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## reduce-algebra-developers — Discussion of development, administration and support for Reduce

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 Re: [Reduce-algebra-developers] reduce-algebra vs Mathematica From: Raffaele Vitolo - 2013-06-23 21:56:10 Dear All, I started to use Reduce a few years ago for computations on PDEs ("integrable systems"). First of all I'd like to say that GUI is completely useless for intensive scientific computation; however, it might be comfortable for beginners or for occasional users. >> There are recent papers using it. But it is Mathematica is more used. >> Has anybody compared the pros and cons of reduce-algebra vs >> Mathematica? (I don't find a comparison.) Thanks. As an example, in my computations I had to deal with rational functions of many variables and denominators of degree ~20. Together with a colleague we tried the same computation on Mathematica and Reduce, it was the sum of two rational functions as above; it was impossible to finish it it Mathematica, while Reduce produced a correct result in a reasonable time. Another feature that I like so much in Reduce is the fact that expressions are always evaluated keeping into account all existing rules. I do not think that this behaviour is so easy to reproduce in Mathematica. If you work with a lot of algebraic constraints this is an essential feature. I also think that the Reduce user base is much wider than what is shown by the activity on this mailing list, I know a lot of users who are not active here. > I think that different people are motivated by very different aspects of > the two systems. Here is my start at a few thoughts, but note very well > that somebody employed by Mathematica or Maple, or working on Axiom, or > who had used Maxima for years and years would put things differently (and > could still be right!). You specifically ask about Mathematica but I may > raise points that put Reduce in a broader context of other systems too... I think that the economic aspect is important but it is minor with respect to: 1 - having the possibility to learn from source code; 2 - having an almost immediate reaction from the community about bug fixing. In particular I was always strongly and timely helped by Arthur Norman who fixed several problems in Reduce that I noticed in quite complicated computations, using many GB of ram. I think that also commercial programs like Mathematica suffer from the presence of lots of bugs; I do not think that the support of Mathematica would be as fast as the support from the free software community. I'm not fond of ideologies, but I do not think that there is anything better than free software for learning/teaching/scientific purposes. Raffaele.

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