Just a short rant about JavaFX because I’m pissed about it at the moment. I enjoy using it for the most part but it sometimes throws up surprising obstacles in otherwise routine work. The latest for me was an unexpected lack of a spinner control. There are alternatives in some open source projects, but, really? No spinners built in?
This is almost as gob-smacking weird as the lack of dialogs. (Ok, there are some dialogs, like for opening/saving files, but not much in the way of user-programmable dialogs built in.)
And don’t get me started about the odd placement of the run time library. It seems to change with every few releases. Always having to put in some kludgy version-dependent stuff to find the libraries.
Maybe it will all be fixed in version 8.
Many of the programs I write need a way to enter and edit a two-dimensional grid of data in the user interface. Such a grid doesn’t need to be a full-fledged spreadsheet, just provide flexible data entry and editing. Alas, there doesn’t seem to be such a thing and I haven’t created one that I’m satisfied with.
In some ways there are many similarities between Mathematica® and MATLAB®. From the simplest point of view, both are computer mathematics systems. I use both at work and, thus, am a wizard at neither. Let me expose my biases up front though. I like Mathematica enough that I have paid actual money to have a copy at home. With that bias in mind, let’s look at some of the differences.
Ever since Donald Knuth published “Literate Programming” back in 1984, I’ve been a fan. Telling a computer how to run a program and helping a human understand it are two different but very necessary things.