Announcements about MaplePrimes and Maplesoft

Important new updates are now available for Maple T.A. 6.  These updates improve performance and stability in areas related to the gradebook, assignment editor, question repository, course module import, and Blackboard and MapleNet integration.

In addition to these improvements, Maplesoft has also released language packs for French and Traditional Chinese. These language packs are a result of the new translatable interface in Maple T.A. 6. If your institution requires...

A new version of the Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite is now available.  The latest release includes a new Calculus Concepts Readiness Test, based on modern research into calculus assessment. It also includes performance improvements when dealing with large student populations, and tools for integration with Moodle™ and other course management systems. To learn more, visit What’s New in PTS 6

I just updated MaplePrimes to have a Print-Specific CSS file that fixes a bug in Firefox that was stopping more than one page printing. This also improves the quality of printouts for all browsers because it removes the sidebar, footer and header links. It also extends the main content to take up the whole width of the page.

You will only see this change when printing a page from Primes, it does not change the appearance of the site when browsing normally.

We just published an update to MaplePrimes that dramatically decreases the load times for thread pages. The improvement comes from not including the Comments or Branch information in the initial page load. Instead, the comments and branches are loaded via JavaScript after the initial page load. We are also loading the right hand sidebar of the site using JavaScript, so the size of each page is much smaller. Your browser will cache the sidebar and only reload it when new information appears there.

In our experimentation, we find that thread pages load considerably faster especially for pages with many comments. Also, and added bonus of serving the sidebar via JavaScript means that the Google spider will no longer include the sidebar content in its index, so this issue will be resolved.

The Popular Post and Popular Question badges require 1000 different people to view the Post or Question. A number of Posts and Questions show that they have over 1000 views, but their creators haven't received the badge. This is because the count currently displayed includes all views of the page, including repeats from the same Member or IP address.

I just published an update that now allows you to hover over the view counter and have the number of unique viewers appear in a tooltip. This should be useful for people curious to see how close they are to earning those two badges.

I have just published a new update to MaplePrimes. This fixes a number of issues and ads a couple of new features.

  • Autocompletion of tags now works. When you are typing a tag in, a list of possible completions appears, you can click or arrow down to select one of these tags.
  • We have added a new Products list. This shows all Maplesoft products that have Posts or Questions associated with them. This link has been added to the top bar, the Tags link has been moved to the "More" drop down. 
  • The ordering on the Recent pages has been fixed to sort by last action date descending.
  • You can now view tags such as 2Dmath
  • Paging has been fixed for many sections of the site including the tag details page
  • If you choose to upload files when editing an item, the new file will now work correctly.
  • If you choose to convert your Comment into an Answer, you now have the ability to choose the correct parent for that comment.

I just fixed several of the MaplePrimes badges. Two of the badges, 2-Dimensional and Historian weren't being awarded when they should have been. This has been fixed, and now two people have earned the 2-Dimensional badge, and 91 people, the Historian badge.

I also updated the text for the "Popular Post" and "Popular Question" badges. They both now state that the question needs to be viewed by over 1000 people. The number that is displayed at the bottom of Posts and Questions is the total number of views, so refreshing the page counts as another view. To earn the badge, 1000 unique IP addresses need to view your Post or Question. There are several items that have almost 500 unique visitors thus far, so in a couple of weeks, the first people will start earning these badges.

I've just published an update to MaplePrimes that fixes a few minor bugs and adds one new feature:

  • Your Bio is now displayed on your profile page. This can be edited on your edit profile page
  • The paging between Answers, Questions and Posts on a user's profile is now working.
  • The rendered image from the 2-D math button is now up 300px wide, which should cause most math to appear better.
  • When creating a post, the date is now stored correctly instead of 4 hours off as it was before.
  • The "Mark Page as Read" button now works on the Recent tab.

From the outset, the goal of MaplePrimes was to provide the Maple & MapleSim user communities with a platform to ask questions, share knowledge and to collaborate with other users.  And for the most part, the site has exceeded these goals.  Since its inception in 2005, we have received tens of thousands of posts from over 10,000 members, and we are privileged to have accumulated a group of dedicated, knowledgeable users who have become the heart of this community.

I thought that some of you would be interested in Tom Lee's latest blog post at regarding MapleSim 4, and what it means to both Tom and Maplesoft.   As always, your comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

You can read his post here.

Last week, I announced that the new MaplePrimes was going to be launched this week. Unfortunately, that won't be the case. The reason is that we will be powering the search on new Primes with our Google Mini. Unfortunately, the influx of all of the new Primes content and online help content caused us to fill up the hard drive on the server that Maplesoft currently owns.

The MaplePrimes community continues to provide very helpful feedback about how well the product is working (and how well it isn’t!).  Thank-you.  We always appreciate your taking the time to report these problems so we can make our products better.  Maple 14 includes several fixes that were made specifically in response to reports made from MaplePrimes, including improvements in:
•    Polygon plots
•    StringTools
•    fsolve
•    Density plots
•    Operator overloading
•    Typesetting involving mods in 2-D math
•    Extensions to DocumentTools[Do] for programmatic refresh of components
•    Searching online help

We've been working hard on the brand new version of MaplePrimes over the last few months. I am glad to announce that the new version will be launching publicly next week. The new site fixes many of the requests we've received from MaplePrimes users over the years, and adds new features that we think will make the new site easier to use, and a better way to get and share information about Maple and MapleSim.

Home Page

I am happy to let you know that we have just released Maple 14 and MapleSim 4.

Maple 14 provides access to the new MapleCloud Document Exchange, which gives you an easy way to share your work with your colleagues, your students, and the entire Maple community. Other new features include more mathematics for engineering applications; performance improvements; the Maple Toolbox for MATLAB®, which is now included with Maple 14; a new numerical differential equations solver, the Cash-Karp pair; an enhanced point probe for 2-D plots; more task templates; and the ability to execute Maple documents programmatically. To name a few. See What’s New in Maple 14 for more information, and to watch a movie about the MapleCloud.

MapleSim 4 comes with a new 3-D construction environment for multibody modeling, which lets you build, visualization, and interact with a 3-D representation of your model. It also provides flexible probe management tools, a new semi-stiff solver, new components, and an enhanced Project Manager feature which organizes subsystems, probes, and attachments. For the full list, and to see a movie showing the new 3-D construction environment, see What’s New in MapleSim 4.

Maple T.A. 6 is now available. It includes connectivity with Moodle™, a popular open source course management system. It also includes a new web services API, so you can integrate TA with other course management systems, include custom-built solutions. And of course, the Maple T.A. Connector for Blackboard Software® has also been updated to work with Maple T.A. 6. Other new features include a translatable interface for international language support, increased performance, and an enhanced question repository.

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