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WalterSchrabmair Bronze 85 posts since
Jun 21, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 11, 2011 11:12 AM

MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

Hi friends,

well I just must realize, that Prime is a step backward. One the one hand important functions are missing and on the other hand all the experts out in the communities who has Mathcad 14/15 can not work with the MathCad Prime worksheets as it is not backward compatibility.

I think PTC must improve PRIME  quite a lot, as now the userbility is other but not better. Where is the useful collabsable region feature in Prime?

comments are welcome.

 

Walter

  • MikeArmstrong Diamond 4,505 posts since
    Dec 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 11, 2011 11:17 AM (in response to WalterSchrabmair)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back
    Hi friends,

    well I just must realize, that Prime is a step backward. One the one hand important functions are missing and on the other hand all the experts out in the communities who has Mathcad 14/15 can not work with the MathCad Prime worksheets as it is not backward compatibility.

    I think PTC must improve PRIME  quite a lot, as now the userbility is other but not better. Where is the useful collabsable region feature in Prime?

    comments are welcome.

    Most users are well aware that it will take a few versions of Prime until it reaches the same level as previous versions of Mathcad.

     

    You are correct, collapsed regions are not included in Prime 1.0 along with many other features which I currently use, but expected to be included in Prime 2.0. IMO I believe Prime has targeted new Mathcad uses, not current users. I personally will not be fully converting to Prime for a while.

     

    Mike

  • MikeArmstrong Diamond 4,505 posts since
    Dec 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jan 11, 2011 11:45 AM (in response to WalterSchrabmair)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    When you purchase Prime you also receive a copy of Mathcad 15

     

    Mike

  • RogerMansfield Bronze 55 posts since
    Aug 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jan 11, 2011 12:47 PM (in response to MikeArmstrong)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    Mathcad Prime 1.0 has most of the functionality of Mathcad 15, in the sense that it has most of the functions (curve fitting, numerical integration and ODE solving, Design of Experiments, etc.), to include programming. The user interface (UI) is now a ribbon toolbar similar to what Microsoft introduced with Office 2007 -- that takes some getting used to. In addition to not having collapsible regions, Mathcad Prime 1.0 does not have 3D plots, symbolics, Math Styles, nor animation.  Experienced users need to have patience. Whether or not you accept/like the ribbon toolbar, it seems that Mathcad Prime and its UI are the future of Mathcad. Yes, as Mike notes, it will take several releases (2.0, 3.0, ...) to get everything in. But I think it would be a mistake to wait.  Here's my own plan (and Rx): 1. Start/continue learning Mathcad Prime now. 2. Take the tutorials. 3. Identify some of your simpler worksheets and convert them with the Mathcad 15-to-Mathcad Prime 1.0 worksheet converter (I think the converter is pretty good). 4. Note the features you need that are not implemented yet, prioritize them, and let PTC know via PlanetPTC. 5. Continue working with Mathcad 15 in the meantime. This will help to relieve anxiety about features that Mathcad Prime does yet not have, that you really need.

  • MikeArmstrong Diamond 4,505 posts since
    Dec 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 11, 2011 2:00 PM (in response to RogerMansfield)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back
    But I think it would be a mistake to wait.  Here's my own plan (and Rx): 1. Start/continue learning Mathcad Prime now. 2. Take the tutorials. 3. Identify some of your simpler worksheets and convert them with the Mathcad 15-to-Mathcad Prime 1.0 worksheet converter (I think the converter is pretty good). 4. Note the features you need that are not implemented yet, prioritize them, and let PTC know via PlanetPTC. 5. Continue working with Mathcad 15 in the meantime. This will help to relieve anxiety about features that Mathcad Prime does yet not have, that you really need.

    I am right with you on this one. I am very pleased with some of the features in Prime, especially the mixed unit tables and the compatibility of Prime - Excel. The problem I have is that Prime has not included some very basic features.

     

    • Collapsed areas for one - We have many worksheets which have been developed over the years in Mathcad and are setup in a way where the calculation can be run and the results displayed without giving the client too much information - by using collapsed areas.
    • Page borders - This might sound pedantic, but when I'm working on a design project I like to have all my calculations setup the same way. Prime 1.0 doesn't have borders included and therefore I will not change. Writing that makes me feel like a moaner

     

    I'm not sure on your opinion, but I'm not a fan of the new ribbon. I liked the way Mathcad was different from the Microsoft software packages.

     

    Mike

  • A.Non Diamond 10,280 posts since
    May 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jan 11, 2011 2:06 PM (in response to RogerMansfield)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    In addition to not having collapsible regions, Mathcad Prime 1.0 does not have 3D plots, symbolics, Math Styles, nor animation. 

    Nor any components, math in text regions, global assignments....; 2D graphs are not as versatile, non of the handbooks, or their functions, are available, etc etc.

