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Re: some demonstrations no longer work right in version 8

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  • Subject: [mg116033] Re: some demonstrations no longer work right in version 8
  • From: Daniel Lichtblau <danl at>
  • Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 19:42:16 -0500 (EST)

Nasser M. Abbasi wrote:
> Since I hava installed V8, when I go to Wolfram
> demonstration web page, and click on a dome to
> download, I noticed now it opens directly inside the
> web browser. Not sure how and why this happes,

Has to do with how version 8 was installed. Default, I think (on Windows 
and Mac platforms) is to have at least some things (like .nbp files you 
get from Demonstrations web pages) open in the browser plugin.

> But
> besides this, the problem is some demos that used
> to work OK with V7, no longer work ok in V8.
> Is anyone at WRI looking at this problem?

Yes. We are in the process of rebuilding all published Demonstrations in 
version 8. Most seem to work. Exceptions we are aware of number in the 
dozens at most.

> Since there is no process setup for someone to make
> changes to the demo from outside once it is submitted
> and put on Wolfram demo website,

You bring up a festering embarrassment. The Demonstrations Authoring 
Area is not adequate to the task. I am ever hopeful we will get this 
addressed in the next year or so. meanwhile, you can in fact access and 
change your Demonstration. On its web page to the lower right there is a 
Contribute section. Click on the link "Make a new version of this 
Demonstration". You can either resubmit it from your author page for 
that Demosntration, or send it directly to any of the various people 
you've dealt with from the Demonstrations Team.

No need to tell me how bad a process this is. It should all just be 
enabled from the Authoring Area. Some day...

 > I am not sure who is
 > supposed to be fixing these things to make the demos work
 > OK in V8 and I hope also stay working ok in V7 player.

We'll end up fixing some to work in version 8 but ultimately it will 
more likely be the authors who bear the brunt. If problematic areas are 
where we expect, then we should be able to provide sensible guidelines 
for migrating problematic code from earlier versions to version 8.

Maintaining them to work in 8 as well as 7 is usually possible, but not 
likely to be worth the trouble and code bloat. Remember, there will be a 
new free Player. Our goal is to have all, or nearly all, Demonstrations 
working in that.

> For example, I downloaded one of my demos, and when
> I open it in V7, it works ok as it was before, But in V8, I
> now get errors. (syntax error, etc.. when trying different options.
> I assume may be due to API changes in  Mathematica functions
> used by the demo?
> There are number of other demos with such problems.
> thanks
> --Naser

I cannot comment without seeing the Demonstration(s) in question. 
Certainly some options and the like may have changed. While nobody likes 
for that to happen, there are cases where we really cannot move forward 
without addressing problematic design. I'm just happy this does not 
happen more frequently.

Daniel Lichtblau
Wolfram Research

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