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Re: Viewing packages in mathematica

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  • Subject: [mg102782] Re: Viewing packages in mathematica
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 06:33:44 -0400 (EDT)

On 8/26/09 at 7:43 AM, siegman at (AES) wrote:

>In article <h6tv7b$drf$1 at>,
>"David Park" <djmpark at> 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?

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