As a possible, simple-minded explanation of what WRI is up to: surely they're faced at any given time with a given customer base. To gain new customers, they need to add new areas of applicability, whether through adding them directly to Mathematica or by creating new Mathematica-based products.
On May 12, 2013, at 3:28 AM, djmpark <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> (I've renamed this and started a new thread because my reply is not exactly > to the question.) > > Oh, what a wonderful Wolfram blog! Earlier Stephen hinted at Mathematica as > an iPhone app. Now it's data mining Facebook data (Gee I wonder if > Zuckerberg has thought of that? He might be able to develop a great business > model.) Can Twitter be far behind? There are many significant mathematical > equations that will fit into 64 characters - or whatever the limit is. > Ramanujan would probably have done well on Twitter. And women are more > interested in personal relationships and men are more interested in sports? > Who would have thought? The average person on Facebook has 342 friends! Well > there are friends and there are friends. Montaigne wrote that his friendship > with Etienne de La Bo=E9tie was such that "So many coincidences are needed to > build [it up] that it is a lot if fortune can do it once in three > centuries." One might say, ephemera in ephemera out. > > For the dwindling few of us who still have desktop computers and large > screens, or maybe two large screens, who are interested in learning or doing > some extended mathematics, and the even fewer who would like to write > literate Mathematica notebooks as technical documents, I wonder if Stephen > could find some time to attend to basic Mathematica, fixing its problems and > fulfilling its vision? > > Mathematica lacks stability. Things that worked fine in one version don't > work in the next. Especially troubling to me is the basic user interface. > This got much worse in Version 9 with outright bugs that are in your face > all the time. For example: often if I click in an existing Input cell and do > a line return the Messages window opens with a contact WRI if this happens > message. Or if one clicks after a word in a Text like cell and uses Ctrl+K > for spell checking the message window again opens with a similar message. I > like to use spell check a lot so this is especially annoying to me. I don't > see why WRI couldn't have fixed these problems by now. (Or introduced an > actually useful feature to spell check a selection such as a Text cell or a > Section.) > > The Version 9 command completion feature, which used to be great, no longer > works well. I have turned off the auto completion feature but what is left > still does not work as well as the Version 8 behavior. For example, if one > types: > > Carm > > and then uses Ctrl+K to complete the command, there is only one choice, > CarmichaelLambda. In Mathematica 8 the symbol would be automatically completed and the cursor would be left at the end of the word. But now it brings up a menu, > even though there is only one choice, and one must click the menu. But you > are not finished yet! No there is another menu (somewhat displaced so you > may miss it), which is the equivalent of Ctrl+Shift+K and which we could > have done if we wanted, so one must by-pass that by clicking at the end of > CarmichaelLambda to get back to the normal typing entry. That's two extra > clicks added. You might say that's not much, but when it's at the basic > entry point for material in a notebook it is a lot. > > One has to wonder how many parsers there are in Mathematica for kernel, > front end, packages, workbench and how their behavior shifts around between > versions? Can one copy and paste an expression without its underlying > representation changing? I suspect this may be a nagging underlying source > of instability. > > I realize and appreciate that WRI continues to add new capabilities to > Mathematica and this inevitably results in learning and stability problems. > There could be better design efforts on these things and more professional > testing so the designs would stick and work well. Progress might be slower > but it would be surer. > > Doing mathematics is not social media. It's not done that well on an iPad. > And iPhone, iPad technology is not necessarily appropriate for Mathematica. > People do not want to scroll two 25" screens with their hands. Just ask > Microsoft. > > Mathematics and Mathematica are intrinsically difficult enough as it is. > That makes it all the more important that WRI present users with a stable, > robust, easy to use basic interface. WRI had not done the best job they > could at this and not what one would expect for a relatively expensive > product. > > > David Park > email@example.com > http://home.comcast.net/~djmpark/index.html > > > From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] > > > I'm interested in making word cloud graphics, as demonstrated in the recent > Wolfram Blog post > http://blog.wolfram.com/2013/04/24/data-science-of-the-facebook-world/ (near > the end of the post). Does anyone have a function that will do this? > > Thanks, > > Bob >
--- Murray Eisenberg firstname.lastname@example.org 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