Talk:Wolfram Alpha

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Random edits of Wolfram things.[edit]

I have noticed that things relating to Wolfram have been edited randomly. This, however, may be readily fixed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Numbertheorist (talkcontribs) 22:18, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Wolfram Alpha Widgets[edit]

The Capabilities section needs to be updated to discuss Wolfram Alpha Widgets. --Pleasantville (talk) 18:15, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Samuel Davis[edit]

Who is Samuel Davis and what is his connection to WA? Under the first section, "Design" it reads:

Samuel Davis created a design that lets users submit queries and computation requests via a text field

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

I think someone is having a little joke. I have removed it. JonMcLoone (talk) 08:31, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Easter eggs[edit]

The Easter egg section has long gotten out of control. I propose that as a list of trivia it should be deleted. At the very least we should only keep those items that are well sourced with something indicating that the particular Easter egg is significant. SQGibbon (talk) 08:36, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I just thought that I'd throw in that I have a list of Easter Eggs that you might want to see. I won't be doing anything with them. See: HankyUSA (talk) 08:51, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Done. I also went through and removed a huge wad of other primary material which had been obtained directly by running queries through the system. With any luck this will encourage future editors to add secondary analysis in future. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 10:44, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Nice job, the whole article is much better/cleaner now. SQGibbon (talk) 16:04, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Wolfram Beta?[edit]

When will Wolfram Beta come out? Or does the 'alpha' not denote that the system is still in development?

Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

This isn't a forum for discussing the subject. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 10:26, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
@Chris its a legitimate a point of order / definitional question. I think Alpha is the name of the engine, not the developmental codename indicating a version before beta, similar to the Alfa Romeo. Can anyone find a source? -- (talk) 16:51, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

good search tool[edit]

what is wolfram the name of the inventor? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:35, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Mysterious deletion of Wolfram links from Wiki pages[edit]

I get impression that wolfram links are unsupported by wiki as being extreaneous to wiki's aims, as i have posted a Wolfram formula describing all aspects of a hot air baloon's physical function, in the hot air baloon external links, and an editor has deleted my contribution twice under the premise that: "wiki is not a collection of external links" wolfram lift formula, an example for air baloons here is the link that was deleted for no reason, it is a problem for me. Am i at fault? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Basically, it's the case that WolframAlpha doesn't really explain it well, and it's likely that the the page already talks about the mathematics. If it doesn't, then there's probably room for an external link which does, but WolframAlpha doesn't really do that. This is the case for most links to WolframAlpha, and hence why it shouldn't be used as an external link. --Izno (talk) 15:26, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

Perhaps the page needs one, but the proposed text needs more work. I have moved it here and inserted comments on what is wrong with it. I should point out that I am an Wolfram Research employee, though am not principally involved in Wolfram|Alpha.

Critics of Wolfram Alpha argue that its stated mission ("to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone"[1]) is false due to the project's for-profit nature.

At least needs a [who?] tag, and does not logically follow that a for-profit company cannot make knowledge accessible.

An early source of friction between Wolfram Alpha and its users was the iOS app. At the time of release, it was one of the most expensive apps at $50 despite offering the same features that one could freely access by using a web browser instead[2]. Wolfram later changed the price to $2 and offered a refund to users who bought it before the price change[2].

This contradicts the first claim, since it says that functionality was too freely available to justify the price of the app.

Users have noticed that despite the emphasis placed on new features, the release of Wolfram Alpha Pro has led to the removal of some useful features from the free version[3] (e.g. increasing the computation time, exporting the responses to queries and an ad-free experience).

Probably wants a [who?] tag and is largely factually incorrect. Ads have been in Wolfram|Alpha since day 1, so there was never an ad-free experience before. Basic text and PDF export is still free (albeit now requiring a free login) and the new export features (CSV, XLS, SVG, etc) were never available before. I am uncertain about the extended computation time, but I think there was only a "try again" button before, not "extra computation time".

The service's developers have also been accused of standards proliferation given their exclusive use of the CDF format and also their recent interest in securing a top level domain for data storage purposes[4].

Should have a [who?] tag and Wolfram|Alpha does not make exclusive use of the CDF format. The blog item does not state that Wolfram is trying to secure the TLD, it says that it wants to "provide leadership" and "work with partners". However I have no inside information on this topic, to know, any more than Connor Behan what this means.

JonMcLoone (talk) 10:03, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

You make some good points but please remember that pieces of criticism are allowed to contradict eachother. If a product is criticized by one group for being too cheap and criticized by another group for being too expensive, that does not make it any less true that criticism is being issued. The only item in this list that truly bothers me is the disappearance of the free "try again with more time" option. I will start rewriting this section soon. But when the "who" means "the people who wrote comments in the citation at the end of this sentence", what is a better way of saying that?Salute to Wikimedia! (talk) 20:54, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I think making clear the contradictory nature would make for easier reading. I had wrongly assumed that the sentences were related. However, I think you may have some trouble with pseudonymous blog comments counting as reliable sources . JonMcLoone (talk) 22:01, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I checked inside the company, and am told that the "More time" link was made available in the free service as an "experimental" feature, as part of the test cycle leading up to the release of Wolfram|Alpha Pro. (IE to make sure it worked right, before trying to charge money for it!) JonMcLoone (talk) 17:42, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

One note for readers of the talk page: the 'standards proliferation' charge is based on the fact that CDF is Wolfram's own invention. This article needs a better criticisms section. Surely there are stories on websites that are critical of Wolfram Alpha, are there not?? Eaglizard (talk) 09:10, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Bad link[edit]

The reference to Richard Stallmans comment, number 18 ^ [4], does not work anymore. -- (talk) 10:57, 28 February 2012 (UTC)


FTA: "Example: "lim(x->0) x/sin x" yields the expected result, 1, as well as a possible derivation using L'Hôpital's rule, a plot, and the series expansion."

This doesn't fit in the Technology section at all, and I don't think it goes anywhere in the article. (talk) 22:00, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

It does: it belongs with the other examples, since it illustrates that WA can read math as well as literature. :) I moved it. Eaglizard (talk) 09:12, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
    • ^ [1]
    • ^ a b [2]
    • ^ [3]
    • ^ []