## AJAX Version of Mathematica Coming 75

Posted
by
ScuttleMonkey

from the this-is-not-mathematics-this-is-theology dept.

from the this-is-not-mathematics-this-is-theology dept.

stoolpigeon writes

*"The O'Reilly School of Technology is teaming up with Wolfram Research to provide on-line math courses using an AJAX version of Mathematica. O'Reilly has posted an and interview with Scott Gray, the director of OST, that has more details on the program (named Hilbert after David Hilbert) itself as well as the classes they will be offering."*
## Re: (Score:2)

Scott: It will have extremely high fidelity with the Mathematica software. The only difference will be that users will be reading, typing and executing commands on a web page version that connects to a server via AJAX. Mathematica output is rendered real-time via AJAX and CSS.

## Re:Is my documentation worthless? (Score:4, Interesting)

multipleopen source frontends to the mathematica kernel. So basically they're just using ol CGI to access the kernel and making some javascript frontend that does the exact same thing as existing frontends, but in a browser..## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

Had to, or were too lazy to go without?

Mathematica is a blight upon the scientific world. The price is outrageous, the code is closed source and the learning curve never stops rising. The thing is like some kind of religious oracle; arcane, totally inscrutable, and regarded by almost everyone as infallible. Did I mention the price?

It would be nice to see an open source, scrutable and affordable counterpart to Mathematica. Something like GNU Octave is

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

Could you elaborate a bit more on hwo you feel Sage "fails to make the grade"? We are definitely interested in feedback to help improve things.

That being said, I think a lot of it is really dependent on the type of math you are interested in doing. For me personally, using Mathematica would be a waste of my time while I've been able to be pretty productive using Sage.

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I find it difficult to adequately express just how asinine this requirement is. And I'm a mathematician!

Sage is to Maxima is to Mathematica as Vim is to Emacs is to Word. I'm an Emacs fan myself.

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## XMLHttpRequest (Score:3, Funny)

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Open fire! All weapons. Send out rocket AJAX to bring back his body.

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## Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

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You mean:

right? This is AJAX!

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a) document.write("I knew there had to be a MATLAB joke in there somewhere

");

b) window.document.body.append("I knew there had to be a MATLAB joke in there somewhere

");

c) console.log("I knew there had to be a MATLAB joke in there somewhere

");

with (b) being the best corollary... an alert() is by far the worst option

## Re:Matlab (Score:5, Informative)

Kid you may, but Mathematica is a

computer algebrasystem, which means its good at manipulating symbolic mathematics. Matlab is primarily used for vector/matrix manipulation and is more engineering-oriented. I wish people would realize that in spite of the many commonalities (including the prefix "Mat"), they are different products with different uses and audiences.## Re: (Score:3)

Of course, MATLAB has the Symbolic Math Toolbox [mathworks.com], which

"includes the most recent computational kernel from Waterloo Maple Software, Maple 10", thereby completing the Matlab/Maple/Mathematica circle of confusion.## Re: (Score:1)

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Matlab lets you process lots of large matricies. Simulink for hardware in the loop and other development work is great.

## But what, exactly, is that saying? (Score:5, Insightful)

But I found when working on the algebra/calculus problems you might find in a bit of cutting-edge physical-science research, it wasn't all that helpful. If I didn't have a pretty good idea where I was trying to go -- e.g. how this algebra should reduce, or what this integral should be, or how this function should behave -- then Mathematica would often either (1) grind to a halt, or (2) give me a horrible multipage expression that defied any kind of

gestaltunderstanding. And, of course, if Ididknow pretty well where I was going to go, then it was usually faster and somewhat more illuminating to do it myself on paper. What Mathematica ended up doing for me, and this is nothing to sneeze at, is checking my algebra and math, making sure I hadn't added 1 and 1 and gotten 11, that kind of thing.My feeling is that Mathematica is great for educational stuff, and useful for quick and simple calculations where you pretty much know the answer but don't want to do invest the time it would take to work it out on paper (and you'll instantly recognize whether the result is what it should be), and generally useful for checking your math. But as a serious tool to do difficult math for you with useful results -- I would say it hasn't worked out so well. There's some curious facet of human intelligence that it lacks, some ability to grasp the essentials of a mathematical expression or process that it doesn't have. I admit I can't defined what "the essentials" of a piece of math are, but I can tell when I understand them and when I don't, and probably anyone who's worked with a lot of complex math can, too. (Indeed, I suspect the truly brilliant at math are those who can grasp these mysterious essentials faster and with more clarity than the rest of us.)

