Only five years after the peak of the MatLab epidemic, victims are beginning to see closure. The ink is still not dry, but it appears that the MathWorks lawsuit will end in a settlement where MathWorks will fund rehab centers across the country for academics who became addicted to MatLab, a prototyping language, over the now twenty year epidemic. These poor academics have wasted their youth on an expensive and cumbersome language. With these rehab centers, they may be able to finally learn a marketable language.
“We had no idea our programming language was so addictive to researchers and academics,” one MathWorks spokesperson said. “We just hope that we can help these poor victims of our versatile, easy to use and learn language. The rumors about pushing the software on college Freshmen at such a young and impressionable age are completely unfounded.”
Court Documents Reveal Unethical Practices by MathWorks
Court documents and emails coming out in court are now revealing that the MathWorks leadership knew much more than they led on. The court documents have even shown that the language was designed to be more addictive by making the indexes start at 1 instead of 0 so that transitioning to another language would be difficult for young engineers.
Beginning in the 00’s, MatLab expanded the sales of their licenses to academic institutions as a language for learning. It was supposed to be easy to use and learn. Those in engineering departments everywhere began doing all of their research on the language using their discount student licenses.
By the time those millennial and Gen-X students advanced to industry, all of their coding knowledge was based in MatLab and began requesting expensive MatLab software licenses with lucrative industry funding. As more students became okay with using such a garbage language for software development, the nation became flooded with software that could only be used with expensive annually purchased licenses. All it took was giving students a little taste.
The members of the MathWorks leadership have repeatedly testified to doing nothing unethical or unlawful. They also repeatedly report being completely unaware of unethical practices in pushing prototyping software on college freshmen. The MathWorks case became even more indefensible when more emails came out. These emails revealed that they did nothing when an unusual amount of licenses were being ordered by industry.
Bankruptcy Settlement to include Rehab centers
From the overwhelming evidence brought to court against MathWorks, they have begun preparing a bankruptcy settlement which attempts to right as many wrongs as possible. One billion dollars of the settlement is intended to go towards out of work academics who never learned a marketable programming language.
A new estimate by the CDC has shown that 7 out of 10 academics never recovered from their undergraduate MatLab addiction. While some are being weened off in over funded engineering research labs, many have never been able to move on. Some are even on the street, begging for MatLab Licenses. Many are holding on to old code they are unwilling to let go and unable or unwilling to translate into python.
This nation is past the peak of this Prototyping software crisis but there is much to do for a full recovery. The money from the settlement will go to rehab centers concentrated in the devastated schooling systems targeted by MathWorks for the last twenty years.
Within each rehab center, MatLab addicted academics will be taught how to translate their old code into an appropriate programming language that doesn’t take up 80% of the software license budget. Eventually, the recovering addicts are asked to write something new without prototyping it in MatLab as a graduation exercise.
“It’s a lot of effort teaching these old dogs new tricks.” One specialist at the Atlanta Transformative Rehabilitation for Wayward Programmers “…but this is the first day of the rest of their lives. I think the hardest thing to do is either teaching them how to utilize free external libraries without trying to purchase something or changing up all their indexing. It’s not easy work but I think with enough code conversion, they’ll soon learn to get off of that stuff and more importantly, not go back.”
The nation is healing and finally taking its first steps. Many believe MathWorks is getting off far too easily for what they’ve done. At least the money expected from this settlement will go far in helping these researchers back on their feet.
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