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Re: what's new in 8.0.1?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg117274] Re: what's new in 8.0.1?
  • From: "Emilio Martin-Serrano" <emartinserrano at>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 05:28:30 -0500 (EST)

-----Mensaje original-----
De: Emilio Martin-Serrano [mailto:emartinserrano at] 
Enviado el: viernes, 11 de marzo de 2011 17:54
Para: 'John Fultz'
Asunto: RE: [mg117180] Re: what's new in 8.0.1?


The following is the transcription of part of the message I have sent today
to WRI Customer Service on the subject.

"To WRI Customer Service


First:  Review the content of the messages below, both sent to MathGroup, in
respect to my order WEBXXXXXX and the recent release of Mathematica V8.0.1.
And confirm whether the upgrade to V8.0.1 is free, as it is said in the
responses to my email below, and, if it is so, I would appreciate your
sending me the appropriate download link.
Second: For my information; since that right to download the new release is
something completely new to me, tell me where in the license conditions (or
any other place at WRI) is said that all purchasers of new Mathematica
versions (in particular, those of Home Edition) have the right of upgrading
to the subsequent releases of the same versions and under which limitations
if any.

Third:  [..........]".  It follows some remarks which does not belong to

-----Mensaje original-----
De: John Fultz [mailto:jfultz at] Enviado el: jueves, 10 de marzo
de 2011 22:03
Para: mathgroup at
Asunto: [mg117180] Re: what's new in 8.0.1?

>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.

Yes, in fact, that is what I think, I thought I ought to pay again. And that
is what I have been thinking from the very beginning as a Mathematica user
(since the early 90s starting with v2.1 or v".2.1, as I can remember); and,
mainly, when the upgrade is for the low cost Home Edition. It is known that
WRI always  issues a second and more stable second release for each version,
and I wait for the availability of the corresponding Vx.0.1 to upgrade.
Anyway,  I have sent the email above to Customer Service to confirm that the
upgrade to V8.0.1. is free. 

>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

I fully agree,  "software development is an incredibly complex endeavor",
and  I know that, also,  " It's not really hard, it's not insanely hard, it
is impossible"  is probably true. I have been knowing all this since the
times I worked in writing commercial and  industrial software in nearly all
fields. But all this was many years ago, before being trapped in more
business oriented and executive responsibilities.  In summary, I know a bit
about software and bugs, not very much but enough, because as you say,  the
field is too vast. I would even say that  the vastness of Mathematica makes
really difficult, if not impossible,  to keep everything under reasonable
control.  So, please, do not take me wrong. 

>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
factors, >including the seriousness or >quantity of bugs, their relevance to
your work, the responsiveness of the developer, etc.

That's right too, as I said I have been in the software development business
for a bunch of years for not to be aware. However,  in our case something
could be made better; customer service is responding pretty sluggishly
lately. I have several no-sent emails in my draft folder, just counting-up-
to-ten before releasing them. As an example of true responsiveness,  I have
just received (right now)  the response to the email  partially reproduced
at the top of this one and sent to customer service, They say that I will
have a link to new download. That is good, but in occasions I have had to
send several emails to get a response, and  in occasions I have not got any
response at all.

>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.

Yes, to the first part about paying customers, one of the prominent gurus of
MathGroup, told me once: "If we want enjoy Mathematica, we must support
them".  But not to the rest. You have  misunderstood my point here. I do not
complain about having updates, it would be absurd; I complain about not
being sure of what I am purchasing, I insist,  if I usually wait for the
Vx.0.1 releases is because I think the releases Vx.0.0 tend to be pretty
unstable(?). And I was believing,  until today,  that without Premier
Service one had to pay for every downloaded different release.  So, why to
pay twice for the same thing? That was my complain. Remember that I upgraded
directly to V8.0.0 because I had had problems in moving the V7.0.1 to my new
platform (XP/SP3 to Windows 7), otherwise I had waited to the V8.0.1.  But
considering the fiasco with the V8Trial, which almost ruined my OS, along
with the impossibility of moving the V7.0.1 (I am still wondering why)  and
the lack of responsiveness of the customer service, I decided to tray
directly the commercial V8.0.0.  


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

Finally, a question, is there any reason for the difference in size of the
installation files of V8Trial (950 Mb) and Home Edition (771 Mb)?   181 Mb
is a big difference.

Kind regards

E. Martin-Serrano

On Thu, 10 Mar 2011 06:14:24 -0500 (EST), Emilio Martin-Serrano Sobrino
> 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
> 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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