erik10

I have a degree in Mathematics and Physics from the Danish University Aarhus, comparable to a masters degree with thesis - majoring in Mathematics. In 1991-92 I was a visting scholar at UCLA, Los Angeles, following graduate courses in Applied Mathematics. Since 1992 I have been a teacher in a high school (gymnasium) in Denmark. Special interests: Applied mathematics, graphics and popularizing Mathematics.

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These are Posts that have been published by erik10

In the recent years much software has undergone a change towards allowing for better sharing of documents. As is the case with other software as well, the users are no longer mainly single persons sitting in a dark corner doing their own stuff. Luckily Maplesoft has taken an important step in that direction too by introducing MapleCloud some years ago. This means that it is now possible quite easily to discuss calculations done in Maple in the classroom. One student uploads and the Teacher can find the document seconds later on his own computer connected to a Projector and show the student's solutions for the other  students in the classroom. That's indeed great! Maple is however lacking in one important aspect: It's Graphics User Interface (GUI) is not completely ready to for that challenge! I noticed that quite recently when the entire teaching staff received new netbooks: 14 inch Lenovo Yoga X1 with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. From factory defaults text zoom was set to 200%. Without it, text would be too small in all applications used on the computer. The Microsoft Office package and most other software has adapted to this new situation dealing with high variation in the users screen resolutions, but not Maplesoft:

  1. Plots and Images inserted become very small
  2. Open File dialogs and the like contain shortened text for folder names ... (you actually have to guess what the folders are)
  3. Help menus are cluttered up and difficult to read.

I show screen images of all three types below.

I know it is possible to make plots larger by using the option size, but since it relies on pixels it doesn't work when documents are shared between students and teachers. You cannot expect the receiving student/teacher to make a lot of changes in the document just to be able to read it. It will completely destroy the workflow!

Why doesn't Maplesoft allow for letting documents display proportionally on the users computer like so many other programs do? Why do it need to be in pixels? If it is possible to make it proportional, it would also solve another issue: Making prints (to a printer or to pdf) look more like they do on the screen than is the case at present.

I really hope Maplesoft will address this GUI challenge, because I am sure the issue will pile up quite rapidly. Due to higher costs, most laptops/netbooks among students don't have that high resolution compared to computer dimensions at the moment, but we already have received a few remarks from students owning such computers. Very soon those highend solution computers will dive into the consumer market and become very common.

I have mentioned this important GUI issue in the beta-testing group, but I don't think those groups really are adapted to discussions, more bug fixes. Therefore I have made this Post in the hope that some Maple users and some chief developers will comment on it!
     

Now I have criticized the Maple GUI, I also feel urged to tell in what departments I think Maple really excels:

  1. The Document-structure is great. One can produce good looking documents containing 'written math' (inactive math) and/or 'calculated math'. All-in-one! Other competting software does need one to handle things separatly.
  2. Sections and subsections. We have actually started using Maple to create documents containing entire chapters or surveys of mathematics or physics subjects, helping students to get a better overview. I am pretty sure the Workbook tool also will help here.
  3. Calculations are all connected. One can recalculate the document or parts of it, eventually using new parameters. Using Maple for performing matematical experiments. Mathematical experiments is a method entering more into the different mathematics curriculums.
  4. MapleCloud. Easy sharing of documents among students and teachers.
  5. Interactive possibilities through the Explore command and other commands. Math Apps as well.
  6. Besides that mathematical symbols can be accessed from the keyboard, they can also be accessed from palettes by less experinced users.  
  7. Good choice by Maple to let the user globally decide the size text and math is displayed in Maple - set globally in the menu Tools < Options.
  8. Maple can handle units in Physics
  9. Maple has World-Class capabilities. If you have a mathematical problem, Maple can probably handle it. You just need to figure out how.
  10. etc.

 

Small plots:

 

Shortened dialog text:

 

Cluttered help menus:

 

Regards,

Erik

 

I am pretty new to programming in Maple and trying to learn the language. One thing I needed was how to handle lists in a specific way. I have used many hours on this issue now and even asked questions in the Questions section. Other users helped me with clever tricks and I am grateful for that. What is left is however a feeling that one need to know a lot of rather Ad Hoc commands to accomplish your tasks. I looked for operations in the ListTools package, going through all...

Dear Maple Users

I am mainly in favor of the new rules concerning subscripts. Using Ctrl+-- (double underscore) it is pretty straight forward to get a literal subscript and it displays much better in the palette Variables than was the case i Maple 16. Also the purple coloring of a variable containing a literal subscript makes sense, because it can be distinguished from the usual subscript (now Ctrl+shift+-). Good that you can remove the coloring in the View Menu (Atomic Variables...

Dear Maple users

I have had Maple creating graphics for me that I cannot do in other programs I have access to: 3D pictures of circle waves interferring or even the result of an interference pattern from a diffraction grating in Physics. But when it comes to simple animations, I am not all that impressed.

Basicly I have three complaints: 

a)  Maple seems to use a lot of space to save frame information, resulting in large filesizes.

Dear Maple Users

I have been testing Maple 16 for some time now, and I am overall very pleased with it. There is however one issue, which is really annoying. In previous version of Maple, images inserted into Maple and plots were printed much bigger than they looked like in the Worksheet. Then me and other users have requested to have the printed output look more like it does in the Worksheet on the computerscreen. Maple has adressed those user complaints in the new...

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