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  • ValeryOchkov Platinum 6,200 posts since
    Sep 26, 2008

    The Moscow branch of the PTC has asked me to add an official announcement of Mathcad Prime (see attach) a small comment. I wrote this:

     

    PTC’s Mathcad, innovative and very popular engineering calculation software used by millions of engineers and students around the world, gets second wind with the release of Mathcad Prime. As Mathcad Prime is taking over the baton from traditional Mathcad, some past experience is worth remembering.

    Transition to Mathcad Prime can be compared, in terms of its importance, to the transition from the DOS versions of Mathcad to the Windows versions. Yong people do not remember this revolutionary transition but older generation would appreciate the sentiment. Many resisted the Windows versions of Mathcad, thinking “an old ox named DOS makes a straight furrow”, but later realized the advantages of new technology. I am confident that the same fortunate turn of events is in store for Mathcad Prime!

     

    PS

    "An old ox named DOS makes a straight furrow" - in Russia we say "An old horse will not spoil a furrow"

    PPS

    Mathcad Prime is one backstep to DOS Mathcad - we cannot use buttons of palettes but must use hotkeys!

     

    Attachments:
  • NormanDanis Copper 7 posts since
    Jan 9, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    16. Jan 16, 2011 5:42 AM (in response to RogerMansfield)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    I'm new to these discussions and I never heard of Prime until a few weeks ago, probably because a am a single user. But I am puzzled, to say the least, why PTC is going down this road at the risk of totally alienating Mathcad customers who have been faithful to the Mathcad way of doing things. (I started with mathcad in 1991 when I had to work at home.) Is this because PTC is not concerned with eventually discarding old Mathcad customers? Does the customer base for PTC comprise a much vaster domain than what Mathcad's was? I really don't understand why PTC doesn't just make improvements (real improvements) to Mathcad, and keep the Mathcad domain a separate but respected part of the PTC business base. So far they mostly just talked about Mathcad improvements without any substantial changes (except in price for upgrades) --such as from Mathcad 14 to 15--all of which made me suspicious of PTC's intentions for the future. I'm not particularly cynical but I wonder what other people have been thinking in this discussion. I can't imagine being saddled with a Prime 1 or 2 or 3 that makes me sorry I didn't break the marriage contract early in the game and get Matlab, or something else. Can any of you shed some light on this? Am I hopelessly old-fashioned? Mathcad filled a real need for so many years for a flexible tool which didn't cost an arm and a leg.

  • jhardy1 Copper 7 posts since
    Jun 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    17. Jan 16, 2011 2:09 PM (in response to A.Non)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    I note that a number of respected contributors (Richard, Roger, et al) are proposing a course of action of "dual use" - Mathcad 15 for the "heavy lifting", Mathcad Prime to "get used to the new look", and contribute to its development, in the hope that Mathcad Prime 3.0 (or so) will be a fully-featured and mature product.

     

    Just my $0.02 worth, but I am afraid this is not a viable plan of action for me, and I suspect many other users too. I absolutely NEED a fully-featured and reliable product NOW, and I can't afford the time at work to struggle to convert existing worksheets and / or develop new ones, only to discover that all too many critical features are simply not implemented. I would be prepared to contribute a bit of time "Beta Testing" a product which is effectively fully-featured now, but just needs some final end-user bug cleansing before final release. But "dual use" in the hope of getting what I really need in a couple of years? No way!

     

    I am concerned that PTC's strategy in releasing Mathcad Lite Prime will alienate many existing users, and PTC may find it is a tough job to woo them back in a few years time when they finally get round to releasing the product that their existing user-base wants and needs NOW.

  • MikeArmstrong Diamond 4,522 posts since
    Dec 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    18. Jan 16, 2011 2:19 PM (in response to jhardy1)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back
    Just my $0.02 worth, but I am afraid this is not a viable plan of action for me, and I suspect many other users too. I absolutely NEED a fully-featured and reliable product NOW, and I can't afford the time at work to struggle to convert existing worksheets and / or develop new ones, only to discover that all too many critical features are simply not implemented. I would be prepared to contribute a bit of time "Beta Testing" a product which is effectively fully-featured now, but just needs some final end-user bug cleansing before final release. But "dual use" in the hope of getting what I really need in a couple of years? No way!

