
From:  M. Edward (Ed) Borasky 
Subject:  Re: [Axiomdeveloper] Re: AMS Notices: Open Source Mathematical Software 
Date:  Mon, 26 Nov 2007 12:38:47 0800 
Useragent:  Thunderbird 2.0.0.9 (X11/20071031) 
William Stein wrote:
Whether or not a system can compete is determined by what actual real people really want and can afford when teaching or doing research. It's not at all clear to me that actual research mathematicians, teachers and engineers want what you're describing above more than the other options they will have available. In fact, I think it highly unlikely.
I can tell you what I want, but it's not something I think I'll ever see in my lifetime. I want a system that makes my research understandable as well as provably correct. I view what computational math will be in 20  30 years, assuming that the hardware keeps on its present growth path, as the ability to solve larger problems of the same kind we solve now.
As I already noted, I haven't used Mathematica at all and Maple only briefly in the context of paid work. I have, however, used Excel, Minitab, and R extensively there, and will be moving on to SPSS in the near future. None of these tools, with the possible exception of R, really cater to the concepts of "literate programming", or, as the R people call it, "reproducible research". The point, however, is that a reproducible research "compendium" or literate program has to be readable and understood by the people who pay the bills.
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