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Re: what's new in 8.0.1?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg117180] Re: what's new in 8.0.1?
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 16:03:06 -0500 (EST)

I'm having trouble understanding what's got you so upset.  Perhaps you think you
need to pay for the upgrade from 8.0.0 to 8.0.1?  Because you most certainly do
not...this is a free upgrade, and should be available to any registered user of
8.0.0.  There's no intent here on the part of Wolfram Research to do anything
except release a better product, and at least some of that betterment is in
direct response to feedback from users of 8.0.0.

The fact is that software development is an incredibly complex endeavor. 
Everybody in the industry releases patches, service packs, updates, or what ever
you want to call them.  They do this because shipping absolutely perfect
software is impossible.  It's not really hard, it's not insanely hard, it is
impossible.  Even software such as TeX, widely regarded as one of the most
bug-free bits of software to have ever been produced, has gone through many
iterations with absolutely no new feature development to get there, and it
*still* merits the occasional bug-bounty check written by Donald Knuth himself.

The proper way to measure a software package is not by whether it has any bugs,
because it does.  It just does.  You measure it by some combination of fact ors,
including the seriousness or quantity of bugs, their relevance to your work, the
responsiveness of the developer, etc.

In the end, Mathematica can only be judged by the people who pay money for it
since, without paying customers, Wolfram Research would just shrivel up.  Which
means my opinion about it isn't worth that much, so I won't offer it.  But
surely a Wolfram Research which offers updates to the software is better than
one that doesn't.  You seem to be making the opposite argument, which I just
don't quite comprehend.


John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Thu, 10 Mar 2011 06:14:24 -0500 (EST), Emilio Martin-Serrano Sobrino wrote:
> To  WRI
> Right! , perfectly right!
> 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

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