     

    I am concerned that PTC's strategy in releasing Mathcad Lite Prime will alienate many existing users, and PTC may find it is a tough job to woo them back in a few years time when they finally get round to releasing the product that their existing user-base wants and needs NOW.

    That may be the case, but if current uses want to continue using the latest PTC (Mathcad) product they'll have no choice.

     

    This is the first real stamp PTC has made since acquiring Mathcad. This version might not be aimed at current competent Mathcad users; this version might be aiming at new users and educational needs.

     

    PTC couldn't win either way. They wanted to bring out their own product, not just continue with the layout Mathcad currently has. Would we have been happy if PTC took three years to get Prime up to speed with the current version of Mathcad? I doubt it. If they didn’t release Prime now they would risk losing customers, as other software packages might seem a better product.

     

    Mike

  • MikeArmstrong Diamond 4,522 posts since
    Dec 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    19. Jan 16, 2011 2:27 PM (in response to NormanDanis)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    --such as from Mathcad 14 to 15--all of which made me suspicious of PTC's intentions for the future.

    Unless I'm mistaken, Mathcad 15 was just a upgrade of 14, basically 14 with all bugs fixed.

    I can't imagine being saddled with a Prime 1 or 2 or 3 that makes me sorry I didn't break the marriage contract early in the game and get Matlab, or something else. Can any of you shed some light on this? Am I hopelessly old-fashioned? Mathcad filled a real need for so many years for a flexible tool which didn't cost an arm and a leg.

    I don't know the price of Prime, do you?

    I'm new to these discussions and I never heard of Prime until a few weeks ago, probably because a am a single user. But I am puzzled, to say the least, why PTC is going down this road at the risk of totally alienating Mathcad customers who have been faithful to the Mathcad way of doing things.

    I have made my thoughts quite clear over Prime, but your saying Mathcad are at risk of alienating customers who have faithful. Have all of these customers bought upgrades since Mathcad 11? A lot of users have not upgraded since 11 and still deem Mathcad 11 the best version. IMO PTC cannot look after everybody's needs, they need to look at the bigger picture.

     

    I truly believe Mathcad Prime 2.0 will be close to Mathcad 15, with additional features included which M15 doesn't have. Prime has the ability to have multi unit tables, which has been a massive problem of the years, the interface with Excel is also a lot better.

     

    Mike

  • MikeArmstrong Diamond 4,522 posts since
    Dec 3, 2008
    Mathcad Prime is one step back (1.0) and two steps forward (2.0)... I hope!

    I believe.

     

    Mike

  • A.Non Diamond 10,405 posts since
    May 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    21. Jan 16, 2011 2:29 PM (in response to jhardy1)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    I note that a number of respected contributors (Richard, Roger, et al) are proposing a course of action of "dual use"

     

    Just my $0.02 worth, but I am afraid this is not a viable plan of action for me, and I suspect many other users too. I absolutely NEED a fully-featured and reliable product NOW, and I can't afford the time at work to struggle to convert existing worksheets and / or develop new ones,

    Actually, if you read back up though the posts, that is exactly what I said.

     

    As far as "dual use" goes, what I said was "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." So no real dual use at all, just enough to stick my oar in before things go so far down a particular (possibly very bad) road that there is no going back. I choose to spend a little time doing that  because the only other possible options are :

     

    a) Switch to a different product, which  means learning everything all over, and rewriting a huge amount of material. This will require more than just a little time.

    b) Say nothing, and just wait to see if we eventually get something I can use (and if all the current users were to take that approach I would say the chances of that happening are close to zero). If we don't get something usable, go for option (a), but now with several more years worth of worksheets to convert.