     

    But I think it would be a mistake to wait.  Here's my own plan (and Rx): 1. Start/continue learning Mathcad Prime now.

    In my case, and I think this will be true for many other current Mathcad users, that is not practical. Prime 1.0 is missing so many things it is almost guaranteed that for any given project I will want or need something that it is missing. If I could reliably convert a worksheet from Prime 1,0 to Mathcad 15 perhaps that would be a minor issue, because I could just switch to Mathcad 15 when I hit a roadblock (this was my approach to the introduction of SUC in version 12, the MuPad symbolic engine in version 14, etc). However, such a conversion is not even possible, let alone reliable. So there is no way I am going to work in Prime, knowing that there is a >95% chance I will just have to do everything again in Mathcad 15 later.

     

    As Mike says, Prime 1.0 is really aimed at new users. They are not nearly as likely to want most of the missing features as an experienced Mathcad user is.

     

    I will play around with Prime 1.0, but mainly so that I can start to learn it a little before a useful version arrives, and so that I can get my 2 cents in about what needs to come next.

  • A.Non Diamond 10,280 posts since
    May 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jan 11, 2011 2:18 PM (in response to MikeArmstrong)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back
    I'm not sure on your opinion, but I'm not a fan of the new ribbon.

    I hate it. Passionately. It makes many operations that were a single click on an icon, or a right click to get a context sensitive menu, into operations that require two or three clicks. Assuming you can even remember where a particular icon is, because if you can't then it's time to go on a hunt-and-peck search through the various tabs and drop down lists. And there are no pop-up tool tips, so if you forget which operator is which then it's off to the help file....

  • RogerMansfield Bronze 55 posts since
    Aug 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jan 11, 2011 9:21 PM (in response to A.Non)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    Mike and Richard,

     

    I don't care for the ribbon, either, for all the reasons that you "diamond guys" detailed. But I have tried to take heart in the fact that Mathcad Prime worksheets do really look nice, and I like the way regions snap to the grid. I, too, will still continue to construct most of my new worksheets in Mathcad 15. But I plan to invest a lot of time, too, becoming proficient in Mathcad Prime 1.0, and lobbying PTC (my 2 cents) to put the missing Mathcad 15 features in subsequent releases of Prime. I know you guys will, too. BTW, most of my really useful worksheets, like yours, are too complicated for other-than-customers to want to look at -- not good candidates for Prime. But I really do work at trying to produce occasional short, tutorial worksheets that illustrate concepts from the calculus and DEs. These kinds of worksheets are good candidates for Prime, and it feels good (it is therapeutic) to create them.

     

    Roger

  • ValeryOchkov Platinum 6,157 posts since
    Sep 26, 2008

    Mathcad Prime is one step back (1.0) and two steps forward (2.0)... I hope!

  • ViktorKorobov Silver 235 posts since
    Jun 3, 2007

    Vladimir Ilyich Lenin about Mathcad Prime 1.0: "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back".

  • A.Non Diamond 10,280 posts since
    May 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jan 12, 2011 4:57 AM (in response to RogerMansfield)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    I agree that Prime has some nice features, and in version 2 it will hopefully have more. And although I really dislike the ribbon it would not stop me from using it. What stops me from using it is the combination of two things: it is lacking features I need, and I cannot save the file back to MC15 format. The latter, to me, is a huge hole in the product. Apart from the fact that I can't convert a Prime sheet to a MC15 sheet for my own purposes (i.e. when  I hid a roadblock in Prime) I have one customer that has MC14. So if I develop in Prime I can't send them the work they paid for, except as a pdf!

     

    Prime is the way formard, but it's going to be at least version 2, and probably version 3 (or 4?) before it's of any real use to me.

  • ptc-1371556 Copper 15 posts since
    Oct 2, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Jan 12, 2011 4:59 PM (in response to WalterSchrabmair)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    Hi

     

    I think you guys are being too nice about the Prime product.  What is wrong with a bit of honesty and realism.

     

     

    I have spent only a short time (perhaps 2 -3 hours) trialling it on fairly simple tasks.  Just a few quick comments:

     

    1.     The user interface is cumbersome and slow.  Much mousing is needed to continually go to the ribbon, click a tab to choose a group task, then click again to select a particular item to insert into the worksheet.  Writing up a worksheet will frequently take 3 clicks.  There are no other toolbars / palettes as in Mathcad (or other products) which were implemented purely to improve the usability of the product.  Doing anything in Prime will be hugely frustrating to write anything more than a 1 -2 page worksheet.  Writing many pages of programming etc would be really inefficient of the user's time.  The user's interface is essentially unusable.

     

    2.     The mouse is not correctly configured.  Simple example.  You write a variable name into the worksheet.  You then try to select it and copy to paste into another part of the worksheet.  Normally you try to do this by selecting it, right mouse click and copy but this does not work.  This is standard mousing protocol in just about every piece of software on a PC and has been so for many years.  Instead the user is forced to go to the ribbon to copy (possibly three clicks away) and then ironically, you can use the right mouse button to paste.

