Dear Maple users
I have had Maple creating graphics for me that I cannot do in other programs I have access to: 3D pictures of circle waves interferring or even the result of an interference pattern from a diffraction grating in Physics. But when it comes to simple animations, I am not all that impressed.
Basicly I have three complaints:
a) Maple seems to use a lot of space to save frame information, resulting in large filesizes.
b) Maple doesn't take account of the actual curve, when the animatecurve command is being applied.
c) The simplicity of commands
Regarding a) and c): I have simulated a circle running on another circle, using the information from the Help menu. It included a disk from the plottools package to point out the point on the second circle. I won't give details here. I used 50 frames only. The filesize was about 1 MB!The free math program Geogebra does the same perfectly and in only 7kB!! I know I can save the file without the frames, but then a new user will have a hard time finding out what to do ... he/she will need to execute a command inside the file. I mentioned c) too, because the animation involved a procedure! Why this complication?
Regarding b): I wanted to animate an Archimedean Spiral. I did it in Maple and the file took up 60 kB with a very poor result:
I know I can make it better by applying the numpoints option, but why this complication? The problem is that while the animation evolves, the curve get longer and longer and more and more jagged. Why should the user care about this? I mean Maple 16 use Heuristic algorithms to analyse graphs. Why can't it be done automatically here? I tried using Geogebra: Firstly the file takes up only 5 kB of space. Seconds it does a perfect job, and the coding is much easier:
The curve is completely smooth. Nothing to specify for the user really. It just works.
I suspect Maple to just save the pixels of each frame. Why can't Maple just calculate data on the fly? I mean it will take up much less space, and it will save instantaneously contrary to Maple. At least it should be an option in the Maple command to be able to calculate plot data on the fly. I think most animations will be possible to calculate fast enough to render in real time on most computers - a few may not.
According to the above: I think Maple can do a better job on animations!