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Where is WorkLife Going?  And why was version 2.0 ready when Mathematica 6 was released?

Posted on: Saturday, July 28, 2007 at 07:04 PM UT

Just a few thoughts on the development path for  A WorkLife FrameWork...

With  A WorkLife FrameWork I take an incremental development approach.  As I use it, and as users feed me with questions and suggestions, I modify and add features.

With the release of Mathematica 6 there was a major transition for A WorkLife FrameWork: the simple (but by no means trivial) transition to Mathematica 6 compatibility.

In fact, A WorkLife FrameWork was the first Mathematica 6 compatible add-on (though I waited to announce this for some weeks afterwards).  A WorkLife FrameWork 2.0 was ready, and Mathematica 6 compatible, several weeks before the May 1st release of Mathematica.

Why was this possible?  The simple reason is the incremental development approach that I take with  A WorkLife FrameWork.  All along, through the many alpha and beta releases of Mathematica 6, I continued to add to and modify A WorkLife FrameWork as I have all through the history of its development.  As developmental bugs and features were fixed and honed by Wolfram in Mathematica 6, I made associated changes to A WorkLife FrameWork.  And, when Mathematica 6 hit the streets,  A WorkLife FrameWork was right there with it.

The continued development of  A WorkLife FrameWork follows the same path.  I modify and add to it pretty much a bit each day, and I constantly use the development version, so it is being tested as it is being created—and I am a hard taskmaster.

A WorkLife FrameWork was originally developed with Mathematica 5.0, 5.1, and 5.2.  And with version 2.0 on I am developing it with Mathematica 6.  For this reason it is compatible with Mathematica 5.1, 5.2 (A WorkLife FrameWork version 1.2) and Mathematica 6 and greater (A WorkLife FrameWork version 2.0 and higher).  [[The reason why it is not compatible with Mathematica 5.0 is because too many features would not be available with the limitations of Mathematica 5.0 relative to higher versions.]]

In a way,  A WorkLife FrameWork is the most sophisticated (and I think, the most useful) Mathematica program that leverages the Mathematica FrontEnd.  In creating it for Mathematica 5.1 and 5.2 I pushed many of the limits of what is possible with FrontEnd programming for those versions of Mathematica.

But, with the appearance of Mathematica 6, the floodgates are wide open with regard to huge sets of possibilities for new features for future versions of  A WorkLife FrameWork.  And my incremental development approach is ideal for folding many new Mathematica 6 catalyzed techniques and features into A WorkLife FrameWork over time.

Another aspect of my incremental development approach is that I release new versions of  A WorkLife FrameWork quite frequently so that its users can get their hands on the new features and enhancements as quickly as possible.  (And, as I mentioned above, many of these come from user requests.)

So, in a way, the purchase of a license to  A WorkLife FrameWork is a purchase of an ongoing consulting service, but for a vastly low price (and, though I know that generally this is not the way that folks visualize the value content of a product, the $149.95 price of  A WorkLife FrameWork [$99.95 for academics, students, and retired persons] buys you something like 2000 hours of prior consulting time and more into the future).

Here, just as a teaser is the look of a new palette in the development version of  A WorkLife FrameWork: an Outlining and SlideShow Palette:


This is still in a new state, and I am likely to add features to it before release.  But if you have a particular suggestion, please send it to me!

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