Announcements about MaplePrimes and Maplesoft

As many of you have noticed, MaplePrimes has been deluged with a spam attack over the past week.  We have been working to keep it under control, but the attacks are coming faster than we can reasonably keep up.

This blog entry marks two milestones:

Scheduling this visit was a challenge. Each semester I limit the number of classes that I miss for professional travel and I have numerous (and increasing) adminstrative responsibilities as the Undergraduate Director for the Department of Mathematics at The University of South Carolina (particularly during the summer months). These constraints, combined with the various travel schedules of Maplesoft's staff necessitated the deferral of this trip until November 2009. (The additional one month delay in preparing this is due to end-of-semester administrative responsibilities.) I wrote the original draft of this from various airports on my way to the 14th Asian Conference on Technology and Mathematics in Beijing, China and, now that Christmas is history, have some time to finish it.

The MapleSim Tire Component Library has just been released. This product is an add-on to MapleSim. It provides industry standard tire force model components such as Fiala, Calspan, and Pacejka’s magic tire formula. In addition, linear tire models and user-defined tire models are available. Once installed, the tire components work like any other MapleSim components, so you can drag them into your diagram and join them to your existing vehicle model, change parameters, plot and analyze dynamic and kinematic quantities, attach CAD images to be used in the animations, etc.

We have recently released updates to four toolboxes. Here are the highlights. More details, and instructions on how to access each one can be found on the Maplesoft downloads page.

MapleSim LabVIEW Connector - now also connected to NI VeriStand. As a result, this product gets a new name. It's now the MapleSim LabVIEW/VeriStand Connector.

MapleSim Control Design Toolbox - improvements have been made to performance, functionality, and examples.

I would like to introduce a new face that you will be now be seeing on MaplePrimes from time to time.  His name is Rick Andrade, and his primary role within the Primes community is to pay close attention to your questions, to make sure that help is being offered where needed, and to engage appropriate people from within Maplesoft.  And while the majority of his work within MaplePrimes will be done quietly in the background, you can also expect him to post stories and/or links that he thinks you will find interesting. 

As many of the users on MaplePrimes are instructors, I thought it appropriate to let everyone know about a new resource available on the Maplesoft web site called the Teacher Resource Center.

As most users of MaplePrimes are aware, we currently reward participation with a number that indicates Maple Rank. So every time someone posts a forum comment, for example, they are awarded 1 point. This number gets appended to user names and it has become a way to immediately recognize a person’s ‘prestige’ within MaplePrimes.

We’ve just released a new version of the Maplesoft-MAA Placement Test Suite (PTS). PTS 5.0 includes high school prognostic tests from the MAA. The idea is that colleges/universities can offer early feedback to high school students about how they are likely to do on the institution’s math placement tests. With early feedback and time to make changes, students will be better prepared, which means they are less likely to have to take (and pay for!) remedial classes that don’t even count towards their degree.

Maplesoft has just released a collection of new engineering products, including MapleSim 3, the latest version of our physical modeling tool. It includes a new hydraulics library, more electrical machines and improved solvers which expand the scope of models it can handle. It also comes with a new project manager, more diagnostic tools, a 3-D visualization preview feature, and other improvements to the interface which reduce the development time. See What’s New in MapleSim 3 for details.

Maplesoft has just released the Maple 13.02 update. This update includes:

  • Platform support: Windows® 7 is officially supported with Maple 13.02
  • MATLAB® Connectivity: Improved performance, connectivity extended to MATLAB R2009b, and support for the MATLAB Link on 64-bit Macintosh® Intel® platforms
  • Language packs: Expanded support for Traditional Chinese and improved Spanish translation
  • Plotting: Improvements to EPS and PDF export and improvements to plotting on Macintosh
  • Other enhancements: Improved event handling in dsolve/numeric, better handling of read-only documents on  Mac OS® X 10.6 (Intel), and improved support for multithreading

I just published an update to the script that inserts automatic links to the online help. This fixes several issues with the regular expression used to determine when and where to place the links. So now ?PDEtools[diff_table] ?sum,details and ?implicitplot3d all will be linked correctly.

As promised, we have launched MaplePrimes on a brand new web server. This server will greatly increase the performance and reliability of the site. Along with moving to the new server, we’ve made a number of small feature updates and bug fixes:

  • The typesetting for math entered with the <maple> tag and toolbar button is improved
  • When you enter a word prefaced by the question mark (?), it will automatically link to the Online Help, example: ?abs
  • Replaced the “Web” option from the MaplePrimes search with “Help”, this searches the Online Help.
  • Fixed a number of bad hyperlinks and markup generated by the file manager.
  • Allow MapleSim file uploads with the file manager.

One feature that did not make it over to the new server is conversion of plots when uploading worksheets via the file manager. We haven’t seen too much usage of this feature, so we hope it won’t be missed for now. The feature will come back along with greatly improved HTML conversion (the same as the HTML generated by Maple 13) when the brand new MaplePrimes launches.

If you see any problems with the site, please let us know through a comment on this post.

We hope the new server and the fixes help to improve your MaplePrimes experience; and we look forward to sharing the brand new MaplePrimes with you as well!

Some of you may “know” me already, but I wanted to let you all know that as part of the ongoing changes to MaplePrimes, I will now be acting as the community manager. My thanks to Tim for his excellent work over the past year, and also to Will and Bryon who will continue to support the site’s technical aspects.

On September 4, I wrote a blog post asking for some suggestions regarding what we should do to update MaplePrimes.  The responses that we got back were varied and very valuable.  Using those suggestions as a foundation, we have mapped out a list of features that we will address in this project.

The Maple 13.01 update is now available.  It includes:

  • 3D visualization: Increased speed and memory efficiency
  • Language packs: Improved French translations and expanded support for Greek
  • JRE Update: Updated JRE corrects many Java-related issues, and results in improvements in printing on Linux, printing international characters, redrawing components, and plotting
  • Other enhancements: Areas of improvement include the performance of plots with a large number of data points, curve colors used in drag-and-drop plotting, the display of mathematics in embedded components, and PDF export.

 As usual, single-user customers will automatically be prompted to update to Maple 13.01 though Maple's automatic "check for updates" mechanism, while network users will be notified by email and directed to the download site. An update CD will be available soon for customers who cannot get the update electronically. More information can be found on the Maple 13.01 download page.

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