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Re: what's new in 8.0.1?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg117207] Re: what's new in 8.0.1?
  • From: Armand Tamzarian <mike.honeychurch at>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 04:35:17 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <ilbeam$b1v$>

On Mar 11, 8:03 am, John Fultz <jfu... at> wrote:
> 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 cert ainly 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 an
> 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.

I can't argue with that paragraph but I'd make 2 points:

1. re: bug. Evaluating user documentation before a release ought to be
part of the pre-release screening. Bugs that show up when evaluating
user documentation are, by definition, bugs that are readily
detectable. Allowing these through creates perceptions of carelessness
and poor quality assurance.

2. re: developer responsiveness. I have been waiting for an answer
from wolfram tech support for 2 months -- count them, 2 months. The
reason for the delay is that tech support did not know the answer off
hand -- it relates to how a particular function option is supposed to
be used -- essentially for the same reasons as me, inadequate
developer documentation. They contacted the developer but the
developer won't talk to them. Needless to say this is hardly premier
service developer responsiveness.

I'd hasten to add that when tech support know the answer to a question
I've found that a reply is generally forthcoming very quickly. And the
developers that contribute to Mathgroup are obviously responsive. But
when a developer doesn't adequately document their work (leading to
user and tech support not knowing how to use it) and then won't talk
to tech support, it is not a good way to run premier service software


> 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.
> Sincerely,
> John Fultz
> jfu... 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:mur... at]
> > Enviado el: mi==E9rcoles, 09 de marzo de 2011 12:58
> > Para: mathgr... at
> > Asunto:  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                     mur... 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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