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Is this a typical release cycle for MMA or are there more bugs than usual?

Posted 10 years ago

I have been evaluating MMA for use as an application platform and have been waiting for the functions in MMA10. However, the release of MMA 10 seems to be accompanied by a lot of bugs/problems/issues reported by the user community. I understand it is a large and complex system so so one might expect some bugs with each new release. That said, my questions to the long-time users are: Is this typical of recent releases cycles and, if so, how long does it typically take Wolfram to stabilize the new releases? Thanks in advance.

POSTED BY: Carl Lemp
4 Replies

An answer would be dependent on knowing what type of application because no single user knows all parts of Mathematica. My own interest is learning some modern mathematics and physics, writing Applications, and trying to learn how to best use Mathematica as a technical communications medium.

I don't see the bugs or "features" in Version 10 as being more or worse than in previous versions, and on the positive side there is a lot to like. I wish the principle core user interface would settle down and stabilize a bit more than it has. I'm not too fond of gratuitous changes to the core cascade style sheets because Application style sheets are built on them. I don't like it when useful features such as single word spell checking (or word completion) in Text cells is taken away, because it was very useful to people writing notebooks as communication documents.

I certainly will use Version 10 for my present Application work and the chances are it would be a good choice for your own work.

I am not quite sure whether the feeling that there are many problems with the new release reflects reality. There is, of course, a tendency to discuss things that don't work in a Forum like this one.

The core functions are unaffected. There might be some function that runs a bit slower, but across the functions are generally faster now. I have taught a university course last year where we used Mathematica for modelling. One objective was to introduce a large number of different functions/algorithms/approaches of Mathematica. Generally, the notebooks run without any problems. You have certainly seen that 700+ new functions have been added; also there is the cloud service and many other things. I suppose that some glitches can be expected. But that does not mean that you should expect larger problems with your old programs.

Regarding the release cycle there is a list on wikipedia:

  • Mathematica 1.0 (June 23, 1988)
  • Mathematica 1.1 (October 31, 1988)
  • Mathematica 1.2 (August 1, 1989)
  • Mathematica 2.0 (January 15, 1991)
  • Mathematica 2.1 (June 15, 1992)
  • Mathematica 2.2 (June 1, 1993)
  • Mathematica 3.0 (September 3, 1996)
  • Mathematica 4.0 (May 19, 1999)
  • Mathematica 4.1 (November 2, 2000)
  • Mathematica 4.2 (November 1, 2002)
  • Mathematica 5.0 (June 12, 2003)
  • Mathematica 5.1 (October 25, 2004)
  • Mathematica 5.2 (June 20, 2005)
  • Mathematica 6.0 (May 1, 2007)
  • Mathematica 7.0 (November 18, 2008)
  • Mathematica 7.0.1 (March 5, 2009)
  • Mathematica 8.0 (November 15, 2010)
  • Mathematica 8.0.1 (March 7, 2011)
  • Mathematica 8.0.4 (October 24, 2011)
  • Mathematica 9.0 (November 28, 2012)
  • Mathematica 9.0.1 (January 30, 2013)
  • Mathematica 10.0 (July 9, 2014)

Cheers,

Marco

POSTED BY: Marco Thiel

Thanks, the list helps. I can see that for MMA's very long history, it is never too long Wolfram releases fixes for major new releases.

POSTED BY: Carl Lemp

Also note that things are already being fixed. ThermodynamicData seems to work fine now: http://community.wolfram.com/groups/-/m/t/296525

I have read that WRI intend to provide smaller update on a very (!) regular basis. Make sure that the update feature is enabled in the preferences (which it is by default!).

M.

POSTED BY: Marco Thiel
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