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CDF Player vs. Mathematica browser plug-in

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  • Subject: [mg117174] CDF Player vs. Mathematica browser plug-in
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 16:02:01 -0500 (EST)
  • Reply-to: murray at

What exactly is the relationship between the new CDF Player, on the one 
hand, and the Mathematica browser plug-in, on the other hand.

So far as I can tell, if you have a full Mathematica 8 installed along 
with the Mathematica browser plug-in, then you can open any .nb directly 
in the browser (and it will start the Kernel automatically). And, if 
that notebook has a Manipulate, you can evaluate it in place within the 
browser and get the same interactivity you would had you been working 
directly in the Mathematica Front end.

Suppose now I install CDF Player. Do documents open in that ONLY within 
a browser? Or does CDF Player also have some separate user interface?

And once CDF Player is installed, if I open a .cdf file in the browser, 
does CDF Player preempt my installed Mathematica itself to evaluate the 
input in that file? Or is there some way to choose whether to open in 
the browser using the full Kernel via the Mathematica plug-in, on the 
one hand, or just the CDF Player, on the other hand?

Finally, will CDF Player at all open a .nb?  Or just a .cdf?

P.S. The CDF MIME type makes perfect sense: Wolfram Wolfram Computable 
Document Format. However, it's an unfortunate choice of term if you 
search for it in the Documentation Center, since of course the first 
thing you get in the search result is CDF, as in "cumulative 
distribution function."  I guess with only three symbols to use for the 
MIME type and so many combinations already staked out, one doesn't have 
so many choices for a new type designation.

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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