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Re: Re: Wolfram | Alpha: Acres per square mile? (oddities)

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg101280] Re: [mg101269] Re: Wolfram | Alpha: Acres per square mile? (oddities)
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 06:31:07 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <h27fg7$coc$> <>
  • Reply-to: murray at

Sorry, I don't understand your point.  In Wolfram|Alpha, right at the 
bottom of the page, there's a place to send feedback, right where you 
can see what you tried and what the output was. What in the world could 
be friendlier, easier, and inviting than that?  (Would that every web 
site made it so easy to send feedback!)

Why would you not want to do it there?  It's a lot less trouble than 
leaving the W|A page, going to your e-mail client, and sending a message 
to MathGroup there.  Unless, that is, you're more interested in stirring 
up some sort of public fuss than you are in making a useful suggestion 
to Wolfram|Alpha or register a complaint with them.

AES wrote:
> In article <h27fg7$coc$1 at>,
>  Bill Rowe <readnews at> wrote:
>> On 6/27/09 at 6:02 AM, siegman at (AES) wrote:
>>> Doesn't WIA, with all its resources, have someone on staff whose
>>> responsibility it is to do the same; make informed judgments on
>>> which if any posts seem useful and important enough for WIA to
>>> consider further; and then slapshot-forward those posts to the right
>>> people within WIA?
>> I believe it has been pointed out Wolfram doesn't have anyone
>> assigned to scan posts here. Simply put, posts here are not
>> official bug reports for either Wolfram|Alpha or Mathematica.
>>> If WIA doesn't do that on its own initiative, well, I'm not going to
>>> go out of my way to do what you suggest -- especially knowing my own
>>> limited knowledge and understanding as to what contributions might
>>> be important or of interest to them.
>> What do you see as going "out of your way"? There is an input
>> box and send button right on the page that returns results.
>> Surely, it is no more effort to type comments in that box which
>> ensures they will be looked at by those interested in fixing
>> bugs than to make a post here.
> Take your points, stick by mine.  I'm spending my time participating in 
> c.s-s.m.m, not serving as a bug reporter for WIA; and am quite often not 
> sure whether what I'm commenting on is a bug or inadequate understanding 
> on my part.
> If WIA were to assign some knowledgeable staff member to do a quick scan 
> of c.s-s.m.m every morning, looking not only for bugs but other feedback 
> on glitches, misunderstandings, confusions on documentation, and the 
> like -- well, I think that would be useful feedback to WIA; would show 
> whether a problem of any type was widespread; and would show whether 
> there were multiple or threaded reports on a problem.  
> Some companies spend big bucks on surveys, focus groups, product testing 
> exercises to get precisely that kind of feedback.  If WIA wants to 
> ignore this free source of such info (and from a generally knowledgeable 
> group of users) . . .  well, I think that as a company they make a fair 
> number of other odd decisions also . . .

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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