The main problem with Matlab is that there have been subtle, yet important syntax changes in the latest release (e.g. nested functions). Lots of people who use matlab don't pay for maintenance, and use old versions. We always use the latest greatest version, and have no problems. The other problem is that at institutions, extra toolboxes (add-ons) are frequently installed by system folks. The end users are frequently unaware that the code they're writing is dependent on external toolboxes. What would help the situation would be if Matlab included some sort of dependency checker. Sadly, there is no Matlab tool that does that. There is a very nice freeware program called M2HTML which (1) autogenerates documentation from comments and (2) generates a dependency graph. This second feature is of great help when seeing what code to include when distributing Matlab.