[plt-scheme] Mathematica v6

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 15 07:49:24 EST 2007

1. Give them credit: they acknowledge these languages exist.
Would you find these languages listed on Matlab's site?  No,
if they compared at all, they'd be taking potshots at Java, etc.
And why?  Because...

2. Mathematica genuinely did learn from these languages.
When Mathematica provides Map, they really mean Map as
God and Guy Steele (maybe not in that order) meant it.
When it provides unification, it means as God and Robinson
meant it.

Mathematica's problem is that "most advanced" in that phrase
is equivalent to "most complicated".  It's too darn hard to figure
out what the interaction of Prolog with Haskell with Scheme is,
and that's what you're up against in Mathematica (which a bunch
of advanced mathematical representations and algorithms thrown in).

I used to love programming in Mathematica as an undergrad.  Then
I noticed that I was writing my numerical analysis code in Scheme
and was actually just studying language feature interactions in Mma.
That's what made me realize something was wrong.  But I find it hard
to take exception with the intent of that comparison.  It's the extent
of it that is a mess.


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