Rich kids are into COBOL

Jonas Otter jonas at
Sat Mar 7 07:18:22 CST 2015

On 2015-03-06 15:40, Mouse wrote:
>>>> one other, which you may or may not classify as a ¿language¿, is
>>>> Mathematica.
>>> I don't know enough about it to offer an opinion [...]
>> I've been using Mathematica for years.  [...]  I've also used MatLab
>> which also falls somewhat into that category.  MatLab is is really
>> optimized around vectors and arrays.
> That might be more similar to APL, then.
> This has been rattling around in my mind for a little while now and I
> think one reason I didn't think of things like Mathematica or Matlab is
> that they're single-implementation.  Most of the things normally
> thought of as programming languages are more or less independent of
> their implementations, with multiple independent implementations.
> Things like Mathematica, while they certainly can be seen as languages,
> have only one implementation, often have an imprecise (or no!) spec
> beyond "what the implementation does", and sometimes even come from
> vendors who think they own the language somehow, throwing around
> lawyers if anyone else tries to create an independent implementation.
> (I don't know which, if either, of those applies to Mathematica
> specifically, but I _have_ seen examples of each.)  This makes them
> less useful; for example, even if I were willing to run someone else's
> binary, I doubt Mathematica exists for NetBSD/sparc 1.4T.
> /~\ The ASCII				  Mouse
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There is also SageMath, which is open source, written in Python. It is 
available as source code or as downloads for Linux. There is also a 
VirtualBox appliance for Windows (you need to install VirtualBox).

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