Auditioning Maple alternatives


Quite frankly, Maple 10 on a Mac sucks. In fact, the reports I’ve heard from users on all different platforms say that Maple took a huge nosedive in performance after version 9.0, when it made the user interface Java-based. At the time, Maple got so many negative reports about the “upgraded” 9.0 that it released a half-integer version (9.5) to fix the problems. I don’t know if it’s the Java issue that makes Maple so slow and unwieldy, but all I know is that almost every time I start Maple, it locks up; it takes me an average of 2-3 Force Quits/restarts to get the program running; and even if I manage to get it running, everything… on… the… computer… slows… down.

I have to keep Maple around on the computer because it’s what we use in our upper-division classes. But I’m going to audition some replacements for everyday use. I need something that opens quickly, doesn’t hog CPU cycles when it runs, and has a decent amount of functionality for everyday use, like grading. Symbolic math capabilities are a must.

I’m going to start with Maxima and see how that goes, although it looks complicated to get it running on a Mac. Reports forthcoming.

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