Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mathematica Cookbook Attacked by a Troll: Jon Harrop

Recently I have had a very unpleasant experience with a known internet troll who has been attacking Mathematica Cookbook on the site. I posted the following review on by way of defending myself and my work. They may or may not allow it but I wanted to share it with you....

I would like to direct UK customers who may be interested in my book to a few facts.

1) Both of the previous reviewers (Edward and Jon Harrop) are actually the same person. I have very strong evidence this is the case. You may email me at if you want the details.

2) Jon Harrop is author of "F# for scientists" and about 2 years ago I blogged unfavorably about Mr. Harrop's book. You can see my comments here: .

3) Apparently I hurt Jon's feelings so badly that he could not wait to order my book just to give it a poor review. In fact, he has given it two!

4) Since then he has been using my own book as inspiration for several of his own blog posts so apparently he does not find it totally useless.

5) If you would like to see a more balanced treatment of my book please see these reviews:,, and

6) I won't comment further on Mr. Harrops character because I think his actions speak for themselves. The interested reader can google "Jon Harrop Troll" and draw their own conclusions.

7) Finally, my book is not perfect. But I absolutely did not plagiarize anyone and link extensively to others work where they inspired my codes. I have been correcting issues as they are found and the O’Reilly site is where errata can be found. I think may readers in the UK who are fans of Mathematica can find a lot of value in my book and I don't want the bitter feelings of one individual to scare you away.


David said...

Unfortunately the "level playing field" of the Internet gives voices of minimal importance a loud megaphone to exploit and to broadcast their psychological disabilities.

Don't let it get you down!

Terry said...

My advice would normally be "don't feed the trolls" but he has gone out of his way to undercut sales of your book. I hope Amazon posts your review.

Kris said...

Sal, I just received your superb book two days ago and am enjoying it immensely. The occasional glances I am able to give it during breaks from work are high points of my day.

Not a bad rap in your blog about the work involved in producing the book, too :-)

rei said...

Jon's indeed a troll. I haven't been as involved in the F# community as of late, but he annoyed the hell out of me with his antics on practically every forum and Q&A site I participated in.

There were times when you simply couldn't ask even technical questions regarding F# without him defending it religiously.