About A WorkLife FrameWork  Purchase
A discussion
Posted on: Saturday 6/9, 2007; 11:19 AM
A discussion...
Here it is reproduced chronologically (with my typos slightly fixed! I have to remember to check these things before I post them....):
Tozier said,
A WorkLife FrameWork: E x t e n d i n g Mathematica’s®Reach…™ On the one hand, this may be interesting. On the other hand, it reminds me of a fellow who wrote a wiki… entirely in Microsoft Word. So I’m ambivalent about market demand.
David Reiss said, June 9, 2007 @ 12:39 am
Hi,
I understand your basic reaction (I am the developer of A WorkLife FrameWork). But I think that you are somewhat off point in this. The pointfor me at leastis to extend the use of the environment that I constantly use to those things that complement the work that I am doing. So, for example, when i am working on an R&D project, it is pretty useless for me to write the ToDos related to it in my Palm. The right place for those items is within the context of the work that I am doing. And If I am going to create a bloglike resource on material that I am creating, it makes sense for me to do that from the source.
I also create a variety of tools for mining the work that I am doing from within the environment that I am doing the work in. So, one aspect of the point is that I am not trying to replace other more appropriate applications, but rather, I am extending Mathematica's reach to access those resources from the place I am doing the lion's share of my work. This too will hopefully be the case for other researchers in the pure and applied sciences and engineering.
The question of market penetration is a separate one. It is an uphill ride. And I am an individual developer, so the main way to market it is to explain it to folks. But there is a full featured trial license available, and that gives Mathematica users time to explore which aspects of my application could be useful to themand it's inexpensive...
I, for one depend on it for my work....
Thanks for the mention. Dialog on these things is the best way to explore.
David
Tozier said, June 9, 2007 @ 8:08 am
I understand it’s a substantial and admirable effort. There seems to be a growing dichotomy—or maybe it’s a stable dichotomy and I’m gradually picking a side—between platform and portalstyle workflow on the one hand, and tooldriven work. I never seem to open MS Office any more; instead I use five or ten different small specialpurpose tools for the work I do. For personal productivity, I find myself using a network of at least seven applications, linked by systemlevel scripts and information sharing I can easily invoke from any application, at any time.
For folks who do spend most of their time focused on Mathematica, your framework makes perfect sense and seems a great tool. It looks like it can do a good job bringing basic functionality to a historically isolated kitchensink application.
But for the last five years or so, I increasingly use Mathematica as a utility, not as a permanent base in my work. I write in TextMate or some TeX editor, and when I decide I need a figure or an equation or something, I pop over into Mma and load the dataset and generate the results, and often pipe these results over into R to actually produce the graphics and maybe do the statistics, clip the postcript or PDF out, and carry on with my writing where I started. If I ever use Mathematica for a longer stint, it’s because it’s running on a server somewhere, and I’ve prototyped some simple experiment on my laptop, uploaded the tested code, and let the fiveday calculation run on a server where it won’t bother me.
This is nothing specific to your business model, of course. Every atomic task we do in the office may be appropriate for Mathematica, but we find it is often easier to use a small Ruby or Python script. I increasingly use DRY as a general rule in work, and so find myself focused much more on interpoerability, not shared functionality.
To be honest, I don’t know how representative I am. It might be a natural difference between Unix and Windows users, or it could just be a difference in people’s worklife more generally. But I don’t know the general distribution of people.
David Reiss said, June 9, 2007 @ 11:15 am
Everything that you say here makes perfect sense to me. And, because of it, someone with your established way of working might not make good use of my product. I am indeed aiming at those people who either spend a lot of their time in Mathematica or who wish to spend more of their time there. Of course the model is based on how I work—or a generalization of it—and it makes sense that the product evolved from a set of tools that I created to suit the growing opportunities that my use of Mathematica uncovered.
As for the difference between Windows and Unix users, I don't know. I am a Mac user, so that is some sort of hybrid in terms of the possibilities given that it is a Unixwithaskin.
My business model is pretty simple. I am hopeful that there is a one, or low two digit, percentage of Mathematica users that fall into the categories that can make good use of my product, and I price it quite low. From one viewpoint it is a toolbox for Mathematica users that is a set of applications. If one or more of them is useful then it pays for itself in the time saved in coding them oneself.
I don't know how naive that is, but I think that once used by those in the target market, it is relatively addictiveand useful.
And for those whose needs are different well, it'd not be interesting to them and that's ok. The key thing I have learned in my work experience is that it often, in the short term, is not a question of what tools are the best for what one does, it is more the case of which ones one most efficient and familiar with. In the longer term it is worth investing the energy to expand one's scope.
Thanks for the discussion!
David
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6/9, 2007; 11:19 AM: A discussion 6/3, 2007; 10:03 PM: A MathGroup Posting 5/28, 2007; 9:33 PM: A WorkLife FrameWork is now compatible with version 6 of Mathematica 5/22, 2007; 9:36 PM: Email Analysis Tools 5/22, 2007; 9:27 AM: The Palettes Menu 5/20, 2007; 11:14 PM: Soon, very soon... 5/3, 2007; 11:09 AM: Mathematica 6 Released: A WorkLife FrameWork 2.0 to follow very soon... 3/21, 2007; 1:50 PM: A WorkLife FrameWork mention on MacinTouch 2/22, 2007; 1:40 PM: More screencasts... 2/19, 2007; 12:42 AM: New Screencasts 12/30, 2006; 7:51 PM: Organizational Choices 11/26, 2006; 10:54 PM: Updated Version of A WorkLife FrameWork. 11/10, 2006; 12:30 AM: A quote and a testimonial... 11/6, 2006; 2:09 PM: Version 1.1 on its way 10/31, 2006; 3:32 PM: Another blog mention of A WorkLife FrameWork 10/23, 2006; 10:54 AM: Finding A Diary or Notebook 10/10, 2006; 9:45 PM: At the Wolfram Technology Conference 10/8, 2006; 11:35 AM: The Wolfram Technology Conference 9/27, 2006; 10:51 AM: Menu Items on Custom Palettes 9/21, 2006; 10:50 AM: A Tip: Multiple disks or partitions 9/20, 2006; 3:57 PM: A bit of Blogosphere notice 9/18, 2006; 9:24 PM: Opening a set of files 9/14, 2006; 11:25 PM: An Email Trickslightly advanced 9/14, 2006; 11:08 PM: The most current version... 9/11, 2006; 1:00 PM: Finally Released!
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