Re: Viewing packages in mathematica

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg102782] Re: Viewing packages in mathematica*From*: Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net>*Date*: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 06:33:44 -0400 (EDT)

On 8/26/09 at 7:43 AM, siegman at stanford.edu (AES) wrote: >In article <h6tv7b$drf$1 at smc.vnet.net>, >"David Park" <djmpark at comcast.net> wrote: >>So that is what happens with Mathematica. One wants to work on >>math, or on some technical project, but one is always sucked down >>into a morass of undocumented features, and computer science, and >>guessing. One spends 95% of one's time working on Mathematica >>problems and 5% actually doing something interesting! >My God, David! It seems to me you have suddenly started to sound >exactly like me, before I more or less gave up on posting on these >issues and tried to get refocused on "actually doing something >interesting" myself. >Let me just say again: I believe the core lesson in this saga -- or >to phrase it differently, the core cause of this disaster -- is the >attempt (one might say, if one wanted to be nasty about it, the >megalomaniacal attempt) to have one single massive app that will be >all things, provide all tools and capabilities, to all users, rather >than some kind of much more modular approach. How so? The complexity of Mathematica arises from its capabilities. If a modular approach had the same capabilities how could it not have the same complexity? And with that complexity comes issues of documentation etc. That is the more complex a product, the more documentation is needed and the more likely some aspect fails to get documented appropriately. Perhaps your thought is Mathematica should come as separate modules that users could obtain on there own to add capability as they need. With this approach, you have whatever complexity is inherent in the modules the user gets and associated documentation issues. There will also be the additional overhead of managing the modules. I don't see this as being less effort for users. And consider the feature being discussed in this thread, the ability of the FE to nicely open .m files for editing. I too was unaware of this feature and I am unaware of it being documented somewhere. But so what? Why should I or anyone let this feature distract from getting work done? If you were not aware of this, surely you had a means of dealing with .m files which have been present for all versions of Mathematica. Whatever method you used, it still works right? So, why let a new way of dealing with these files distract you?