The Canadian Press reported last week the fortune of 13 women working on the 13th floor of an Edmonton bank tower winning a $50-million lottery jackpot. Combine this with the recently released version 13 of Maple and one might claim that notorious number 13's luck is changing.

Early in the development of Maple 13 the question of whether to use "13" was raised. From Apollo 13 to hotels with a missing floor, superstition surrounds this number.  Microsoft Office 2010 is slated to be released as version 14.0; the previous version was 12.0. Corel's WordPerfect Office marketed their version 13 as "X3" -- combining a roman numeral and decimal digit.

Here at Maplesoft we deferred the decision of using 13, in the initial stages of development, by using an internal code name. This gives a product a working title to use until an official one is decided. Perhaps the most famous of these kinds of code names was "Chicago" -- the internal code name for Windows 95.   During development, Microsoft also referred to Windows 95 (the successor to Windows 3.1) as Windows 4.0.

Maplesoft started using code names around the same time “Chicago” was being developed.  In 1994 Maple V release 3 was dubbed "antelope." This preceded a series of sleek, powerful, and sometimes mythical animals including "bobcat", "cheetah", "dragon", "eagle", "falcon", "gryphon", "hydra", "iguana", "jackalope", and "kestrel".  The most recent version was a slight deviation with "llama".

With such a cute and fuzzy mascot, we had absolutely no fear in proceeding with the label "13". That, and the fact that the group of mathematicians and engineers in charge just wouldn't give any weight to being superstitious about a number.

Ultimately, “13” was not able to cast a shadow over the product or the development process.  We have every anticipation that this will be lucky-13 for Maple. 

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