     

    3.     I experimented with the 2D graphs such as axis limits etc.  The 2D graphs do not always display correctly.  There were even a couple of times my computer locked up and I had to re-boot the computer.  I regard the 2D graph as being buggy and unreliable.

     

     

    Text blocks are a good idea and seem to work OK, but then I did not really check that or other features as my opinion of Prime shifted from hopeful to dismay that this software release was so inadequate.  I did not want to waste any more time on Prime as I realised it was not ready.  I know PTC have stated Prime is still short of a lot of really important features in Mathcad, but there are problems in what has been implemented to date.  In my opinion, Prime should not be released at this stage as I suspect it will get hammered by its competition.  I regard Prime as still being in the prototype phase.  Who does PTC think will use this product?!

     

     

    It appears PTC has decided to devote its resources to Prime.  It seems likely it will take a long time before Prime is a properly functioning product.  It may well be an excellent product by that time.  But my concern is the existing Mathcad line, which I still believe could be improved with not much effort given the many practical suggestions over the years from the collaboratory, will stall on the sidelines.  So current Mathcad users may see no change to their existing product for a couple of years.  This is a long time to wait in any software market as the mathematical programmes out there continually improve, as they have done for the last few years.

     

     

    I really like the Mathcad product, I have used it for 7 years now and I still believe it has enormous potential.  But I am really disappointed in the overall situation now.

     

     

    Are my comments above too hard?  No.

     

     

    Regards

     

     

    David

  • RogerMansfield Bronze 55 posts since
    Aug 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Jan 12, 2011 10:08 PM (in response to ptc-1371556)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    Yes, I think we have all tried to be nice. Your comments are not "too hard" -- they are well thought out, and thankfully very civil. I'm not with PTC, yet I can assure you that your criticisms will be noted and acted upon. I have watched Mathcad evolve and have participated in its evolution for a long time (I don't want to date myself, nor do I want to come off as "bragging"). The transition from Mathsoft to PTC has been difficult. There were some times when I really considered not upgrading. But things have gotten a lot better in the last two years.  Jakov has stated PTC's goal that Mathcad Prime 3.0 be able to replace Mathcad 15. That's about two years away. O.K., let's assume that this goal is met. Are you going to wait two years and then all of a sudden pick up on Mathcad Prime? If you were shocked by your first look at Mathcad Prime 1.0 now (I think you were, and understandably so), think what a shock you would get two years from now.  What I think you will do (based upon the care that you took in writing up your criticisms), is that you will devote more time to learning more about Mathcad Prime 1.0. To the point where you will find some things to like. Because you don't want to give up on Mathcad -- you care about its future. I myself believe that Mathcad Prime is Mathcad's future. I also believe that honest, constructive criticism such as you have just voiced will help to shape that future. P.S. Consider volunteering to be a tester for Mathcad Prime 2.0. Just a thought.

  • A.Non Diamond 10,280 posts since
    May 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Jan 13, 2011 6:42 AM (in response to ptc-1371556)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back
    I think you guys are being too nice about the Prime product.  What is wrong with a bit of honesty and realism.

    I didn't think I was being that nice

     

    Perhaps the fact that we were not nastier is because many of us knew was was coming in Prime 1.0, so there was no shock when we saw it. We also know about the road map for Prime, and that the end goal is to make is as capable as MC15. The general aspects of that road map, although perhaps not the details, are public knowledge. I get the impression that you were not aware of what Prime was going to look like until you fired it up, which must indeed have been a shock!

     

    It appears PTC has decided to devote its resources to Prime.  It seems likely it will take a long time before Prime is a properly functioning product.  It may well be an excellent product by that time.  But my concern is the existing Mathcad line, which I still believe could be improved with not much effort given the many practical suggestions over the years from the collaboratory, will stall on the sidelines.  So current Mathcad users may see no change to their existing product for a couple of years.  This is a long time to wait in any software market as the mathematical programmes out there continually improve, as they have done for the last few years.

    I have not been specifically told this, but I tihnk it is safe to assume that there will be no Mathcad 16, ever. There may be some more patches for version 15 (which will be supported until Prime is ready for the mass migration), but the future is Prime, and you are correct that almost all the resources are going into that product. So if, like many of us, you want to stick with Mathcad then you have a couple of options:

     

    Plan A: Go into a holding pattern with MC15 until Prime 3.0 is ready (I think at least 2 years)

     

    Plan B: The same as Plan A, except that, as Roger suggests, you use Prime at least a little, and throw in your 2 cents worth to try and make sure that when we get Prime 3.0 it is actually what we want.

     

    Most of us have gone for plan B. It has the added benefit that when we see the next version of Prime we will not fall off our chairs backwards with shock

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