Mathematica hits the Web

Wolfram embraces the cloud, promises private cloud cut of its number-cruncher

Wolfram wants to broaden the appeal of its Mathematica product, adding a fully-online version to the existing standalone software applications.

Announcing the online version in this blog post, Stephen Wolfram says it's a zero-configuration browse-and-login version of the product that replicates most of the features of the Windows/Linux/Mac applications.

The online version replicates the notebook-style interface of the standalone apps, and with cloudy storage, Wolfram says it's easy to collaborate on projects. There are also share settings that would let a teacher set problems for students, receiving back their individual submissions as discrete documents.

Mobile users can hit up the child-genius-in-a-box app either through browsers now. If they don't mind waiting, Wolfram promises a Mathetmatica Cloud app that will access the same online features as the Web version.

Wolfram says the Computable Document Format (CDF) in the cloud has sacrificed some features – without explicitly detailing which ones – but chiefly he notes that there will be a performance hit to the Manipulate feature, because it's not running locally.

On the upside, Mathematica's CDF interface can be embedded directly in users' Web pages without a plugin.

Existing users can access the cloud version either as an add-on service (for individuals) or as a site license. The outfit says it will also be launching a private cloud version of Mathematica online, so organisations can run it internally without sending their data over the public Internet. ®

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