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Re: Re: Should I be using Mathematica at all?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg98654] Re: [mg98606] Re: Should I be using Mathematica at all?
  • From: peter <plindsay.0 at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 05:01:11 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <gruppj$nk$1@smc.vnet.net> <200904141015.GAA07628@smc.vnet.net>

respectfully, I don't think this is quite right although I see what
you are getting at. C++ is platform independent and free, unless you
chose to tie yourself in to particular proprietary Libraries or IDEs.
regards
Peter

2009/4/14 Joseph Gwinn <joegwinn at comcast.net>:
> In article <gruppj$nk$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
>  "Paul Ellsmore" <paul.ellsmore at nanion.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> Hello again,
>>
>> I have had several questions answered by this group, for which I am very
>> grateful. Now I have a more general topic, which I know will not have
>> single, clear answers.  I just would like to hear your opinions.
>>
>> I have some (fairly complicated) legacy Mathematica v5 software which we
>> currently use in-house. Our intention is to turn this software into a
>> saleable product. At the moment, I am contemplating upgrading to V7, wri=
ting
>> a GUI for our code (which has no compatibility issues with V7) and
>> distributing it using PlayerPro.
>
> What is the nature of this product?
>
>
>> To protect our IP, I will be using Encode to make it impossible for it t=
o be
>> reverse engineered. Does anyone know how secure this will actually be? I=
s it
>> more or less secure than a compiled C++ program would be, for instance? =
Are
>> there any particular issues I should be aware of?
>>
>> It turns out that there are some serious problems for us using PlayerPro
>> (apart from the price!) which are making us reconsider using Mathematica=
 at
>> all. Top of the list is the inability of Wolfram to offer a trial licens=
e
>> for PlayerPro. What this would mean is that we would be losing 100 or so
>> every time someone ordered a trial version but did not subsequently buy =
the
>> package, because there is no way for us to get our PlayerPro license bac=
k.
>> This is not viable. The best Wolfram can offer is to give our prospectiv=
e
>> client a trial version of the full Mathematica package (say for 15 days)=
. As
>> a workaround, this is very clunky,  when I requested my trial of V7 it=
 took
>> 4 days to get the license. I think that, these days, people expect to go=
 to
>> a website, download a trial version and start working with it immediatel=
y.
>>
>> So, I am considering our options, in particular open source code, such a=
s
>> C++, and I'd be interested in your opinions about this. Our V5 code does=
n't
>> involve any exotic maths, but it makes extensive use of SetDelayed, and
>> these definitions are frequently nested within long and complicated Do
>> loops. Speed is crucial to our application, so is there any, in principl=
e,
>> reason why Mathematica might be able to do things significantly faster t=
han
>> a compiled C++ program (assuming the C++ code is written by someone who
>> knows what they are doing)? Is there a better language than C++, bearing=
 in
>> mind the need to compile (or encode in some way) and distribute the
>> resulting code? I know there used to be a compiler for Mathematica once =
upon
>> a time, is there any easy way to get from mathematica code to a compilab=
le
>> program. I should stress that we are very happy with Mathematica in term=
s of
>> developing our application, it's just generating anything that we could =
sell
>> that is problematical.
>>
>> I have some experience of writing VB, Visual C and similar applications,=
 but
>> these never had a large graphical content. Our code will require a lot o=
f
>> plotting of data (2D only, but lots of curves which need to be interacti=
ve
>> in some sense). Mathematica can do everything we want in this respect, b=
ut I
>> am less sure about the open source code. I am sure there are add-on
>> packages, but never having used them I don't know whether they can match
>> Mathematica's built in abilities,  any comments?
>
> The big issue with translation to C++ or any other language to to avoid
> lock-in to either Windows or to the compiler make and model.  If lock-i=
n
> is permitted, especially to Windows, every time MS burps you will be
> forced to play catch-up.  While C++ is in theory standardized, there ar=
e
> significant differences in what C++ compilers will accept.  Use of the =
C
> subset of C++ is usually far less stressful, and allows for graceful
> transition should the compiler vendor go to find his guru.
>
> Platform independence also helps when negotiating with platform and
> compiler vendors.
>
> To avoid lock-in, one must do all testing on at least two platform kinds
> using compilers from at least two makers.  It isn't enough to make
> platform independence a goal, one must directly test for independence,
> as its very easy for dependencies to creep in unnoticed.
>
> Choice of platforms:  If one covers Windows, MacOS, and UNIX/Linux, one
> has covered 99%.  Going from one platform to two is the big step.
> Adding the third isn't that much harder to achieve, although testing is
> still an expense.
>
> Joe Gwinn
>
>



--
Peter Lindsay


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