Re: Comparison between Mathematica and other symbolic systems

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg92576] Re: Comparison between Mathematica and other symbolic systems*From*: Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net>*Date*: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 04:14:25 -0400 (EDT)

On 10/5/08 at 6:06 AM, siegman at stanford.edu (AES) wrote: >In article <gc7fsf$eo7$1 at smc.vnet.net>, >Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net> wrote: >>On 10/3/08 at 6:41 AM, awnl at gmx-topmail.de (Albert Retey) wrote: >>>When choosing a system, I think one needs to answer these >>>questions: >>>1) can the system solve the problem at hand 2) how much effort is >>>it to feed the problem to the system 3) how efficient is the >>>system in calculating the solution >>Which really says 2) is the most important consideration. But I >>would expand 2) to be the amount of time to input the problem *and* >>verify the input has been done correctly. In my experience, the >>time to verify/debug input is by far where most of the effort is >>spent. >No mention at all of "how easy it is to learn to use the system" >(and remember how to use it between infrequent uses) ?!?!?!? The current version of Mathematica has more than 2900 built-in symbols, with many of these having long lists of options. I would expect any other system with capabilities equivalent to Mathematica to have a similarly long list of built-in commands and options. This number of commands and options is far too long for infrequent users to remember. It would require a significant reduction in this number to enable easy recall by infrequent users. But that also implies a significant reduction in capability. It is very hard to see how another system with equivalent capability to Mathematica could be significantly easier for infrequent users.