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Mathematica 4.2: A Technical Review
Lars Hohmuth

Introduction

Mathematica 4.2 introduced many new features including enhanced connectivity to Java™, Extensible Markup Language (XML), and the web. Programmers can take advantage of the included Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to create Java-based user interfaces or make use of standard Java libraries in Mathematica. The new XML capabilities allow users to import and manipulate XML data and to export notebooks or cells in XML format.

There were a large number of enhancements to both the front end and kernel. The new AuthorTools package and the new slide show environment make it easy to create great-looking technical documents and presentations. In addition, there are many new functions for linear programming, statistics, optimization, combinatorics, and graph theory. Mathematica 4.2 also provides easier management and restriction of licenses than was possible with previous versions.

The list below summarizes the major improvements. The rest of this article discusses some of these features in more detail.

  • Transparent Java integration with J/Link 2.0 and built-in JRE
  • New XML functions for symbolic XML manipulation
  • Support for exporting Mathematica notebooks and expressions as XML
  • Support for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) export including style sheets
  • Extended MathML 2.0 support
  • Improved linear programming and optimization
  • Speed and robustness improvements for many numerical functions
  • Improved simplifier
  • New AuthorTools package for technical publishing
  • New packages for statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA) and global optimization
  • Enhanced Combinatorica package for combinatorics and graph theory
  • New import and export formats including Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) and Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS)
  • A new tutorial giving a ten-minute overview of Mathematica for new users
  • Slide show environment for presentations
  • Enhanced management and monitoring of licenses for multiple copies on a network


     
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