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Mathematica: Replies Summary, Part 1 Birdie MacLennan 23 Jan 1992 02:40 UTC

Date:         Wed, 22 Jan 1992 11:04:25 LCL
From:         John Saylor <John_Saylor@QMRELAY.MAIL.CORNELL.EDU>
Subject:      Mathematica: Replies Summary, Part 1

On  Jan 16, 1992, I posted the following question to SERIALST, ELD-NET,
PAM-NET, SCILIB-L and the Mathematica Mailing List. I received 13
responses, which I've summarized in 3 parts <ed. note: the 3 part summary
is contained in 2 SERIALST messages>:

Part 1:  the original question (posted earlier).

Part 2:  brief summary of what I got from the responses for those of you
         who have too much to read.

Part 3:  full-text of the responses I got to the direct question.

Please note that I did get a great response from the editor of the journal,
Alan Zeichick (listed as the first response in Part 3). Thanks to all of
you who replied.  I think there is some opportunity for some kind of
collaborative effort to make these files available electronically in the 3
major formats so that every library in the country doesn't have to go
through the duplicating effort. I'd be very interested in other comments.

Part 1:  Original Question:

Has anyone else developed a scheme to deal with this issue?
We just received our first issues V1, 1991 of THE MATHEMATICA JOURNAL from
Addison-Wesley.  In addition to the paper subscription we ordered the
"Electronic Supplement" which will come with every issue.  (We ordered the
Macintosh version.  It also is available in DOS format, with plans for an
E-mail option for UNIX-based systems in the future.)

My dilemma is how to handle the Electronic Supplement to this journal. As I
see it there is a range of options:

1. Subscribe only to the printed version. Thereby eliminating the problem
of dealing with the supplement.

2. Subscribe to the supplement in one format, catalog it separately and let
it circulate for one day as the journal does.  In this case, the disk is
very likely to get damaged or infected after which we have to decide
whether to replace it or not.

3. Same as option 2, but when each new disk comes in duplicate it, save the
master and circulate the copy.

4. Copy each disk as it is received to a local server where it could then
be downloaded or used by individuals.

Each option has many issues associated with it.

Part 2:  Summary of Responses:

1. Five people recommended or said they are doing option #3 above in some
manner - copying the disk and circulating the duplicate, archiving the

2. Four recommended loading the software on a local server for some kind of
redistribution.  Two actually said they were doing this.  Alan Zeichick,
the Editor of the journal Mathematica, graciously responded and said,
"You can, if you want, post it to a local server, with one caveat.  My
request would be that, if you post the Electronic Supplement, that you do
it to a place where it's accessible _only_ to those people who have
physical access to _your_ paper copy of The Mathematica Journal." (His
complete response follows in Part 3, below)

3. One response mentioned receiving the paper copies in the library and
sending the disks to the computer person in the Math department, where
library users were sent when they asked for it.

Another intersting thing I found out is that Mathematica is now being
published by Miller-Freeman and not Addison Wesley. (see first response in
Part 3)

Part 3:  Full-Text of Responses received:

1.  From:  Alan Zeichick, Editor The Mathematica Journal

Our goal with the Electronic Supplement is to enhance the usefulness of The
Mathematica Journal.  Therefore, I'd suggest option 3 -- make a copy of
the floppy disk, and circulate the copy.  If physically you remove the
write-enable tab, by the way, you'll reduce the possibility of virus
infection, and accidental damage to the disk.

You can, if you want, post it to a local server, with one caveat.  My
request would be that, if you post the Electronic Supplement, that you do
it to a place where it's accessible _only_ to those people who have
physical access to _your_ paper copy of The Mathematica Journal.

It's not currently our intent to make the Electronic Supplement available
by anonymous FTP. However, we are exploring options for making the
Supplement available in formats other than Macintosh and DOS 3.5-inch disk.

 (and more from Alan re. the publishing change):
For those who haven't heard, Miller Freeman Inc., a San Francisco-based
computer-magazine publishing company, purchased The Mathematica Journal
from Addison-Wesley Publishing in December.  I have replaced Silvio Levy as
Editor; Silvio has agreed to remain a part of the Journal team as a member
of its advisory board.

Our intention is to publish the Journal with about the same content, and no
loss in quality, but a little more often -- a solid four times per year.
The next issue (Vol. 2, No. 1, the fifth issue of the Journal) is now
off-press; most of you should receive it by the end of January.  The one
after that (#6) is scheduled to be off-press sometime in May, and then
about every three months thereafter.

Some of you may _not_ have received Vol. 1, No. 4, even though you paid for
an annual subscription.  If that's the case, no problem: the _best_ thing
to do is call Craig Johnson, the chief Customer Service Rep for the
Journal, at 415-905-2376, and he'll send one out.  You can send me e-mail,
but since I'm rarely in the office, it'll take a little longer to
straighten things out.

Please note that Addison-Wesley is _still_ publishing Stephen Wolfram's
"Mathematica, 2nd Edition" book, as well as all their other Mathematica
book titles.  We have only assumed the Journal, not their Advanced Book

(Also note that Miller Freeman Inc. is totally unrelated to New York-based
W.H. Freeman and Company, who published Stan Wagon's excellent "Mathematica
in Action.")