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Re: New Wolfram Tutorial Collection documentation is ready

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg99592] Re: New Wolfram Tutorial Collection documentation is ready
  • From: Bob F <deepyogurt at>
  • Date: Fri, 8 May 2009 00:19:49 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <gtnjm6$3ci$>

On May 4, 2:37 pm, John Fultz <jfu... at> wrote:
> On Sat, 2 May 2009 05:55:57 -0400 (EDT), Bob F wrote:
> > On Apr 30, 4:32 am, Bob F <deepyog... at> wrote:
> >> I got e-mail today from Wolfram saying that the new "Tutorial
> >> Collection" documents are ready for downloading of the PDF or HTML
> >> files, or purchase of the hardcopy. There are 23 volumes that take up
> >> about 354 MB if you downloaded them all (about 3668 pages according to
> >> Wolfram). I wonder if these are readable by any of the e-book readers
> >> like Kindle or the Sony or ??? If anyone knows please let us know ...
> >> I am sure this will be exciting nighttime reading ;-) You could buy a
> >> Kindle for the cost of these books. But will it or the Sony show them
> >> correctly??
> >> -Bob
> >> ps -- the URL for these is
> >>
> > collection/
> >> and apparently there are a few volumes that are not finished or they
> >> are out of stock, so if you want the printed volumes the website for
> >> purchasing them said there may be a 2-3 week delay for the few volumes
> >> that fall into this category (see
> >>
> > rial/?Qualifier=COMM&check=ISB...
> >> ) Also note that the hardcopy books are printed in black & white (not
> >> color like the PDF and HTML versions are).
> > I looked at one of the files (Visualization & Graphics) also, and
> > tried to do some copy/paste from both Acrobat and Preview on a Mac,
> > into Mathematica and it doesn't work very well. A simple line that
> > says in the PDF file:
> > Plot[Cos[x], {x,-Pi,Pi}]
> > comes out like this when pasted into some other program like this
> > Safari browser window)
> > Plot@Cos@xD, 8x, -Pi, Pi<D
> > and when copied from Mathematica Virtual Book comes out fine and is
> > pasted as:
> > Plot[Cos[x], {x, -Pi, Pi}]
> > so these files don't seem to be real useful if you want to extract
> > code examples. This seems rather weird as these are all normal ASCII
> > characters. So the Documentation Center & Virtual Book windows in
> > Mathematica are looking a like the way to go if you wish to do any
> > copying and pasting of code examples.
> > Also it does appear that these PDF files follow the same structure of
> > the Virtual Book from what little I did to compare, except that the
> > "How To" section is completely missing from the Visualization &
> > Graphics PDF volume I looked at.
> > In doing a little proofreading, I did notice a graphics that didn't
> > come out correctly in the PDF that is fine in the Virtual Book -- see
> > page 14 in the same "Visualization & Graphics" PDF volume -- the file
> > I am looking at does not show the curve, only the axis (this is the
> > plot right above the "Manipulating Options" title) that shows the
> > effect of modifying the PlotRange on the plot of the Cos curve just
> > above:
> > Show[%, PlotRange -> {{0, .005}, {.99999, 1}}]
> > So be careful of trusting these PDF files to have everything they
> > should.
> > I also tried Thomas M=FCnch's trick with removing the metadata on the
> > same Visualization & Graphics volume and it went from 138 MB to 28.1
> > MB on my Mac and also did not notice any differences in the few pages
> > that I compared side by side. I wonder if the big difference in the
> > sizes is due to Mathematica's tendency to not be very good at
> > optimizing PDF output?
> > -Bob
> Thanks for the various remarks.
> Concerning the file size issue, I've passed on the comments here to our
> document production team, and the issue is under investigation right now.
> Concerning copy/paste, this is due to the fact that the PDF focuses on be=
ing a
> high-fidelity visual representation of the in-product documentation.  S=
> inputs can contain typesetting, non-ASCII characters, etc., no attempt wa=
s made
> to convert them to an InputForm equivalent.  So these are StandardForm =
> which, among other things, use Mathematica fonts to represent characters =
such as square brackets.  I.e., the content of the PDF is exactly as Math=
ematica would
> display it on-screen or print it to the printer.  And, as you say, we d=
o have
> the in-product Virtual Book if you're looking for interactivity with
> Mathematica.
> Concerning the incorrect output, I'll pass that along to our document pro=
> team as well.
> Sincerely,
> John Fultz
> jfu... at
> User Interface Group
> Wolfram Research, Inc.


Your comments about Mathematica not dealing with "special" characters
makes perfect sense, but my example of


does not contain what I would call "special" characters (these are
simple 7-bit ASCII characters), so what constitutes a "special"
character as far as you or Mathematica is concerned?

I tried the same thing in another program and generated a PDF file
from it. I then tried to copy and paste from Preview and Acrobat Pro
from this generated PDF file into Mathematica and both cases worked
fine. So, Mathematica is definately doing something "behind the
scenes". Anything you could add to help users understand under what
conditions (are there even any?) Mathematica would ever do the "right"
thing when copying and pasting, or can we just assume that Mathematica
generated PDF's will ALWAYS be unable to do a correct copy/paste into



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