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Re: Another point about Mathematica 8.0

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  • Subject: [mg116444] Re: Another point about Mathematica 8.0
  • From: "fizzy" <fizzycist at>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 04:32:04 -0500 (EST)

Every time I look at these 'freebie algebra systems', I always end up loving Mathematica all the isn't just solving a polynomial or an integral....Mathematica is worth every penny I've spent on it....

there's certain things that I'm jealous of and wished that I had 'discovered and developed'...Mathematica is one of them..

Jerry Blimbaum
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Murray Eisenberg
  To: mathgroup at
  Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 5:32 AM
  Subject: [mg116427] Re: Another point about Mathematica 8.0

  Re licensing: have you ever signed a rental agreement for a tool at a
  rental store? (True, it doesn't tell you what you can do with it; but
  you're giving away lots of rights when you sign it in case there's
  damage to it or damage/injury caused by it...)

  Re proprietary product: The trick is to get all the really, really,
  really bright people with diverse mathematical, graphical, computer,
  design, and documentation skills: they tend to want to get paid so they
  can live.

  There is in progress lately, of course, one open-source "computer
  algebra system". But as a unified system and a system with the diversity
  of capabilities of mathematica -- and even what's involved just to
  install it under Windows -- it falls well short of what Mathematica has
  to offer.

  But if you're committed to such a project, perhaps you should contribute
  your time to the existing project.

  On 2/14/2011 4:28 AM, AES wrote:
  > Some of these peculiarities stem from the fact that a software app is
  > basically, in fact, a _tool_.  Users buy this tool, just like they buy a
  > hammer, or a table saw, to _do_ things -- make and build things -- with
  > it.
  > ...So, we've gotten into in all this "licensing" idiocy with software: we
  > users allegedly don't "buy" the app, we "license" it, and can only use
  > it to make things that the vendor has licensed us to make.
  > This is, of course, garbage -- legal garbage, but garbage.  Imagine
  > going to the hardware store to buy a table saw, or vacuum cleaner, or a
  > paint sprayer, and being asked by the hardware store to sign a several
  > thousand word license saying just what you're allowed to do with those
  > appliances, for whom, and where....

  > A second problem is that Wolfram, Inc., is in some ways a very peculiar
  > organization.  It makes an absolutely superb and more or less unique
  > product, but a product that has an immense impact on the intellectual
  > and academic and scholarly life of our society.  Yet, it's a totally
  > private organization, with very little public reporting, very little
  > public guidance, very little regulation, very little transparency -- and
  > in some ways very little direct competition for what it does.
  > My solution?  It's long past time that we have a true _open source_
  > competitor for Mathematica (it might be called "Wikimatica").  One can
  > only hope that the academic and scholarly and IT communities will
  > eventually get around to going at this task.

  Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
  Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
  Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
  University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
  710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
  Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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