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Just curious if anyone employed by Wolfram is officially representing the company in this forum?

Also is it reasonable to assume that these forums are thoroughly monitored by Wolfram's software testing team? If so, is there any need then for us to forward a copy of posts describing unexpected behavior of the product that we believe might arise from a bug in the kernel, an error in the documentation, user interface issues, inaccurate domain knowledge, etc. to their support team?

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    There are Wolfram employees posting on this site, but if you'll look at their profiles, they have the standard disclaimer of their posts not being officially endorsed by WRI. If you need an official response to begin with, why not just send it to them instead of posting here? – J. M. will be back soon May 2 '12 at 4:34
  • My concern relates more to what constitutes accepted protocol when users discussing unexpected behavior start to believe that they may have stumbled across a software bug. Just want to avoid redundancy (no need for anyone to contact Wolfram if they are already ingesting all of the posts on the forum in their ordinary course of business). I would also not hesitate to contact Wolfram directly if I needed an official and timely response concerning something that related to my professional work. – StackExchanger May 2 '12 at 5:10
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    We can confirm an odd behavior, and tag it a bug, but the tag is better interpreted as a likely bug. Since we have a fair number of experts, there's a good chance it actually is one, and we have caused a couple of the odd behaviors to be fixed in the upcoming release. For the actual protocol, I'd see this question. Additionally, only one question was actually removed due to security concerns by the community, whether it got back to WRI is unknown. – rcollyer May 2 '12 at 10:58
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    You might also find this related answer and comments of interest. – István Zachar May 2 '12 at 15:48
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    The ability for users to confirm in a formal way (that is also easily searchable) any unexpected behavior identified by themselves or others in the course of using Mathematica could be worth integrating into the forum interface. Perhaps allowing members to also vote on the perceived seriousness of the bug as part of a more general "wishlist for future maintenance updates and feature enhancements" could provide Wolfram with useful input for the future development of the product. – StackExchanger May 2 '12 at 18:35
  • And at the very least, a button that can be pressed to automatically send a link containing the current post to Wolfram tech support would be worthwhile. – StackExchanger May 2 '12 at 18:36
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    @StackExchanger now that button would give tech support no end of grief. I strongly doubt that such a thing would even be considered. – Yves Klett May 3 '12 at 13:39
  • @Klett: I should have added that the button would be greyed out once someone pressed it to alert Wolfram about the topic. One has to assume though that Wolfram Tech Support is carefully monitoring this forum for the wealth of information it contains so from that perspective the button is still probably unnecessary. – StackExchanger May 9 '12 at 6:41
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    Re "automatically send a link containing the current post to Wolfram tech support" - and then what? I'm sure my experience is not unusual of having over the years requested dozens of fixes or features, only to be ack and logged by tech support, most w/o any action. They are overwhelmed. – alancalvitti Oct 24 '15 at 2:14
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To the best of my knowledge, none of the Wolfram employees is officially representing the company on the site. Certainly I'm not.

I would not assume that just because an issue has been raised on the site, that Wolfram Research is immediately aware of it. Speaking for myself, I know that there have been questions that I've missed the first time they came through, or which had late traffic that was of interest, etc...

Whether or not an issue initially raised here ends up being discussed within the company, there are several advantages to officially communicating with our support staff at support@wolfram.com:

  • it gets officially tracked and someone in the company is guaranteed to look at it
  • if the issue is in fact a bug, you'll be notified when it's fixed
  • some additional weight is given to bugs with multiple external reporters
  • the support staff is in a better position to diagnose issues that are specific to your environment and that the StackExchange community can't easily reproduce (in which case a StackExchange question may be closed as 'too localized')
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    ...aaand this answer is not official either! ;) – rm -rf May 3 '12 at 4:55
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    @R.M Correct :-) – Brett Champion May 3 '12 at 14:04
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    I think your last point is a good one, and should be emphasized. While we, as a group, may not be able to reproduce the issue, tech support may be able to, and diagnose the problem. Additionally, I'd also encourage any community diagnosed "bug" to be raised with support for confirmation, accessing any known work-arounds, and ensuring that WRI is notified, as they may not be aware it is a problem. – rcollyer May 3 '12 at 15:50
  • @rcollyer When did you start working at WRI? – Mr.Wizard Jan 19 '13 at 8:30
  • @Mr.Wizard for a little while now. – rcollyer Jan 19 '13 at 12:56
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Wolfram Research may not be officially represented on this site, but there are WRI employees who contribute, often extensively.

Known users, ordered by member number:

Vitaliy Kaurov
Malte Lenz
Oleksandr Pavlyk (Sasha)
Daniel Lichtblau
rcollyer
Brett Champion
Leonid Shifrin
Arnoud Buzing
Ilian Gachevski (ilian)
Elizabeth Shack (Elizabeth)
Johan Rhodin (jrhodin)
John Fultz
Joel Klein
David Librik
Todd Gayley
Itai Seggev
Andre Kuzniarek
Stefan R
Adam Strzebonski
Taliesin Beynon
Sebastian
Devendra Kapadia
Nick Lariviere
Jose M. Martin-Garcia (jose)

My apologies to anyone I have overlooked.

We have witnessed WRI - secret services here, e.g. some bugs were fixed by WRI staff monitoring this site (more or less extensively).

  • What about @Leonid Shifrin? – Yves Klett Jan 19 '13 at 10:36
  • @Yves We're being assimilated! – Mr.Wizard Jan 19 '13 at 10:38
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    A new kind of hiring :-) – Yves Klett Jan 19 '13 at 10:45
  • @Artes Amended. – Mr.Wizard Jan 19 '13 at 23:06
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    Andy is no longer a WRI employee. – Sjoerd C. de Vries Mar 9 '14 at 18:49
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    @Mr.Wizard And so aren't any more Andrew (Moylan), and Yu-Sung. – Leonid Shifrin Mar 9 '14 at 21:44
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    I think it is useful to keep a list of ex-WRI employees as well. Even though they cannot fix bugs or add new functionality, they can still contribute to the site (if they still want to), and their knowledge of implementation details is still better than that of most users who have never worked on the codebase. I don't know how much of this information they are prevented from disclosing after they leave WRI. – Oleksandr R. Jul 29 '15 at 11:18
  • @Oleksandr I agree, and I see that others do as well. Would you care to edit this answer to create a new section for past employees? – Mr.Wizard Jan 22 '16 at 18:34
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    Is it actually appropriate to maintain this list? Shouldn't we leave it up to each individual to mention or not mention their affiliation in their profile? It's made quite clear that they aren't here in an official status. And some do seem to prefer anonymity. – Szabolcs Jul 1 '16 at 10:36
  • @Szabolcs That's a good question. I think the affiliations I personally added were explicit in profiles or on linked career pages but perhaps other were not? Per mathematica.stackexchange.com/help/behavior "Avoid overt self-promotion. The community tends to vote down overt self-promotion and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, that’s okay. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers." Does that have any bearing here? Answering questions is not typically promotion, but it can be. – Mr.Wizard Jul 1 '16 at 19:05

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