I'm not trying to diss Mathematica per se; it's a substantial accomplishment. But like most of Wolfram's stuff, it falls a smidgen short of being the Singularity-enabling tool its most rabid fans seem to think it is.

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

Mathematica really isn't set up for in the loop type operations or engineering design (for mortal engineers), but it can be done with effort. That effort is a bit more than the $6k for the equivalent matla

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you might find Howard Gardner's book 'Frames of Mind' interesting. Mathematica may have more use for some folks than for others.

duke out

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Mathematica may have more use for some folks than for othersUnquestionably. I was just a wee bit disappointed in how much good it was in heavily mathematical (but not mathematics) research. It doesn't replace the graduate student, it turns out.

## Sage also has a web interface (Score:5, Informative)

I've been making an effort to use Sage in place of Mathematica lately and so far I'm impressed. Although, right now I prefer using the CLI rather than the web interface.

## Re:Sage also has a web interface (Score:5, Informative)

I think this is a beautiful thing. When William Stein started Sage, he wanted to beat Magma. Soon thereafter, he decided that he'd need to catch up to Mathematica. Now, less than 3 years later, they're racing to catch up to us...

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## Re:Are you kidding? (Score:5, Insightful)

The reason why this is more than just another stupid AJAX port of a desktop app is that it allows for things like

very, veryeasy supercomputing capabilities to be built into Mathematica -- just upload your notebook and let Wolfram's cluster crunch it for you. No munging with parallelization, or setting up and maintaining the hardware. Some other benefits (depending on point of view) of the AJAX port:lotof computations in Mathematica take a very long time. If your computations are wearing down your laptop, simply pay $1000, upload your notebook and have your answer in no time.## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

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I'm just giving you a hard time. Actually, I've recently started using SAGE and I admit that it's very impressive for its age. I've been using Mathematica for nearly a decade and used Matlab extensively for my graduate research, but SAGE may end up replacing both for my projects.

Keep up the good work!

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## Hmm... (Score:1, Offtopic)

I love AJAX. Seriously, I think it's great stuff, and it's fun to program. But why do some projects have this overwhelming desire to tout AJAX as the "ZOMG IT MAKE OUR PRODUCT ELEVENTY BILLION TIMES BETTER!!" tag with items like this?

What are the other improvements coming about with Mathematica? What about bugfixes? Wouldn't those be more important than "Oooooh, look, the page is more responsive now!"

## Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

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## Ah, splendid! (Score:5, Funny)

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## Hilbert? (Score:2)

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## Ajax was here! (Score:1)

## The Hilbert Program (Score:5, Funny)

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## AJAMathMl ? (Score:2)

## SageMath (Score:5, Informative)

## Re:3d cube (Score:1)

a 3d cube using the

awesome Jmol library [sourceforge.net].

## Parody (Score:5, Funny)

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## axiom and maxima work fine (Score:2)

Axiom and maxima both work fine for me. Admittedly, I don't use them for much more than the occasional nasty integral.

Wolfram is evil. I once bought a copy of the mac version of Mathematica from them, to run on MacOS 6, IIRC. When I upgraded to MacOS 7, it stopped working. Called Wolfram, they said I should pay for a new version of Mathematica.

## Mathematica suxxor (Score:2, Informative)

## obselete: javafx or silverlight better (Score:2)

## Anyone recall the unethical crap from Wolfram? (Score:1)

1. I buy their software, and pay for overnight S/H. I get it, and it needs to be activated - not by web, but by a human on the phone - before it can be used. This takes 2 weeks due to some overseas holiday I've never heard of.

2. I set up a web site complaining, and they send phony DMCA take-down notices, saying that I'm distributing pirated versions of their software.

3. Wolfram has been proven to have sent man