any major software package (as people have already been reporting for M6 in this thread), but a set of much more basic issues: 1) M7 brings another massive set of changes in old routines or new and increasingly complex capabilities that one presumably has to learn or adapt to, before the dust has even settled on the massive (and massively disruptive) changes associated with M6. 2) And yet, _still_ no adequate user documentation, at least for new or occasional or "ordinary" users of these changes and new capabilities -- the same as was the case when M6 emerged. (And, presumably, any third-party efforts that might have been under way to develop such documentation for M6 have now been thrown off track, or at least further delayed, by the emergence of M7). 3) Beyond this, as a working engineer, long-time university faculty member, and educator, I'm fully in accord with the response that says > Like all [recent] versions of Mathematica, version 7.0 is > ridiculously expensive for the average user... "Ridiculously and impossibly expensive" might be more like it. 4) And so I expect I'll be going along with another recent response that says: > Probably, I am not upgrading anymore for this and the > reasons below, despite that I have been a loyal customer > since the earliest v2.1 and upgraded most of the > subsequent releeases. In my case, it's been "loyal customer __and active proponent__ of Mathematica since the earliest v1.0." Just dug out of my files acouple of memos dating back a decade or more ago, from me to deans of schools and to IT people in my university, urging major university support for widespread adoption of Mathematica across my university. Where opportunity presents, I'm voicing exactly the opposite views today. 5) I might be a bit more restrained in expressing these highly negative views, here and elsewhere, had I not had an accidental encounter a few weeks ago with a senior colleague in my department whose multi-year academic involvement with Mathematica up through v5 has included doing very extensive analyses and numerical calculations of complex quantum phenomena; writing several memos and reports for his graduate students and colleagues on the techniques he's developed for this work; and also developing, teaching and writing class materials for an undergraduate course titled "EE141M Engineering Electromagnetics with Mathematica". (He also happens to be a member of both NAE and NAS.) I discovered that, totally without any contact with my own views and rants, he had purchased multiple copies of M6 when it came out, and installed them on his home and lab computers. After wrestling with M6 for some period of time, he then removed and trashed all his copies of M6; dug out his old installation CDs for M5 and reinstalled it on all his machines; and doesn't plan to worry further about MX where X>5. I've also had private email responses to some of my early posts on this group following the emergence of M6 that have been supportive of of my criticisms of M6. Bottom lines: * I absolutely don't pretend to understand Wolfram's product and marketing and branding strategy for Mathematica, and especially who they view as their customer base. But at this point, it doesn't include me, or any groups I can think of; and I sure as hell wouldn't invest in Wolfram myself, or advise anyone I know to buy Mathematica. * And as an entirely separate issue, I don't understand Wolfram's strategy or tactics so far as user documentation is concerned. Their approach simply seems utterly crazy to me, and has since the arrival of M6. * But I also retain a great admiration for the technical capabilities and the immense knowledge base embedded in Mathematica -- post M5 included -- which means the two preceding comments are sources of sadness, not gladness. I'm just not going to ride the Wolfram train any further myself.