Re: More /.{I->-1} craziness. Schools are conservative. So are [people]

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg106798] Re: More /.{I->-1} craziness. Schools are conservative. So are [people]*From*: Richard Fateman <fateman at cs.berkeley.edu>*Date*: Sat, 23 Jan 2010 07:37:15 -0500 (EST)*References*: <hjbvc0$2tp$1@smc.vnet.net>

Andrzej Kozlowski wrote: >.... > This functionality is entirely lost if you replace an .nb or .nbp file with a pdf. > Its usefulness obviously depends on the area one applies it to. 1. There is, by now, a well-established model for writing Java Applets for illustrating mathematical concepts. A google search will find a huge number of them. Mathematica, while providing a simple interface from the programmer level to (say) plotting, is hardly unique. And, I daresay, to the extent that other computer system designers approve of neat interactive plotting and manipulation ideas, they will reproduce these facilities. I am aware of only one such project, but there may be more. Just as Mathematica took the clue from other systems (that for years allowed the real-time rotation, zooming etc. of 3-D plots,) this may be the kind of development that will happen more widely. Still, Java is easy to post and can be run on most computers. Other stuff can also be used (e.g. Javascript, Ruby, Python) for interactive demos as well. The idea that Mathematica is somehow more universal suggests (a) Everyone has Mathematica; (b) Every program written for Mathematica past will run on every version of Mathematica; (c) People who read a PDF are unable to link to dynamic functionality. These are all false. As for printed journals having one foot in the grave (or not), that is pretty much irrelevant to Mathematica. Most of my school's library journal collection consists of online access (only!) to journals that are still mostly "printed in principle". That is, except for possible links to references, search, copy, paste and maybe a few other simple tools, they do not take advantage of the computer capabilities. They could, perhaps be much more ambitious. And PDF allows for additional plug-ins that access additional layers of encoding. Why is this irrelevant to Mathematica? Because (with the exception, perhaps, of "journals" published by WRI) no provider of a journal would be likely to ever require a Mathematica installation of its readers. Some people are reading books and newspapers on e-readers (Apparently Sony and Barnes&Noble and Amazon's Kindle have incompatible competing formats, and I have heard from several people that they are happy to read books on an iPod or iPhone). Perhaps the future of scientific publication is going to appear on these devices, along with um, iMathematica (I'd love to see Apple and WRI sue each other over the name but remember you saw it here first (c)RJFateman 2010). Finally, the demise of conventional scientific journals has been predicted, studied, promoted, for quite a few years now. The WWW made it all possible, but somehow companies still find it commercially viable to begin new publications of journals which have at least a possible "dead trees" component. There are online book publishers who will take a text file of some sort and print a book copy for you. Books and printed paper articles are still pretty common. You can read them on the beach. You can write on them, cut them up, etc. By the way, I remind readers that AK did not respond to the problem that .nb presentations incorporate Mathematica design flaws, e.g. for certain values of zero ( :) ) we have {x >== 1, x > 1, x > 0, x} evaluates to {True, False, False, 0.} RJF