Math software - was Re: Rich kids are into COBOL

Toby Thain toby at
Sat Mar 7 23:05:15 CST 2015

On 06/03/15 9:40 AM, 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.  ...

It certainly existed on SPARC, though... Mathematica was very widely 
ported because of the era it was born in - it supported just about every 
serious platform of the 1980s - I remember seeing price lists with maybe 
50 different ports, everything from SPARC to Mac to Cray (at the time I 
used it on Mac 68K and I have a license for NeXT).

Wolfram's pathologically proprietorial mentality doesn't support the 
spirit of openness that progress and science require; a tragedy when so 
many have sleepwalked into relying on his black-box tools ...


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