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Re: Memory Blowup Issues

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  • Subject: [mg126914] Re: Memory Blowup Issues
  • From: Richard Fateman <fateman at>
  • Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2012 03:58:41 -0400 (EDT)
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  • References: <jrg2jv$sk4$>

On 6/15/2012 12:32 PM, Bill Rowe wrote:

>> Quoting the last paragraph:
>> "It'll probably be related to my goal in the next year or two of
>> making Mathematica definitively the world's easiest to learn
>> language..."

> I can accept this is Wolfram's goal and applaud their efforts to
> achieve it. However, I still think this is a goal unlikely to be achieved.


> It seems clear Wolfram has another goal as well for Mathematica
> which is for users to be able to do any computation they can
> think of in any field with Mathematica. To that end, the number
> of available functions has grown significantly with every
> release. Added functions generally increase learning difficulty
> if for no other reason than there is more to learn.

Not if the added functionality is all orthogonal to existing functionality.

> Also, if you look at Mathematica as a programming language and
> compare it to other programing languages such as BASIC, C++
> etc., it seems clear a key distinction is the ability to do
> advanced mathematics in Mathematica that cannot be done in other
> languages without writing a significant amount of code.

You are comparing it to the wrong languages if you want to compare
languages by their ability to do (symbolic) computation.

If you
> don't have a background in mathematics, how could you take
> advantage of this distinction?

You would probably not take advantage of these features.  If they
are orthogonal to what you want to write a program about, who cares?

> And if you aren't using the
> mathematical tools Mathematica offers, why use it over something
> like BASIC?

  Because Stephen Wolfram "invented" Mathematica and he did not invent 

>  Given the relative cost of a Mathematica license and
> a BASIC interpreter/compiler, it seems rather silly to invest in
> a Mathematica license and not use Mathematica's mathematics toolbox.

You miss the point.  Buying a Mathematica license contributes money
to SW.
> Mathematica may well become the easiest to learn language *for
> doing mathematics and advanced computation*.

I doubt that it will become any easier than it is now.

  But, I don't see
> Mathematica becoming the easiest to learn language for say
> creating web sites, games and a great many other things that are
> created using programing languages.

One could write, in Mathematica, a package that includes selections from
palettes and such, that could be used for constructing web sites, games, 

Such a package could also be written in other languages too.

Does WRI have the people who could design such a package that qualified
as "easiest to use"?  Is SW motivated to pay such people to produce
such a product? Maintain it?

The comparison would be with (say) Ruby, Python, PHP, and many older
languages that have been made web-aware.


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