Answer

You might say that with Maple, you've been using the computer more ``directly.'' Computer scientists say that systems like Maple are interactive because you enter your commands one by one and see the results immediately.

This is one of the most obvious and important differences between Maple and C. Maple lets you to enter a command, hit Enter, and see the results right then. You don't have to ``plan ahead'' or decide upon all of your commands ahead of time. But when you use C, you have to plan ahead by writing a complete program before the computer will carry out any of your commands.

Obviously, Maple is easy to use and that is a strength. But the ability to write programs is also a strength. Maple allows you to write programs; C require you to write programs.

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Eric N. Eide
Hamlet Project
Department of Computer Science
University of Utah