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Re: More /.{I->-1} craziness

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  • Subject: [mg106420] Re: More /.{I->-1} craziness
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 04:47:55 -0500 (EST)

On 1/11/10 at 6:54 PM, btreat1 at (DrMajorBob) wrote:

>WRI has blithely broken user code in the past, so Bill's argument
>that they shouldn't in THIS case rings hollow.

My point wasn't that WRI should not do things that break
existing code. But rather, they should not do this without good
reason. For example, the change in the way graphics works
between version 5 and 6 certainly caused broke some existing
code. But I believe the enhanced capabilities for graphics
provided by version 6 more than justified the effect on existing code.

OTOH making a change simply so that some subset of new users is
less confused and provides no other benefit would not be
sufficient reason for WRI to break existing code. On the
contrary, I would argue the need not to break existing code out
weighs the need to make Mathematica more intuitive for some
subset of users.

But, as you point out WRI has broken code in the past and will
certainly do so in the future. In order to grow Mathematica with
more functionality, it is inevitable some changes will break
existing code. Additionally, my opinion as to what justifies
breaking existing code is just that, my opinion. And that has
essentially no impact on what WRI does in the future.

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