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Re: Getting a pure text widget?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg61374] Re: [mg61355] Getting a pure text widget?
  • From: Yasvir Tesiram <tesiramy at>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 02:29:41 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I don't know if you were aware but in,

you will find some Java code for creating a SimpleFront. As I've been 
reading this and previous threads, I agree with you that the inteface 
could do with an overhaul. Perhaps the example code in the Java program 
will help you to create the necessary code in C++ to control the startup 
up of the kernel etc.

As an answer to your question below, I don't think, your perceptions are 
in error. I think that perhaps, you forgot to take into account that 
embarking on creating a new GUI that meets the expectations of a wide and 
varied user base is a huge job.

An alternative to perhaps creating a new UI all over, is to make 
Mathematica interact with with tools available in Linux as they are. For 
example, if you consider the notebook interface as a beefed up terminal 
(or console), then there is nothing stopping you from using such programs 
as Konsole, xterm, aterm etc as your UI for Mathematica. You can handle 
graphics with ImageMagick etc, plots with Gnuplot maybe. All this may seem 
regressive, but there are UI's for Gnuplot etc that are already created in 
the "modern" sense and its Mathematica's "old" archaic engine that is 
still interacting with it.

There are endless possibilities. I think that if you set out small chunks 
of the problem and present it to mathgroup, you will find many responses. 
Creating GUI's may seem easy, making it functional and acceptable to 
greater than half the user base is not easy at all.


On Sun, 16 Oct 2005, Steven T. Hatton wrote:

> 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
> NotebookCreate[].
> 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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