MathGroup Archive 2001

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  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg29509] PS.
  • From: "Orestis Vantzos" <atelesforos at>
  • Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 01:46:51 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: National Technical University of Athens, Greece
  • References: <9guo4t$nt8$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

PS. I have nothing against people who use Fortran,OK? I just think it should
be dead and buried by now...that would make my life as a (young)
mathematician much,much easier..

"Orestis Vantzos" <atelesforos at> wrote in message
news:9guo4t$nt8$1 at
> Many people post to this group with original ideas, some feasible, some
> some interesing, some not. Well, in any case original. It takes some
> discipline for the advanced users (pardon me the vanity to include myself)
> to really think about what the poor newbie says. And I am not talking
> the posts of the form "I have a problem, bla bla bla..." or "My
> has a bug, bla bla bla...", I am talking about the "Wouldn't it be
> nice/interesting/whatever, to do bla,bla,bla...". Better alternatives are
> ever so obvious, implementation weaknesses can be pointed immediately -
> basically the first impression is usually "what is this guy talking
> Mathematica is so vast and versatile,  that I think we don't have yet a
> grasp of its possibilities. So when people think of a weird way to do
> something and they post it in the best Mathematica implementation they can
> think of (which is probably not that good- Mathematica has a bitch of a
> learning curve), we beat each other to the keyboard to provide our code,
> often in the form of "the right code". Some among us even beat the
> newbie into pulp, rushing to show him just how pointless and reduntant his
> approach is. A clear point is made: "we don't need your thoughts, we have
> everything solved".
> Ponder this my fellow "Mathematica Gurus":
> A weird mathematician walks into a programmer's office and starts talking
> about a program with symbolic capabilities, that will provide a front-end
> with formitable typesetting and graphic features and will be based on
> functional and rule-based programming.
> The programmer listens to all this and says:
> "Your thoughts are foolish- we have fortran,C,linpack,whatever for
> mathematics and as for typesetting you have LaTeX And who would program
> RULES?! All the major software engineering projects are procedural/object
> oriented. You don't need it, it can't be done, it would be too slow, there
> are other programs that do the same thing, and so on and so on..."
> You get the picture, I suppose...originality IS immature; there is no
> way. It is not a local maximum, my friends - it is a departure from local
> maxima in search of greener pastures. So when you encounter it, pointing
> your local max won't help ;-)
> Handle it with care please...if some people didn't pursuit their "foolish"
> dreams, we would all be talking in the FORTRAN2K forum now.
> Orestis Vantzos

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