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Bad error messages

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg14087] Bad error messages
  • From: David Epstein <dbae at>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 03:15:16 -0400
  • Organization: University of Warwick, UK
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

At Warwick University we have a site license for Mathematica which runs
off a license server. I don't know the details of how this works or
doesn't work, but the license server does seem to collapse quite
frequently. If I am using Mathematica when the license server goes
down, I get truly bizarre error messages. This was at first totally
puzzling and mystifying, particularly as the next time I ran the same
program everything would work perfectly.

When I wrote to support at about this (before I diagnosed the
reason for the difficulty), I got no response except an automated
acknowledgement that my email had been received.

It seems to me that WRI should revamp the error message system. If your
license is not valid, shouldn't the error message say this rather than
come out with arbitrary reports of failures of arbitrary aspects of the

David Epstein
University of Warwick

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