  • A.Non Diamond 10,405 posts since
    May 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    22. Jan 16, 2011 2:45 PM (in response to MikeArmstrong)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back
    Unless I'm mistaken, Mathcad 15 was just a upgrade of 14, basically 14 with all bugs fixed.

    All?

  • MikeArmstrong Diamond 4,522 posts since
    Dec 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    23. Jan 16, 2011 2:47 PM (in response to A.Non)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    Richard Jackson wrote:

     

    Unless I'm mistaken, Mathcad 15 was just a upgrade of 14, basically 14 with all some of the bugs fixed.

    All?

     

    Mike

  • mzeftel Gold 2,704 posts since
    May 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    24. Mar 24, 2011 11:31 AM (in response to MikeArmstrong)
    Re: Mathcad 15 features

    Mathcad 15 does have new features. The most notable ones are over 20 new DOE (Design of Experiments) functions.

    It also added interoperability with Excel 2007.

     

    And connections to some partner applications.

    And many bug fixes :-)

     

    Mona

  • RogerMansfield Bronze 55 posts since
    Aug 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    25. Jan 16, 2011 6:46 PM (in response to ValeryOchkov)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 - my comment for PTC-Russia

    Serious work on what is now Mathcad Prime began, as near as I can reckon from my own participation, no later than the beginning of 2009. So it took at least two years of planning and development to get to the release of Mathcad Prime 1.0 on January 10, 2011.  If PTC had waited two more years to introduce Mathcad Prime at 3.0, no one but the testers would have gotten to see what is in the new Mathcad. The entirely new product, every new feature, would have been "dumped" on the user community all at once, two years from now. There would have been no opportunity for the general user base (vs. testers) to have input.  Yet to Mathcad Single users who have not been a part of the last two years of testing, (e.g., David), even Mathcad Prime 1.0 looks like a big "dump" (pun not intended;-). David, volunteer as a tester for Prime 2.0. PTC needs your input.   We who participate in PlanetPTC now have a golden opportunity to help shape the future of Mathcad. What really matters is what lies ahead. The ribbon UI will be refined -- not to everyone's satisfaction (for sure that's impossible), but it will get better.  Clearly, Valery is onboard. So am I. For my own part, I'd like to stop defending Mathcad Prime 1.0 now and just focus on using it.

  • MySchizoBuddy Silver 121 posts since
    Sep 5, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    26. Jan 16, 2011 7:24 PM (in response to WalterSchrabmair)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 is a step back

    if Mathcad Prime 1.0 was $100 everyone will stop complaining.

    I would like to see a version of JUST Mathcad Prime 1.0 WITHOUT Mathcad 15 for $100.

  • ptc-1371556 Copper 15 posts since
    Oct 2, 2007

    Hi

     

    As I see it, software development needs two basic aspects to make it work:

     

    (a)     It must do what it is intended to do using code that is as lean, mean and as fast as possible.  This assumes the underlying processes and structure of the written software are sound etc.

     

    (b)     The user can work quickly and efficiently to get their work done.  It is imperative there are no bottlenecks for the user.  User time is valuable - human costs are high given salaries etc.  Purchasing of software is usually a relatively low cost item in comparison.  So user productivity in all its different guises is really important.

     

     

    As much as possible needs to be done by the software manufacturer whilst still at their "factory".  This includes periodically developing the software to meet changes in user needs.

     

     

    Just because Microsoft decided to change its interface a few years ago in Office from the previous menu & toolbars etc to the ribbon, it does not mean that PTC needs to copy it.  I regard the ribbon interface as being slower for the user than the previous interface due the greater number of movements by the user.  This applies in Office as well as in PTC Prime.  A mathematical programme is a specialist one and I suggest a user is quite prepared to accept a non-ribbon Microsoft lookalike if it makes the user happier and more efficient.  At the least, I suggest PTC needs to enable user-adaptibility of the ribbon such as via palettes / toolbars etc.    

     

     

    Given I have used Mathcad (relying on v11 since when I started in 2003, having tried and not liked or been indifferent to the more recent versions), for whatever it seems to be worth, I do offer some of my time for testing etc.  (I offered some time ago with Prime, but not accepted at the time by PTC as perhaps they had enough testers).

