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Re: v.7.0 issues

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg93949] Re: v.7.0 issues
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net>
  • Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2008 04:32:04 -0500 (EST)

On 11/28/08 at 5:09 AM, siegman at stanford.edu (AES) wrote:

>1)  Matheamtica 7 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 Mathematica 6.

Version 7 does add more functions but hasn't substantially
changed the working of existing functions similar to changes
made between version 5.2 and 6. So, if you don't need the new
functions version 7 adds you can work with version 7 as if it
were version 6. That is there really is no need to learn more
unless you have a specific need or desire.

>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 Mathematica 6 emerged.

And this just isn't likely to change. The amount of
functionality added to version 6 makes it unacceptably expensive
to have the kind of documentation that was available previously
in the Mathematica Book

>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.

That obviously is a matter of opinion and need.

>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.

If the existing version does what you need then why upgrade. I
assume those that do upgrade have a need/desire to utilize the
additional functionality that version 7 offers.

>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 Mathematica 6.

It seems to me Wolfram has made this last quite clear. The
amount of functionality added to version 6 makes documentation
akin to the Mathematica Book prohibitively expensive.


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