Date: May 17, 2013 4:34 AM
Author: Simons, F.H.
Subject: Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!

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 shift-F1
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 MINGW-compiler. 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 13-5-2013 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