July 14, 2004–Mathematica users and application developers now have access to a powerful new technology that makes it easy to create graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for a wide range of custom implementations. GUIKit, Wolfram Research’s latest technology release for use with Mathematica, is a new development tool built on Java that can be downloaded free of charge.
GUIKit provides a high-level Mathematica expression syntax for defining graphical user interfaces along with a runtime environment for managing and deploying these reusable definitions. Users can quickly build innovative applications that capitalize on Mathematica‘s trusted computational, graphical, and language capabilities. These applications then enable end users to perform sophisticated computations with just a few mouse clicks–without requiring any knowledge of Mathematica.
GUIKit is well suited for commercial and educational development. With GUIKit, users can:
- Extend existing Mathematica functions with user interfaces to facilitate easier or custom user input
- Create wizards for specific Mathematica functionality
- Build complete cross-platform applications that leverage the computational power of Mathematica
- Create GUIs directly from Mathematica
GUIKit can be used to build interfaces to databases or to generate interactive graphics, presentations, and simulations. A few examples of interfaces included with the product are calculation tools such as EquationTrekker, import tools, and search tools.
GUIKit user interfaces call on the power of Java, but are much easier to write than if done using Java directly. GUIKit also provides complete access to any and all Java classes and their properties, events, and methods. And because the interfaces are based on Java, they are completely platform-independent and will look native on any platform without the need for changes or modifications.
Unlike programs written in C and other languages, where the parameters cannot be changed once the code is compiled, interfaces created with GUIKit can easily be adjusted at run time based on user input or Mathematica results.
“GUIKit goes much further [than existing products] in terms of disguising mostly irrelevant details and helping the user to get the job done quickly. The event handling syntax is simple and flexible and easier than anything else I have seen,” says Ian Buckley of Rogue Trainer, a UK financial consulting firm. “Very impressive and useful!”
“GUIKit creates a unique bridge between the power of Mathematica and the interface control of Java,” says Jeff Adams, GUIKit lead developer. “It lets you build interactive interfaces in record time, especially for applications involving sophisticated computation or technical graphics. Our initial GUIKit users have built everything from simple utility dialogs to aid their daily use of Mathematica as a tool, to elaborate stand-alone applications. They’ve taken the technology and run with it even beyond what we envisioned.”
GUIKit is built for Mathematica 5.0 or later. It will be included with future releases of Mathematica and is available for all platforms supporting Mathematica and Java. More information is available.