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Re: Sending an interrupt to the frontend?

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  • Subject: [mg127418] Re: Sending an interrupt to the frontend?
  • From: Michael Weyrauch <michael.weyrauch at>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2012 19:54:32 -0400 (EDT)
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  • References: <jtj5ro$5ml$> <juim3g$k9m$>


   if you just ask for responsiveness to a user interrupt, then I am 
fully with you. It bites me often that a calculation goes astray 
because I did not anticipate correctly what is going to happen. And no 
doubt, these are standard user errors which can not be avoided, and 
always happen...  to everyone. However, I would not call such behaviour 
an instability.

I once heard on a user conference John Fultz of WRI remark about this 
issue. WRI knows about that, and certainly would like to do something 
about that, I understand. However, from his remarks I also understood 
that this is not as easy as one might expect. I am not a system's 
programmer, and therefore not able to judge on that.


Am 23.07.2012 07:05, schrieb Ralph Dratman:
> Michael,
> I understand your point about "bad programming," but must respectfully
> disagree. I am only asking that the front end remain responsive to a
> user interrupt, no matter what else happens. It already has a very
> nice menu item to stop evaluation. Why should such a command ever
> fail, or be shown as disabled?
> This is not magic, but ordinary system-level programming. It may
> amount to just a few hundred lines of code, causing no loss of
> performance whatsoever. There are probably a dozen technical people at
> Wolfram who are perfectly capable of fixing the problem.
> Anyway, perhaps I am not being quite as harsh or negative as you
> think. A bit of direct talk is necessary in this case. I would not be
> writing anything at all if I did not like Mathematica as much as I do.
> Ralph
> On 19/07/2012 08:51, Michael Weyrauch wrote:
>>> Ralph,
>>>       I really would like to understand your critical remarks somewhat
>>> better.
>>> It is clear that one can easily and quickly run the frontend irresponsive.
>>> However, in most cases I know, this is actually due to bad programming
>>> (from Mathematica's point of view) rather than an instable product.
>>> One typical reason is that a command returns symbolic results where the
>>> programmer actually expected only numerical stuff, and quickly things get completely out of hand.  But how should Mathematica know that all this was not intended?
>>> It is the tremendous flexibility and the many possibilities which
>>> sometims get into the way, and as a consequence the frontend can not
>>> handle the output from the kernel any more.
>>> I really do not understand where you expect Wolfram to get "its act
>>> together". My experience tells me: A good Mathematica program may run
>>> for days without any instability. But my stupitidy and/or lasy
>>> programming can run it against
>>> the wall within seconds. Mathematica as such is definitely not unstable.
>>> (of course, sometimes there are bugs as with any other major (and minor)
>>> software).
>>> Michael

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