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.
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.