@tomleslie

Your question, after my poorly worded response, deserves a more detailed answer. Hence, I’ll attempt to explain why 2d-input in Maple is crucial.

2d input, with the ability to use palettes, allows both the new user and the non-user to better read and understand the mathematics that is being performed. By highly reducing the amount of monospaced coding syntax, 2d-input is a catalyst for new users to solve mathematical problems that, historically, have been ignored. This is because such problems have been viewed as either too computational or mathematically difficult or required too much start-up cost to learn the coding necessary to solve. This reality is reproduced every year in my computational math course for physics and engineering majors where students use both Maple and MATLAB to solve math problems typically found in undergraduate physics or engineering courses. With 2d-input in Maple, where the “code” looks like mathematical symbols, students spend more time working on translating the mathematical symbols and operations into their personal language/narrative and less time translating that which they do not fully understand, the mathematics, into yet another set of symbols and operations, i.e., the programming code. (I should explain that once we have covered the mathematics using Maple to do the grunt work, I switch to the MATLAB code. MATLAB still is too popular in research environments.)

And like any spoken & written language, if one is not using the language constantly, one forgets it. It my experience that students can leave the coding environment for a semester and relearn 2d-input Maple more quickly than they can relearn the limited MATLAB they know. And this is true even for students who spent an entire semester learning how to code in MATLAB.

Finally, it is my experience 2d-input is so highly readable that people who are not familiar with Maple can quickly comprehend the operations and functions. Hence my colleagues, who were all raised with Mathematica, MATLAB and/or Python and were initially opposed to the use of Maple in our department, have become accepting of students using Maple. Since they can read Maple 2d-input, it makes their lives easier. They do not have to learn another coding language.

Personally, there are times where I prefer to write a procedure in 1d-input. There are some very cool 1d-input coding features in Maple. So, I recognize there is value in the Maple programming language and syntax. But for most projects which I must share with newer Maple-users or non-users, 2d-input, with its highly readable format, is the most effective tool I have for solving computational mathematical problems.

I hope this clarifies my unintentionally snarky “I’m not going there” comment.