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Re: Wolfram|Alpha Lookup Tool for Mathematica

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg100009] Re: Wolfram|Alpha Lookup Tool for Mathematica
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net>
  • Date: Thu, 21 May 2009 00:17:27 -0400 (EDT)

On 5/20/09 at 5:02 AM, mcmcclur at unca.edu (mark mcclure) wrote:

>On May 16, 5:17 am, David Reiss <dbre... at gmail.com> wrote:
>>With the release of Wolfram|Alpha I have created a small tool that
>>allows you to send a query to Wolfram|Alpha directly from
>>Mathematica.

>Unfortunately, this is clearly against the terms of use:
>http://www.wolframalpha.com/termsofuse.html

>In particular: "The Wolfram|Alpha service may be used only by a
>human being using a conventional web browser to manually enter
>queries one at a time."

>I think that Mathematica is clearly not a conventional web browser.
>Now, I don't mean to imply that this tool should not have been
>written or that it is Wolfram Research's intention to forbid this
>specific use.  On the contrary, the ease of writing such a tool
>using query strings would indicate otherwise.  Hopefully, the
>forthcoming API will include separate terms of use that clarify this
>matter.

Have you used David's tool? Entry of search terms in the tool
cause your default web browser to launch and send a query to
Wolfram|Alpha. And the tool only allows one search at a time to
be done. The only thing David's tool does is create a convenient
means to start a query while using Mathematica. From the
perspective of the Wolfram|Alpha server's the result is
identical to a human entering a single query in a conventional
web browser.

Consequently, it is far from obvious this is against the terms
of use. And since the query sent to the server is identical in
both cases, there is no way to Wolfram to distinguish between
the two cases.




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