If Wolfram ever releases Mathematica for the iPad -- it has been demoed extensively over the last year or so -- the entire front end will need a major re-think.
While it may take a while, the changes needed to run in a single-window environment will inevitably filter over into the desktop version. We see this with the transfer of functionality from iOS to OS X.
In the past, there were alternate front-ends available. Theoretically, anyone could make a new front-end using MathLink. For earlier versions of Mathematica, the front end did a lot less, so there were both commercial and 'free' alternatives.
I do not see anyone taking on the task of replacing the front-end. However, it may be possible to build a specialized front-end for a specific task. I have thought about this during bouts of frustration trying to get Mathematica to do something it is not well suited for, but never followed through.
On Sep 4, 2012, at 5:46 AM, psycho_dad <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> No thank you, I prefer Mathematica the way it is for many reasons: > 1) New interfaces tend to have bugs and with Wolfram's history of dealing with bugs it might take a couple of versions to fix them all. > 2) There might be incompatibility issues with older code. I routinely use code I wrote back in 2005 and it still works. > 3) The FrontEnd in Mathematica 8 is *not* archaic but it's just perfect for what's supposed to be, ie a notebook interface. > 4) If something ain't broke, don't fix it! > > However, now that I think about it, I would indeed like tabs instead of separate windows for my notebooks. > > Cheers >