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Wolfram Mathematica Comparative Analyses

Interface Building Systems

Interface Building Systems
(Visual Basic, Tcl/Tk, Swing, Ajax, Carbon, Cocoa, Qt, GTK+, ...)
Interface building systems traditionally focus on the mechanics of handling views and controls, and responding to events—and require specialized programming quite separate from the actual creation of content. In the past, such separation always seemed inevitable. But Mathematica's unique symbolic architecture and Manipulate function render that obsolete, allowing creation of serious open-ended interfaces as an integrated routine part of everyday interactive computational work.
Every few years, it is claimed that some new system or technology will suddenly make interface building easy. And while there has been progress in the encapsulation and layout of controls, the key problem that has remained has been in making a smooth connection to actual computation and content. Mathematica solves this with its unique ability to represent interfaces symbolically, and to unify them with its powerful language, graphics, layout, document and computation capabilities.
It is a remarkable achievement in Mathematica that a complete interface can be added to a static computation with less than a line of additional code. But what is perhaps more remarkable is that the technology is highly scalable, and immediately applicable to a full range of arbitrarily sophisticated types of content and interface—as well as allowing new dynamic and algorithmic forms of interface that could never realistically be built without the high-level language structure of Mathematica.
Interface Building System Features in Mathematica:
Key Advantages of Mathematica for Interface Building:
Interoperability with Interface Building Systems:
Interesting Tidbits:
  • The minimal non-trivial user interface is less than a line of Mathematica code
  • Thousands of interactive interfaces in The Wolfram Demonstrations Project were built directly by subject experts, without interface programmers
  • Early indications suggest high student interest in building Mathematica 6 interfaces
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