Date: May 15, 2013 2:53 AM
Author: David Bailey
Subject: Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!

On 13/05/2013 08:48, Murray Eisenberg wrote:> Well put: "ephemera in 
ephemera out."
>
> 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.
>
................................

>> 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


I think there is a serious problem faced by many software developers who
have a stable product evolved over many versions.

They simply have to go on innovating, even if the changes don't make a
lot of sense - because otherwise, why should users pay for expensive
upgrades?

Many people prefer earlier versions of Microsoft Office, and a great
many people avoid Windows 8. I think there is a warning here for WRI.

I almost think there is a case for a clean-up version of Mathematica
that sorts out a whole variety of irritations (everyone probably has a
different list) such as:

1) No multi-level UNDO!

2) Glitches associated with the startup of Mathematica.

3) A review of the Dynamic system so as to make it really robust.

4) Not enough control of error messages (e.g. the cut off after 4
messages of a particular type).

etc.

Perhaps WRI should create that list of cleanup tasks by consulting its
user base!

After the cleanup version, it might make sense to pause for a while, and
just do bug fixes.

David Bailey
http://www.dbaileyconsultancy.co.uk