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Re: Memory Blowup Issues

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg126799] Re: Memory Blowup Issues
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 03:36:00 -0400 (EDT)
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On 6/7/12 at 5:22 AM, ralph.dratman at (Ralph Dratman) wrote:

>Taming the experience of using the software, especially for
>new users, would be of enormous benefit to the company, since the
>software might then reach a far wider audience.

Maybe this would benefit Wolfram. It isn't obvious. If there
were no additional costs associated with reaching a wider
audience (i.e., selling more licenses) there is a clear benefit.
But there are costs such as programming resources to provide the
"taming" you have in mind. An even if this entailed no
additional programming resources, more licenses sold will mean
more people wanting support and increased support costs. I don't
know what tradeoff Wolfram would want in this regard. But I am
sure reaching a wider audience doesn't come without additional cost.

>It seems possible to me that Mathematica, in a slightly different
>form and possibly under a different name, could become for today's
>computers what Basic was for the Apple II and the IBM PC.

This almost certainly won't happen with Mathematica. BASIC was
designed to be a beginner's programming language. Mathematica is
designed to be a very powerful mathematical toolset. And it
seems clear Wolfram intends to increase the power of this
toolset and extend it to additional areas of computation. To
really make effective use of Mathematica you really need a solid
understanding to mathematics and numerical computation, quite a
bit deeper understanding than what is required for something
like BASIC.

True, if all you do with Mathematica is use it as a super
scientific calculator, you don't need any deeper understanding
than what would be required for BASIC. But, I would strongly
argue this isn't making significant use of Mathematica's
capabilities. There are far less expensive solutions for such
calculations that are much easier to master than Mathematica. Of
course, these lack the power Mathematica offers.

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