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Topic: Mathematica 9 for Windows
Replies: 10   Last Post: Dec 6, 2012 4:57 AM

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Murray Eisenberg

Posts: 2,105
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Mathematica 9 for Windows
Posted: Dec 6, 2012 4:56 AM
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Let the user choose!

By default, the new interface doodads -- autocompletion, Suggestions
Bar, and dynamic highlighting -- are enabled. And this is probably a
good thing for the new Mathematica user who just wants to start using
the system as quickly as possible without a long learning period.

The experienced user need only open Preferences/Options and on the
Interface tab uncheck the corresponding items.

In the case of autocompletion, there's even the option to leave it
enabled but set a popup delay.

For the new cell insertion point, the little + icon is hardly
distracting. In fact, to the unknowing eye, it merely suggests this is a
place where you can add some input. It's not until you click the + sign
that you see the choices, including free-form/WolframAlpha input.

And the + icons gives those who want it another way to insert a Text
cell without having to revert to the main menu or the keyboard shortcut

Perhaps there's a way to use the Option Inspector to turn off, too, the
+ icon at the new cell insertion point; I haven't discovered it yet.

I agree that it would be useful to have the choice of these interface
doodads readily available to unset or reset on a menu or a palette.

On Dec 5, 2012, at 3:13 AM, djmpark <> wrote:

> I'm concerned too. I think WRI is mashing and corrupting one of their
> primary assets, a clean notebook interface.
> The principle here is that a user should be able to obtain help WHEN

> WHERE HE ASKS FOR IT and not otherwise.
> The primary point in the interface is the new cell insertion point.

> should be completely unadorned. There should be nothing there until
> writer asks for it or types something. Similarly as a user types there
> should be nothing else unless and until he asks for it. The writer

> not be constantly presented with "in your face" requests for which the
> answers are overwhelmingly no.
> WolframAlpha is a nice feature but I think it would be only

> used in most notebooks. It can be obtained by using "=" as a
shortcut, or by
> typing WolframAlpha[...]. I don't see why it couldn't be added to the
> context menu. We don't need a constant little advertisement for it at

> primary point of interface. It's like walking into a store when you
> exactly what you want but first having to fend off a sales person
> you various items of information or specials and reappearing before
each new
> purchase.
> The Input Assistant at first seems like a good idea but it has a way

> turning into a huge dynamic distraction. I also find some difficulty
> completing the symbol entry, sometimes getting the wrong symbol and
> sometimes having to grab the mouse and click in the notebook. You may
> complete the command you want but the list will still be there needing

to be
> dealt with. Also, in the instructions when WRI says "Tab" I'm not
certain if
> they mean the arrow keys instead. Also the command completion
sometimes does
> not appear to work and other times does. The entire thing is a bit
> complex than is convenient. I think the pre-Mathematica 9 method was
> It only appeared by request, using Ctrl+K, and then often completed at
> point. If M9 gives a better context sensitive list of completions then
> could still be incorporated.
> Templates should be obtained only if one uses Ctrl+Shift+K. It is just

> easy to type that as it is to grab the mouse and click a temporary
> It appears now that in M9 WRI is obtaining the templates from the
> entries in the Function page Usage cell, with perhaps some method to
> additional ones. But they use this only in their in-house Build
process and
> don't yet make it available to developers. WRI really has to work on
> updating Workbench. I don't think it's been updated for over two

> Many of these things, including the Predictive interface, might be

better if
> they were on a context menu, always available but otherwise invisible.
> they might be buttons in the docked Toolbar at the top of the
> There seems to be plenty of room there and they might be more useful
> the justification buttons. One of the problems with Mathematica is the
> number of commands. Rather than writing code, I would think a more
> Predictive interface feature would be to give direct links to Guide
> that had routines related to the context of one's work.
> Keep the notebook interface clean, like a blank piece of paper, and

> beginners` aids to tutorials, context menus, optional Toolbars or
> David Park
> From: Arne Eide []
> So much about the (rare?) blue screens. Now I am more concerned about

> route Wolfram indicates with the new Mathematica version. Each
> version of Mathematica has represented important steps forward,
> well-known features and adding others. Even those versions that gave
> loads of work to do, rewriting older notebooks, have been appreciated,
> increasing the net benefit of the software. I am not equally

> about version 9 (up to now). Does it represent a turning point in the
> development of the Mathematica software? It seems to me that the

> of the Wolfram-Alpha ideas into the Mathematica environment is
changing the
> simple and attractive structure of Mathematica. Do we have to move
into the
> Math kernel shell to get back to the original Mathematica experience?
I hope
> you will maintain Mathematica as the unique tool it was and still is
and let
> Wolfram-Alpha develop alongside, maybe also as a first Mathematica
> experience. Co-existence instead of a pre dator-prey relation.
> Best regards,
> Arne
> On Monday, 3 December 2012 09:30:48 UTC+1, John Fultz wrote:

>> Some users who upgraded to Mathematica 9 for Windows have reported
>> encountering blue-screen system crashes. The system crashes seem to

>> be
>> caused by a Windows bug in handling how we update fonts, and can
>> potentially happen even when not running Mathematica (for example,
>> opening the Fonts control panel might cause a blue screen). The

>> only affects Windows machines which had older versions of Mathematica
>> installed.
>> The issue is rare and was not found during extensive internal and
>> external prerelease testing. However, we're taking the issue very
>> seriously, and we recommend that you don't install Mathematica 9 for
>> Windows until we can provide you with a patched installer, which
>> should
>> be available for download from in the next

>> days.
>> If you have already installed Mathematica 9 for Windows and have not
>> encountered this issue there is nothing you need to do.
>> If you have installed Mathematica 9 for Windows and have encountered

>> the
>> issue, you can find a solution for the problem here:
>> Or, feel free to contact Technical Support and they can help you walk
>> through deploying the fix.
>> We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
>> Sincerely,
>> John Fultz, Director of User Interface Technology
>> Arnoud Buzing, Director of Quality Assurance
>> Wolfram Research, Inc.


Murray Eisenberg
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts 413 545-2838 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street fax 413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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