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Re: Mathematica Programming

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg108933] Re: Mathematica Programming
  • From: David Bailey <dave at removedbailey.co.uk>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2010 07:25:41 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <hphbp3$llb$1@smc.vnet.net>

David Park wrote:
> Very interesting question.
> 
> I have never been able to understand the promotional material for
> webMathematica. Can one run webMathematica from a standard user web site
> provided by an ISP? Or does one have to have one's own server setup, and
> what would that consist of? Where would the Mathematica engine that drives
> webMathematica actually reside? (It would be nice to have an answer that I
> could operationally understand and not in some jargon.) Is webMathematica
> something accessible for ordinary Mathematica users and developers, or is it
> ultimately a high priced institutional type application? Is it available to
> Premier subscribers?
> 

My thoughts exactly! I do wish that when WRI add a piece of extra 
software meant to augment basic Mathematica in some way, they asked 
themselves some basic questions:

1)  What new capabilities will this add to Mathematica?

2)  Is the software an add-on, or a different version of Mathematica?

3)  If it could potentially expose a lot of Mathematica functionality to 
people who have not purchased Mathematica, how will this be prevented.

4)  Does it solve a problem that is not already solvable in a 
satisfactory way?

Ideally they would ask themselves these questions before embarking on 
the project, and they would then supply answers these questions in 
promotional material describing the product!

For example, with GUIKit, I never knew whether this software was 
designed to hide the underlying Java, or repackage it in some way. I 
knew you could (optionally) use it to create widgets in XML format, but 
I never knew why this would be useful (given that the XML code would 
only work in conjunction with Mathematica!), etc.

I also wish that WRI would keep new jargon to an absolute minimum. 
Explanations in terms of jargon that is not itself defined is not worth 
very much!

David Bailey
http://www.dbaileyconsultancy.co.uk


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