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Re: Thoughts on a Wolfram|Alpha package for

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  • Subject: [mg101913] Re: Thoughts on a Wolfram|Alpha package for
  • From: David Reiss <dbreiss at>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 06:24:09 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <> <h43rqd$cbn$>


I can't say that I disagree with any of your points here.  Perhaps a
main value added from W|A to Mathematica would be via the W|A's API to
grant access to data sources that are not yet implemented as curated
data functions in Mathematica.  Of course one thing that needs to be
done for Mathematica (by WRI, not me) is to implement a design for
curated data that gives immediate access to Mathematica users to the W|
A data sets without having to wait for new version of Mathematica.

Actually the video that you mention drives home a point that is
different, perhaps from it's intent.   This is my opinion that W|A's
marketing and user expectations hasn't been managed in a way that
clearly defines the tool's scope.  The natural language interface can
be used to define an alternate web presence that is based on sets of
calculators organized into a variety of (expanding) categories. Indeed
an approach that let's users define their own personal W|A calculator
sets would be very useful to people.  (I have quite a few other iedas
along these lines that I have passed on to the W|A folks...).

Well, interesting to think about...   but my day job beckons...


On Jul 21, 3:47 am, Andrzej Kozlowski <akozlow... at> wrote:
> Well, to me it all seems to me a little premature...
> Personally I am not at all sure what the advantages of access to  
> Wolfram Alpha from Mathematica are supposed to be. Obviously they  
> can't lie primarily in the sort of things that Mathematica can do  
> alone and also not in those things that can be done by combining  
> Mathematica with Google. What lies outside this range is intriguing  
> but still far from clear, as so ably demonstrated in the video the  
> link to which was recently posted by magma:
> At this stage I can't see many people committing themselves to buying  
> something that would enable them to get no results much more  
> conveniently and efficiently than they can (or rather can't) do with a =
> browser.  But one day, who knows...
> (However, not to discourage others I would like to note that I am a  
> well known diehard reactionary.)
> Andrzej Kozlowski
> On 20 Jul 2009, at 02:59, David Reiss wrote:
> > In a day a while ago I put together the Wolfram|Alpha lookup tool for
> > Mathematica which quite a few folks have downloaded and are using:
> >
> > There is certainly much more that I could build to make use of  
> > Wolfram|
> > Alpha in Mathematica and to interface with it from Mathematica.  But
> > the problem or me is the cost of my time....   Alas, it's a rare
> > resource.  I suspect that spending the time to build such a package
> > wouldn't pay for itself either at a fixed inexpensive) cost (say$20
> > per license) or as "donation ware" at that rate.
> > What are peoples thoughts as to
> > 1) what you'd like to see in it
> > 2) would you buy it
> > My general model for building something like this would be to create
> > an initial base functionality and then to add to it (at no incremental
> > cost to paid users for new versions just  as I do with
> >
> > Sadly 3rd party application for Mathematica sell very poorly--rarely
> > even beginning to recoup the cost to develop them.  But I could do
> > this if there were a couple of hundred users willing to purchase it.
> > So, just thinking out loud...
> > Your opinions....  is it worth it?  I suspect not...
> > --David
> >

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