
Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Posted:
May 17, 2013 4:34 AM


Like David Park and Raul Martinez, I am a user of Mathematica since version 1. Since I am (was) really very enthousiastic about Mathematica, in my courses on Mathematica that I regularly present to professionals who are going to use Mathematica or want to deepen their knowledge of this package, I had no problem in convincing them how powerfull and strong Mathematica is (was).
Now we have Mathematica 9. My feeling about this version becomes more and more negative. We have the problem with the sudden change of the default style between version 8 and version 9. Going back in version 9 to the style of Mathematica 8 is not bug free, so I, and the participants of my courses, have problems with the course material.
Mathematica 9 is very unstable. For me it is the poorest version that I have used since the frontend was added. In many of my notebooks, I cannot use simple commands like selecting a name and pressing shiftF1 for going to the help, or ctrl( for converting a selection to a mathematica formula. The result is that I get the message Mathematica 9 stopped working...
Last Tuesday I gave a course on interactivity in Mathematica. Mathematica 9 was running on 7 platforms. On at least 5 of them Mathematica had to be restarted during the course because of it started showing incorrect output. When things like this happen, I cannot recommend Mathematica to a potential new user ....
But what worries me most is my feeling that WRI seems not to be interested in producing a stable, reasonable bugfree release.
I read some examples in this thread. My personal example is that there is a bug in Mathematica with respect to the MINGWcompiler. That bug forces me to keep using Mathematica 8 for my applications that use compilation. The bug is found by WRI (good work!) and I was informed about it. But the bug is not repaired in the latest releases ...
Like many of you, I hope that WRI will lay their priority on the quality of the software, instead of on the number of included functions. Personally, I am very happy with the functions available in Mathematica 8.
Fred Simons Eindhoven University of Technology
Op 1352013 9:49, R Martinez schreef: > All, > > Count me as one who has been using Mathematica since Version 1, and who uses Mathematica for serious Mathematics and for teaching. Mathematica enables me to do things expeditiously that would take a tremendous amount of effort to do otherwise. So I love Mathematica. I wish I'd had it when I was in college. > > Having said that, I agree with many of David Park's comments, especially about the Front End and stability. I would like to see Wolfram Research pay attention to David's constructive criticisms. > > Adding my bit to David's comments about Front End stability, I'm one who complained about the new default notebook style that surfaced in Mathematica 9. The fonts and text color used in the new default style are ugly. Moreover, opening an old Mathematica 8 default notebook in Mathematica 9 changed all the fonts and colors to the new undesirable ones. I complained to Wolfram (apparently I was not alone) and a workaround was found by including the Mathematica 8 version notebook as a style that one has to select (as opposed to the default style). So Wolfram was responsive, but the lack of foresight remains: Why not reverse roles and include the new default notebook style as an option and keep the old one as default? This would address one aspect of stability that David eloquently describes. > > So yes, Wolfram, please pay attention to Mathematica and the effect changes on users, particularly the stability issue. Change is good, but it has to be done well. > > Raul Martinez > >

