Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Design Science releases news - MathFlow 1.7

Back in October I was rather sarcastic at Design Science's expense over their lack of news output. In the comments, BruceV from Design Science, promised that news would start flowing again as he was hiring a new Marcoms person the next week.

So it has been with some anticipation that I have been waiting to criticize their first output! I have to report that it is a nicely written and hype free piece of news.

The item is an announcement of a new version of MathFlow, their XML oriented math typesetting tool.

Though the news was too late to prevent 2006 being empty of news, I wonder if one of the key new features is also a bit late. Headlining the new features, is compatibility with Arbortext XML authoring system. Now that isn't too late to be a sensible and useful feature, but it would probably have got a lot more traction from the users and makers of Arbortext if it had been a year earlier.

In the last year Arbortext was bought by PTC, who then also purchased MathCAD, which can also be used to write math, and outputs in XML. So it is likely that PTC will have little interest in making Arbortext users aware of Design Sciences solution and will instead push their own solution.

I should mention that I have previously argued that MathCAD is not a good way to author XML (though that would be easy to change).

The release also alludes to behind-the-scenes changes to MathFlow that might be more significant, but not yet of major benefit to users.

No comments: