MathGroup Archive 2009

[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index]

Search the Archive

Re: Opportunities and Player Pro

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg104475] Re: Opportunities and Player Pro
  • From: "Kevin J. McCann" <kjm at>
  • Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 04:02:25 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <hcbi0f$jn9$> <20910958.1256889652954.JavaMail.root@n11> <hcgmus$d0m$>

I agree completely with David' comments (although the poetic bit at the 
end may be overdone). From my own perspective, I would use something 
like the Player to send interactive notes to my students. This would 
mean that they could use it without having to purchase Mathematica or use it on 
one of the University's computers.

Without the Acrobat-like availability and free usage, I, quite frankly, 
do not see the point of the Player, since I only have two free players 
to distribute, however that is done, how do I pick the two - my two best 
students, the two worst, ..., what about next semester?


David Park wrote:
> I hope that WRI is not going to stand pat with that solution. There are many
> drawbacks.
> 1) The last I heard the free Player could not use third party packages.
> 2) One has to send everything to WRI to get 'converted'.
> 3) Having bought the expensive Mathematica, one should be able to sell
> notrbooks, say, without obtaining an additional license from WRI. (Does one
> have to obtain an additional permission and license from Adobe before using
> PDF documentation in some computer software?) In any case, most the use
> would be in scientific communication.
> 4) Allowing Premier subscribers to distribute only two Mathematica
> PlayerPros is too restrictive. And, in any case, we have no idea how one
> does that.
> Perhaps it is a serious technical problem to produce a free Mathematica
> player along the lines of Acrobat reader that would protect the basic
> Mathematica property and be a viable business model. If it can be solved it
> would be a major completion to WRI's core technology. People really do want
> to communicate via Mathematica notebooks.
> I think it would be good enough if all the reader could do is evaluate a
> notebook and operate dynamic controls. Some of the restrictions, if these
> are possible and there isn't some essential impracticality in it, that might
> limit the ability to hack could be:
> 1) Don't let the reader print or save the notebook.
> 2) Restrict InputFields to number data.
> 3) Restrict keyboard entry to those forms that are necessary for evaluation
> and operating controls. Maybe no alpha keys. Maybe someone could arrange for
> a reader to click characters off a palette, but that is very inconvenient.
> 4) Restrict the amount of keyboard entry in a session.
> 5) Don't provide Mathematica documentation and don't provide it online. No
> basic palettes either. Don't people who buy Mathematica get the
> documentation with their installation and can't they update it?
> Maybe these kinds of restrictions wouldn't be sufficient. I don't know. WRI
> already provides significant free use of Mathematica through the Integrator,
> and through Wolfram|Alpha. It seems that a Mathematica Player wouldn't have
> to be more airtight that that.
> If people started receiving nice Mathematica notebooks and reading them I
> believe they would be impressed. They would want to be able to generate the
> same kind of documents. Nothing would do more to spread the use of
> Mathematica and increase the customer base. Existing users would be the best
> free sales force you could get.
> Mathematica as a communication medium is a better business model than paid
> links on Wolfram|Alpha. It's a better immediate use of the core technology.
> It would be a revolution in scientific communication.
> Right now, Mathematica is a very expressive beautiful bird locked in a cage.
> Let her fly free!
> David Park
> djmpark at
> From: Jon McLoone [mailto:jonm at] 
> On Oct 29, 7:59 am, "E. Martin-Serrano"
> <eMartinSerr... at> wrote:
>> I wish to join the opinion already expressed here on that WRI should
> provide
>> the means to make available to people, in general, any products developed
>> with Mathematica,  allowing to manipulate all or most of the dynamic
>> graphics and other stuff in them. The lack of this free tool which would
>> make possible wide distribution of these materials severely restricts the
>> opportunities to use Mathematica for many purposes.
> This would be a good application of the free Mathematica Player.
> Player is not just for powering
> If the material is supplementary to the book (IE freely available),
> then it could be converted freely for use on Player at
> If the content is to be sold, then you would need to talk to Wolfram
> Research about a special license to use it commercially. But this
> could be a one time as part of publishing, and not something that the
> end user need know or care about. For the end user, it would just be
> part of the book.
> Apart from this licensing difference, the differences between
> Mathematica Player and Mathematica Player Pro would probably not
> matter to the project you describe. They are listed at
> Jon McLoone

  • Prev by Date: Re: Opportunities and Player Pro
  • Next by Date: Re: Multiply 2 matrices where one contains differential
  • Previous by thread: Re: Opportunities and Player Pro
  • Next by thread: Re: Opportunities and Player Pro