     

     

    However, PTC has gained, maybe unfairly as I do not really know, a perception at least with me to be somewhat indifferent to users etc.  Are PTC really interested by listening to users or are they just going their "own sweet way" irrespective.  Has PTC really listened to all you guys who have contributed so much to the collaboratory, who I regard as being expert in Mathcad and you all have a high level of engagement to the product?  Over the years, many good suggestions have been made for the Mathcad product but not that many have been actually implemented.  That of course is PTC's prerogative as owner of the Mathcad / Prime product.  But users do not have accept what they do either : they do not have to buy or upgrade to their latest product.

     

     

    I object strongly to the ribbon.  If Prime does not make it more user friendly then I shall not bother to even test the product.  This as at stands now is a total deal breaker for me.  I do not want to spend my time experimenting with Prime given the inefficiencies of the ribbon.

     

     

    I am running a small consulting practice.  I need to develop my programmes to cover my work requirements (which continue to get more complicated with each passing year) and I cannot wait another 2 years for Prime to get to a point where it replaces Mathcad.  How much extra functionality will Prime have over Mathcad in 2 years time?  That is a valid question.   In addition, I absolutely must make more efficient use of my time and try to improve my productivity, irrespective of the mathematical software I use.

     

     

    Money is a consideration, but not the only factor for me.  As mentioned above, my work requirements and productivity are paramount for me.  I have to be commercial.  Whilst Mathcad was good for me in the past (and I preferred it over Maple and Mathematica), I now need something more than the current Mathcad.  The other mathematical products have changed over time.   So I have just decided to spend $2,500 and buy Mathematica.  I truly do not want to re-write all my programmes etc, but I feel I have no choice given my particular circumstances.  I know I will need to spend a lot of time upfront to learn it and write my new programmes, but I am hoping my productivity gains in the future will more than compensate for the immediate workload.  Other users will have their own requirements so please note I am not trying to influence them: I am just presenting my own views.

     

     

    Deep down, I always liked the Mathcad product, so I intend to keep Mathcad on the side for the time being and keep an eye on Prime as it develops.  But I am really disappointed that so little has gone into the Mathcad product over recent years.

     

     

    Regards

     

     

    David

  • ValeryOchkov Platinum 6,200 posts since
    Sep 26, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    28. Jan 17, 2011 3:38 AM (in response to A.Non)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 - StudyWorks Prime

    One saving idea:

    Mathcad Prime 1.0 (without some functions) must have a name StudyWorks Prime (Do you remember StudyWorks - a little brother of Mathcad? see http://collab.mathsoft.com/~studyworks)

    Mathcad Prime 2.0 must have a name Mathcad Prime 1.0

    Mathcad Prime 3.0 must have a name Mathcad Prime 2.0

    etc

  • RogerMansfield Bronze 55 posts since
    Aug 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    29. Jan 17, 2011 2:10 PM (in response to ptc-1371556)
    Re: MathCAD Prime 1.0 - my comment for PTC-Russia

    David,

     

    Every point you raise is valid, and I hope PTC is listening. I am reluctant to provide even this short affirmative reply, because I do not want to divert any attention from your post.

     

    I do envy your being able to afford to purchase Mathematica and spend time with it. If I could find the time and money to invest in another one of the "four Ms" (Mathcad, Matlab, Maple, Mathematica), Matlab would be next. But I do wonder: when you immerse yourself into one of the other M-communities, do you not find yourself bogged down in another, different set of bugs and problems?

     

    I worked for many years on large software development projects, as a software developer with expertise in the mathematics of space flight. So I am sympathetic to the software developer's plight (PTC's, in this case) -- I have many times had to defend our command & control systems development schedule (and the inevitable delays) to the user commmunity. And we never, ever were able to completely satisfy the user community.

     

    With difficult technical challenges and the ever-present constraints in personnel and budget, we always lagged. Sounds a lot like the situation with PTC today, doesn't it?

     

    Roger

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