Date: Feb 14, 2013 2:09 AM Author: David Park Subject: Re: Stephen Wolfram's recent blog Can we answer here? That's what I'm going to do because it seems the better

venue and I don't have to type into a small box.

This raises a number of questions. What does "freely available" mean? Can we

expect a major change in the business model? And what does Stephen mean by "

the programming language of Mathematica ". Is it everything one types in a

notebook? Or just things that get sent to the kernel? How about things that

get sent to the front end? How about Text cells and Section headers?

The way I feel about it is: "We don't need no stinking programming

language!" Many of the employees at WRI need a programming language but why

do the users need one?

Instead of thinking of writing a computer program, why can't one think of

writing function definitions, equations, specifications (for a graphic or

table say, or for initial data), axioms (as Rules say) and other literate

forms of expression? I like to think of Mathematica as a piece of paper on

which we develop, write, and communicate ideas with a significant

mathematical or computational content.

So how about a name like MagicPaper because the piece of paper has rather

magical qualities, with its computational power, memory and access to a wide

spectrum of information? Or maybe CPR for Computational Paper with

Resources. It really does get to the heart of the matter. Maybe static

"Paper" is not quite right but Windows might annoy the Mac people and

Screens isn't too great. Anyway, paper was used to doodle, try out ideas,

calculate and do symbolic math, and communicate ideas and that's what we

want to catch.

I see people who write in "Mathematica" as ranging from those simply using

it as a graphical calculator, to those writing extensive scholarly works

(which I call Actomes for Active Tomes) that consist of books in the form of

a collection of notebooks, a number of packages with full documentation

(through Workbench unless WRI comes up with something better). These can be

wonderful things because they can act as a vehicle for exchanging ideas and

further development between authors and readers, or among groups of readers.

The other users are readers of such productions.

It doesn't seem quite right to try to isolate the "programming language"

part of this - or even think in the paradigm of programming.

David Park

djmpark@comcast.net

http://home.comcast.net/~djmpark/index.html

From: danl@wolfram.com [mailto:danl@wolfram.com]

Readers of comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica (MathGroup) might be interested in

the latest blog from Stephen Wolfram.

http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2013/02/what-should-we-call-the-language-of-m

athematica/

It raises the question of what to call the programming language of

Mathematica. I will quote from near the end:

"What should the name be? I'm hoping to get feedback on the ideas I've

discussed here, as well as to get new suggestions."

The Comments section has reached 66 as of the time of my writing this note.

And the blog is but a few hours old. Suggestions are solicited.

Daniel Lichtblau

Wolfram Research