Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

What Is the Wolfram Language?

The Wolfram Language is a computational language. It gives you a way to communicate with computers about things, and to get computers to do remarkable things for you. Learning the Wolfram Language is like getting a superpower that lets you tap into a vast world of computational capability and knowledgeand gives you a new and powerful computational way of thinking about almost anything.
The Wolfram Language represents a significant advance in how computers can be used. Traditional programming languages like C++, Java, Python and JavaScript are designed to tell a computer step-by-step what to do in terms of things like loops and variables. The Wolfram Language can do that too. But its great innovation is to be able to operate at a much higher level, providing a direct computational way to deal with both abstract concepts and things in the real world.
In this book, you’ll see how to use the Wolfram Language to do a great many things. You’ll learn how to think computationally about what you want to do, and how to communicate it to a computer using the Wolfram Language.
Why can’t you just say what you want using plain English? That’s what you do in Wolfram|Alpha. And it works very well for asking short questions. But if you want to do something more complex, it quickly becomes impractical to describe everything just in plain English. And that’s where the Wolfram Language comes in.
It’s designed to make it as easy as possible to describe what you want, making use of huge amounts of knowledge that are built into the language. And the crucial thing is that when you use the Wolfram Language to ask for something, the computer immediately knows what you mean, and then can actually do what you want.
I view the Wolfram Language as an optimized tool for turning ideas into reality. You start with an idea of something you want to do. You formulate the idea in computational terms, then you express it in the Wolfram Language. Then it’s up to the Wolfram Language to do it as automatically as possible.
You can make things that are visual, textual, interactive or whatever. You can do analyses or figure things out. You can create apps and programs and websites. You can take a very wide variety of ideas and implement themon your computer, on the web, on a phone, on tiny embedded devices and more.
But the very knowledge and automation that makes the Wolfram Language so powerful also makes it accessible to anyone. You don’t have to know about the workings of computers, or about technical or mathematical ideas; that’s the job of the Wolfram Language. All you need to do is to know the Wolfram Language, so you can tell your computer what you want.
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