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Using MathLink to create a GUI

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  • Subject: [mg61169] Using MathLink to create a GUI
  • From: "Steven T. Hatton" <hattons at>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 06:19:18 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I started looking at MathLink as a possible path to getting away from this
obsolete Motif interface used on Linux.  I have a few questions about how I
might accomplish this.  

What's the best way to get a naked frontend widget? You know, the white
rectangle where you type in Mathematica code.

Will this widget have some degree of Motif contamination?

Can I start a kernel from a program writting with MathLink?

Do I need a kernel to have a frontend widget. If I run Mathematica from the
commandline, it typically launches a frontend instance with not kernel
running.  Is that an illusion?  IOW, is there really a kernel running
inside the frontend?  I see there is FrontEndExecute[FrontEndToken[...]]
which could be potentially usefull for driving the FrontEnd through a GUI
linked into Mathematica through MathLink. The problem is that I need an egg
before I can have a chicken.  If I want to do anything at all, I have to
have a kernel.  How do I then do things such as stop and start the kernel
from within the GUI?  If I can quit the kernel and keep a frontend widget
that it opened, then what do I do when I open a new notebook, start a

"Philosophy is written in this grand book, The Universe. ... But the book
cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language...
in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, ...;
without which wanders about in a dark labyrinth."   The Lion of Gaul

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