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Re: what's new in 8.0.1?

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  • Subject: [mg117171] Re: what's new in 8.0.1?
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 16:01:29 -0500 (EST)

Clearly WRI releases a new major version -- and sometimes even a minor 
m.n minor version -- when (a) enough new features or improvements are 
ready, and (b) when the business situation dictates. Nothing whatsoever 
surprising there.

And with major new features added, one should expect additional bugs.

Eliminating bugs is a matter of external pre-release testers feedback; 
internal testing, including what is said to be nightly 
regression-testing of the current build; and other internal testing.

Then there's always the issue of priorities in deciding which bugs most 
demand fixes: to wait until each known bug is fixed would likely mean 
that a new version takes something approaching an infinitely long time 
before being released.

I have never used any piece of software, at any price, from free to 
hideously expensive, that was free of bugs. (Well, at least I seem to be 
good, or unusually unlucky, in uncovering bugs in everything.)  Someone 
once characterized good debugging as finding and fixing the next-to-last 

One might propose that Wolfram Research "simply" fix bugs as they are 
reported or detected and push out bug patches. The technology in 
Mathematica would appear to be there to do that. But that could be quite 
dangerous, since the entire Mathematica system is such a 
tightly-integrated creation, that fixing a bug in one place could just 
break stuff somewhere else.

None of this is to suggest that I'm happy that Mathematica bugs persist! 
Things might be ameliorated by a publicly-accessible list of bugs -- if 
only the definition of what is a bug and what is contrary to somebody's 
predilections or expectations can be clarified. But then, of course the 
mere existence of such a list could be used not only as a marketing tool 
by competitors, but as a sledge hammer by the few who frequent this list 
and whose purpose in life seems to be to derive satisfaction from 
finding things they don't like about Mathematica.

On 3/10/2011 6:14 AM, Emilio Martin-Serrano Sobrino wrote:
> ...A new version mostly to correct bugs, or at least to correct some bugs among
> others, I guess.  Exactly  10 days after my purchase of  version 8.0.0, (I
> have the invoice on my desk, received just yesterday).
> Is not this a beautiful instance  of planned obsolescence, sometimes, and
> euphemistically,  called marketing strategy?
> Simply speaking:   this- -is - - not- - serious. On the contrary, it is
> really disgusting.
> All my versions of Mathematica always were second releases of the type
> "x.0.1":  5.0.1,  6.0.1,  7.0.1  (I do not remember those of versions 2, 3,
> 4, though they were not "X.0.0" either).
>   But this time I fell  in the trap, because I could not move my former 7.0.1
> to  a brand new desktop, so I have to cope with one of the  typically buggy
> X.0.0 versions , or, else, pay again for the same thing with some bugs
> removed, or, differently said,  pay twice to replace a defective thing. If
> the V8.0.0  was buggy, as it seems to be, WRI ought to have said they were
> ready to release the remedy, and I had  waited these 10 days to upgrade.
> That would have been the right thing.
> Of course, It is true that in my invoice, here on my desk, it can be clearly
> read: "No returns accepted without prior authorization". But, why not if the
> thing is defective? Or perhaps the new release is not to correct any bug in
> the previous release? Just new functionality? What about the stability
> problem, for example?
> Ah!  The reason might be the EULA, I guess again.
> But, by the way, what about the EU directive about returning defective
> things within the 15 days after the purchase?
> Yours truly, a disappointed customer
> E. Martin-Serrano
> -----Mensaje original-----
> De: Murray Eisenberg [mailto:murray at]
> Enviado el: mi=E9rcoles, 09 de marzo de 2011 12:58
> Para: mathgroup at
> Asunto: [mg117070] what's new in 8.0.1?
> I just downloaded&  installed Mathematica 8.0.1 under my Premier Service
> subscription.
> The e-mail announcing availability of this upgrade states, "more than
> 500 improvements, including feature, stability, and performance
> enhancements, as well as documentation updates."
> Does anybody know exactly where one can find a list of what's changed =
> from
> 8.0.0 to 8.0.1?
> (If you haven't yet received notification of the upgrade availability =
> but
> should get one, I think you just need to wait a bit: typically, WRI =
> rolls
> out new releases over a period, so as to avoid glacial downloads from a
> torrent of download requests hitting their servers all at once.)
> P.S. The installation process, including uninstalling 8.0.0 by the same
> installer, went really quickly (under Windows XP) compared to what has
> sometimes been the case in the past.
> --
> 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

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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