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Wolfram Research Releases webMathematica 2.0

Published May 20, 2003

May 20, 2003–The new webMathematica 2.0 from Wolfram Research incorporates features that make it even easier for users to build sophisticated, interactive web applications with the full calculation and visualization power of Mathematica technology.

“The original release of webMathematica opened the door to incorporating a whole new generation of interactive functionality into websites, and webMathematica 2.0 builds upon the latest web development standards to further increase this access and make the product more robust,” says Lars Hohmuth, Manager of Strategic Marketing at Wolfram Research. Improvements in Version 2.0 are immediately apparent, starting with a simplified installation process that requires minimal configuration beyond the installation of the webMathematica web application, thereby enabling most customers to set up their websites in less than 15 minutes.

“webMathematica 2.0 blows everything else away….I am [currently] using PHP, MySQL, and graphics libraries to do things that would be very simple with webMathematica 2.0,” says Ed Luschei, Assistant Professor in Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin.

webMathematica now includes Mathematica 4.2, the latest Mathematica version, which has many features that are integral to web operations, such as XML, SVG, and MathML capabilities. In addition to the added functionality of the Mathematica 4.2 computation engine, the technology behind webMathematica 2.0 uses a new HTML templating mechanism based on JavaServer Pages (JSP) custom tags. This mechanism is fully compatible with the mechanism used in Version 1.0 but is easier to understand. It also allows the use of other JSP custom tag libraries and facilitates the integration of webMathematica into other server applications.

Additional new features in webMathematica 2.0 include:

  1. Support for MathML and SVG, which lets users describe equations and graphics in standard XML formats that can be read by browsers
  2. Support for catching Mathematica Message and Print output statements, to aid in developing and debugging application content
  3. Support for HTTP file upload, a mechanism that enables users to submit data to a webMathematica web server
  4. Support for saving HTTP session variables on the server, which is useful for saving results from one computation to another
  5. New HTML formatting functions for formatting results such as tables into HTML

“With webMathematica 2.0, our focus was on making the product fully compatible with existing web standards. We invested a large amount of design time in implementing a more simplified architecture based on standard JSP and XML technologies. At the same time, we arrived upon a more optimal configuration of components for easier installation and development,” says Tom Wickham-Jones, Director of Strategic Kernel Technology at Wolfram Research and chief developer of webMathematica. “The end result is a more elegant and reliable product that is also more intuitive, enabling faster construction of pages and increased performance.”

More information about webMathematica 2.0 is available.