Date: Dec 5, 2012 3:12 AM
Author: McHale, Paul
Subject: Pet peeve about version numbers of Mathematica


I recently installed Mathematica 9.0.0 and had the problems. This was quit
e unpleasant but I work with software people who understood. Things happen
. They asked for specifics, I explained I upgraded from 8.0.4 to 9.0.0 and
the problems were severe. Uninstalled 9.0.0 and the problems were gone.
Explained about the problem as WRI explained it. All is good.

A few days later the "new release" is out. Here is a conversation:

Me>> So, the new release of Mathematica is out. Should fix the problem. Will probably upgrade next week.
Software lead>> What is the new release number?
Me>> 9.0.0
Software Lead>> Wait (checks notes), OK, you mistakenly reported that as the problematic version.
Me>> That is correct.
Software Lead>> So you are changing windows to fix the problem?
Me>> They updated the release package but did not increase the revision number.
Software Lead>> If they are releasing two different items with the same reision number, what is their revision control? More of a guideline? (Pirate
of the Carribean)

Industry standard is you have to release different things with different revision numbers. As far as my boss is concerned, WRI appears to be non-programmers writing software. Not because of testing or bugs. But because revision numbers are free. Failure to follow propper version control sets off
alerts that there may be greater issues below the surface. Remember, my Mathematica copy competes with his C# programmers. Revision control is not
a trivial thing in defense engineering. Instead, it is yet another metric.



Paul McHale | Electrical Engineer, Energetics Systems | Excelit
as Technologies Corp.





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