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Re: Rendering transparent objects changed in M8

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  • Subject: [mg114239] Re: Rendering transparent objects changed in M8
  • From: Daniel Lichtblau <danl at>
  • Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 06:54:14 -0500 (EST)

----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Skulsky" <edskulsky at>
> To: mathgroup at
> Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2010 2:37:26 AM
> Subject: [mg114214] Re: Rendering transparent objects changed in M8
> On Nov 26, 2:28 am, truxton spangler <truxtonspangle... at>
> wrote:
> [...]
> > Shame there isn't a web page on their site with bug fixes and work
> > arounds. Apart from being useful for users it would reduce the load
> > on
> > their tech support people I would guess, because we could check out
> > the fixes and work arounds page before contacting them.
> >
> > TS
> I like your idea and I hope you send it to Wolfram (and that they
> implement it).
> Meanwhile, I'll post any additional workarounds I learn about in this
> group (perhaps we should include "workaround" in the subject to make
> searching a bit easier).
> David

Might be a good idea. I gather there were some management misgivings regarding this in the past, but my recollection is sufficiently foggy that I cannot really address that, and in particular I do not know if this remains a current issue. I will make some comments on various social and technical aspects.

(1) It is difficult to navigate between bugs vs. intentional and justifiable changes (with new "features" falling in the middle). I generally can address such things when writing replies as an individual. I am not so sure how well this transfers to corporate "official responsa", so to speak.

(2) It is easy to get into awkward situations where some users will claim that changes in behavior are bugs, when we at WRI opine otherwise. While I agree that having a publicly available set of workarounds can be useful (and recently posted one such), I do not like the idea of appearing to endorse that some changes are bugs. Obviously, the ones we agree are bugs do not fall prey to this problem. But I can say from past experience that a lot of energy and patience can be spent on such issues, and I'd not want to see that sort of problem elevated to corporate status.

(3) It is not easy to get this information to users who might need it. We do not always recognize when a question involves an issue in this territory. And most people who have such questions are not likely to be MathGroup readers (specifically, your "we could check out the fixes" is far from "most users would..."). The upshot is we might often face ignorance on both our end (when we fail to recognize this type of an FAQ) and the user's. This of course does not make having a workaround list a bad idea: it simply indicates why it might be of limited use.

(4) It can be difficult to write an FAQ in such a way that it is clear to most readers. So we could end up doing work that has little applicability. I believe our experience is that this is an issue, but not a serious one (meaning, an FAQ can be generally useful as a first line of defense).

I myself tend to be neutral on this. I simply want to indicate reasons why it could cause more work than it is worth (both for WRI and users).

I should mention explicitly that I am not speaking for Wolfram Research on this matter.

Daniel Lichtblau
Wolfram Research

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