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Re: Q for WRI: What % of users are on platform x?

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  • Subject: [mg117567] Re: Q for WRI: What % of users are on platform x?
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 02:52:50 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 22 Mar 2011 05:09:14 -0500 (EST), telefunkenvf14 wrote:
> Does anyone know the breakdown of users who run Mathematica on (1)
> Windows, (2) Mac, (3) Linux? I recall coming across info on users by
> field of interest, but never by platform they use Mathematica on.
> Why am I interested in this? --- From what I can tell, Mathematica uses
> the PortAudio sound API as a way to simplify the development of sound
> capabilities across platforms, and I was wondering about ways to either
> improve capabilities via PortAudio or perhaps programming links to an
> alternate cross-platform API. (The main alternative I've come across is
> the Bass Sound API, which is free for individuals to use non-
> commercially and priced very modestly, IMO, for multi-platform commercial
> projects.)
> -RG

Your assessment of Mathematica isn't correct.  The Linux version of Mathematica does use PortAudio, but the Windows and Mac versions do not.  They instead use the native sound APIs for their systems.

The cross-platform nature of PortAudio was useful when we first integrated it
because we were also developing Mathematica for other Unixes (principally
Solaris...I'm not sure that we had any sound support for HP-UX or IBM AIX).
Since Linux won the battle of the Unixes, and that is now the only Unix version
Wolfram ships for version 8, Linux is the only version using this library.


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

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