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When MathCad Prime 6?

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Re: When MathCad Prime 6?

Hi Raiko,

Maybe my point of view is very specific, because I'm just a simple design engineer in area of pressure vessels (I follow design codes, do some logic to assess FEA results, make a thick and nice-looking documents with a lot of simplistic calculations), but I just realised there's been 9 years since the first release of Prime. For the 9 years, the development of Mathcad has been practically stopped (as far as I'm concerned with my limited needs), while Prime is still being useless with ZERO new functionality towards engineering documents, out of which the most obvious would be an automatic table of contents. This situation is called a disaster, when starting from a leading product they degraded it to something worse than what you get for free. I find myself stuck with Mathcad only because I failed to predict this disaster- just imagine how frustrating this can be.

 

No, I don't really care when a 6.0 comes out. Here's a new year's resolution: I start migrating towards a different concept of making design calculations. Scilab, perhaps.

Re: When MathCad Prime 6?

"...an automatic table of contents...", yes, I miss that,

but prime 3.1 is OK for my work

Re: When MathCad Prime 6?

Skunks, you don't need Prime to do it. You could do exactly the same document in MC15. Wasted 9 years, nothing else.

Re: When MathCad Prime 6?

Beautiful

 

A classic example of making a silk purse from a sow's ear.

Re: When MathCad Prime 6?

Fred, that's the essence of engineering: you know it will work, it will not break because that's the way everybody makes it. But you have to demonstrate it in a nice and presentable way. It needs to be clear and self-explanatory, because you don't know what kind of people will read the document: an inspector, etc. There will be simple idiots among the reviewers, and you better make it clear, and answer all possible questions which can be asked. No matter how silly it sounds, this is why engineers need Mathcad: its primarily a tool for visual communication of simple concepts. 

 

That's why Prime has no value for engineering without controls, scripted objects, and other flashy gimmicks.

 

Of course, I don't mind having a powerful computer algebra system in the box :-)

Re: When MathCad Prime 6?

Konrad,

 

I subscribe to your view wholeheartedly. I'm also doing pressure vessel calculations according to code. The document I built in MC15 works very well for this purpose and it is impossible to translate its functionality to MC Prime.

Maybe Scilab is a good idea. I shall have a look.

 

Raiko

Re: When MathCad Prime 6?

Raiko,

 

I'm considering Scilab/Octave/Sage (ie clones of Matlab) for their total scriptability. This is the area where Mathcad stopped its development. Suppose you make a generic Mathcad file with calculations of a standard product, but the product has few versions. I don't know, let's say a pressure vessel can have 2 or 3 nozzles. You make 3 chapters, each with all calculations for the nozzle, and simply hide the 3rd section when it's not needed. Then you realise that there are hundreds of these options, some calculations are only applicable when other conditions are on or off- it stops being manually controllable (and the TOC is a nightmare). You need automatic scripting to do all this logic- on the level higher than the document itself. Mathcad is not an option- you can't control the document this way.

 

Another example is naming variables. Following design codes (particularly when there's more than one code in a job), you always get few different variables with the same name. No problem: you add some prefix, postfix, ie you change the name a bit. Then a stubborn inspector starts winging: it's not what the code book says, your formula looks different. Sure, you can't use any aliases, or local variable names. Your P is the same P from page 1 to the end, and if you redefine it- it's lost.

 

There's more fundamental problems which can't be solved with Mathcad, and will never be with the current pace of development. These are not mathematical problems, just the way your concept is presented on paper. Definitely, not the highest priority for PTC.

 

I remember my first comments to Andrey after I saw an early version of his SMath- similar problems of presentability, clarity, etc. He took it seriously and addressed it ages ago...

Re: When MathCad Prime 6?

Wow, my reply has been removed by the Admin. Cool forum!

Re: When MathCad Prime 6?

Maybe a glitch of the website - it misbehaves at times. Anyhow, I could read most of it in my e-mail. Here it is:

 

I'm considering Scilab/Octave/Sage (ie clones of Matlab) for their total scriptability. This is the area where Mathcad stopped its development. Suppose you make a generic Mathcad file with calculations of a standard product, but the product has few versions. I don't know, let's say a pressure vessel can have 2 or 3 nozzles. You make 3 chapters, each with all calculations for the nozzle, and simply hide the 3rd section when it's not needed. Then you realise that there are hundreds of these options, some calculations are only applicable when other conditions are on or off- it stops being manually controllable (and the TOC is a nightmare). You need automatic scripting to do all this logic- on the level higher than the document itself. Mathcad is not an option- you can't control the document this way.

 

Another example is naming variables. Following design codes (particularly when there's more than one code in a job), you always get few different variables with the same name. No problem: you add some prefix, postfix, ie you change the name a bit. Then a stubborn inspector starts winging: it's not what the code book says, your formula looks different. Sure, you can't use any aliases, or local variable names. Your P is the same P from page 1 to the end, and if you redefine it- it's lost.

 

There's more fundamental problems which can't be solved with Mathcad, at will never be with the current pace of development. These are not mathematical problems, just the way your concept is presented on paper. Definitely, not the highest priority for PTC.

 

I remember my first comments to Andrey after I saw an early version of his SMath- similar problems of presentability, clarity, etc. He took it seriously and addressed it ages ago...

Highlighted

Re: When MathCad Prime 6?


@Konrad_A wrote:

Fred, that's the essence of engineering: you know it will work, it will not break because that's the way everybody makes it. But you have to demonstrate it in a nice and presentable way.


I agree. And the example is an excellent specimen of a short engineering document.  But there's a lot on those pages that aren't Mathcad!  It would be interesting to know how many different programs contributed to those nine pages.

 

The ability to generate a table of contents was noted missing from Mathcad (not just Prime.)  There are a few more features available in Word that would be useful:

  • Outlining, with different levels and automatic styles. (Possible manually in Mathcad with a lot of effort.)
  • Auto numbering figures, tables, and sections.  (You can put numbers to titles, but insert one figure eight pages back and try to keep track of all the changes. . .)
  • Auto numbering foot notes and references.

The list could be extended but my point is that word processor programs are better suited for larger documents and there would have to be a major upgrade to Mathcad before it even came close.  A better more reasonable hope would be the ability to copy Prime and paste it as an image, when last I checked copying a portion of a Prime page would not paste into another document--I had to use the snipping tool.  (I've tried inserting Mathcad into a Word file as an active document with mixed poor results.)

 

We'd be better off if Microsoft bought Mathcad and merged it into Word.