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Re: Re: Mathematica and some General Comments

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  • Subject: [mg97398] Re: [mg97324] Re: Mathematica and some General Comments
  • From: Arturas Acus <acus at>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 02:21:35 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <goqphr$lt2$> <gp5fou$9nr$> <>

On Wed, 11 Mar 2009, mike.honeychurch at wrote:

> On Mar 10, 5:35 am, Sebastian Meznaric <mezna... at> wrote:
>> I don't think Mathematica should replace mathematics. It is an
>> important tool, but very importantly, a commercial closed-source tool.
>> It costs a great deal of money and you do not know what it is doing
>> (although most of the time it gives correct results). Only systems
>> that can be considered to generally replace Mathematics have got to be
>> open source (although I admit I do not use any). If at least the basis
>> of Mathematica was made open-source with paid-for support from Wolfram
>> that would make things a lot better. As it stands, we should not chain
>> people to commercial software.
> Other than people who use pencils and paper, or blackboards and
> chalk*, everyone is "chained" to commercial products in their
> workplaces. We need to "free" our minds a bit from the idea that
> software should somehow be an exception to everything else that occurs
> in our workplaces. Or alternatively perhaps someone can explain to me
> why software should be any different to scientific equipment, cars,
> dishwashers...

It is because

1) once made you, can make as many copies as you wish at zero cost. This
  significally  differs from say, cars. 
2) The scientific software and computers OS are UNIVERSAL tools. Nobody 
wants to build your own tool on the soft/weak ground. If you write your 
program for windows OS, do it mean you work for Microsoft? For free ...

I cannot use an open source mass spectrometer, drive an
> open source car [although GM and Ford are verging on open source :),
> or at least maybe publicly owned soon] etc.

These are limited/specialized tools. But thing about roads and 
communication lines owned by sigle company. I doubt you could convenient 
drive Fiat car on Fords highways.

> Mike
> *these are also commercial products of course

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