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Getting a pure text widget?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg61355] Getting a pure text widget?
  • From: "Steven T. Hatton" <hattons at>
  • Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 00:18:09 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

The literature for MathLink suggests that I could create my own GUI for
Mathematica using MathLink.  I have not been able to convince myself this
is really true by looking over the API.  For example, is there a way to get
a "pure" text widget?  By text widget, I mean - in terms of X - an X window
that presents the content of a Mathematica notebook without any menubar,
toolbar, scrollbar, statusbar, etc.  This is what I expected to get from
the command NotebookCreate[WindowFrame -> "Frameless"].  But that gave me a
normal Mathematica notebook window, indistinguishable from what I get with

I am 100% certain that a better UI could be created for Mathematica.  Such a
UI could be created Using Trolltech's Qt.  This GUI would compile and run
on all the major platforms that Mathematica targets.  Such a UI would add
value to Mathematica in many ways.  Not the least of which would be to make
the product attractive and usable for the 18 to 24-year-old college student
struggling to satisfy her course requirements, and looking for a tool to
_help_ achieve these immediate objectives, and to be of value to her after
she achieves these objectives.

I spent well over a year studying C++ with the hope of being able to
approach design challenges such as creating an alternative Mathematica UI. 
When I set out on the course, I was under the impression that MathLink
would facilitate the creation of such a product.  Now that I have returned
to the project, I am not convinced that assumption was valid.

Are my perceptions in error here?
"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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