Date: Aug 31, 1996 2:59 AM
Author: Deutscher
Subject: Native MMA FrontEnd for OS/2 eventually ?!


Hi,
I was wondering whether I am the only one who is upset by Wolfram
Research's aparent inability (or ignorance) to produce a native OS/2
FrontEnd for Mathematica.

As is, MMA/2 is quite stable and nice but the Frontend looks like
written by a summer student.

* The picture viewer handles fonts -- most interesting, to say it nicely,
it can't be hidden nor minimized and clutters the whole desktop.

* The notebook interface is still only available through the Windoze
version, i.e. one has to have either the OS/2 Win-OS2 subsystem
installed (which comes with some versions of OS/2) or real MS Windows,
and then one has to start the kernel as OS/2 process, Windows, the
Windows Frontend, and have the two communicate through tcp/ip with each
other. While it is nice that this is possible it is absolutely
rediculous to require Windows and tcp/ip support to be installed to use
all the features of MMA/2 -- on a notebook with limited HD and memory,
e.g., this can be next to impratical.

Apart from that the two interfaces (OS/2 and Windoze) are sufficiently
different to cause irritation, and last but not least, OS/2 is even more
stable w/o DOS and Windoze support installed (it then can be set to run in
protected mode only).

I sent email to them about it ages ago, no reply.

Their web site claimed that with the OS/2 version one could access
up to 1 GB of memory which seems odd since the current OS/2 implementation
doesn't allow more than 512 MB per process (for the sake of OS/2 1.x
backwards compatibility). It seems the OS/2 version was a quick-shot
market evaluation version, which, since it was produced as poorly as it
was, may not turn out to sell as wildly as hoped and "prove" the point
that there is no demand:

Well, we put out crap for OS/2, nobody (or: too few) bought it,
so there is no demand for crap/2, so we won't improve it.

I upgraded our Windows version a while ago to the OS/2 version which is
nice for batch runs, but I'd really like to have a native Frontend for it.

So -- is there any hope for a native version or does Wolfram Research
suggest that their customers who happen to use OS/2 check out the
offering of the competition, namely: Maple?

Kind regards from a rather upset physicist, Stefan A. Deutscher


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