Starting to Demo the Wolfram Language

We’re getting closer to the first official release of the Wolfram Language—so I am starting to demo it more publicly.

Here’s a short video demo I just made. It’s amazing to me how much of this is based on things I hadn’t even thought of just a few months ago. Knowledge-based programming is going to be much bigger than I imagined…


  1. Is Wolfram Language just a rename of Mathematica?

  2. This is a significant PL.

    Connecting embedded devices (the IoT buzzword) is more of a reality with this.

    It is not realistic for all major consumer electronics manufacturers to use a single, standard device structure.

    It is equally not realistic for people to write a different firmware and maintain them so that you can connect your toaster to twitter.

    I’ve been using wolframalpha for years and am surprised every now and then how it can interpret my gibberish. I have high hopes for this one.

  3. CloudDeploy and the possibility of mobile app setup though WL sound exciting. I’m a daily user of Mathematica and grateful for it.

  4. This is really fantastic. One question: The video says it’s the most powerful language, one can build so much etc. What’s one of those things, that you’ve built that no one else could build before? What great application now exists that didn’t before? I will still use google for search, twitter for opinion (that’s where the people are at..), photoshop for photos etc. Besides doing mathematics, which Mathematica is great at, what concrete evidence is there that this language is better for solving any particular problem one would actually care to solve? I don’t care about dominant flag colors.

  5. holy crap! when can I get a copy?!

  6. When deploying to the Wolfram Cloud – what are the high-availability and disaster recovery characteristics of the deployment?

  7. Am I dreaming? this is awesome work.

  8. But where is the source code? black box?

  9. so, where is the interpreter to play with ? :):)

  10. Can’t wait to use it.

  11. I’m ghast and flabbered! Founded dumb!

    I really don’t know where to start; this is a stunning achievement and I’m so excited to get my hands on it.

  12. Dr Wolfram

    Congratulations on the new “Wolfram Language”. This is actually a great accomplishment. I have been using your products since Mathematica 2 was released. It took me a few moments to grasp the significance of what you are saying here. After all, we already have Mathematica as a computing language – so why is th Wolfram Language important? But YES, on further thought I do agree that you have delivered a remarkable new computing resource to the world.

    I’d like you to pause for a moment and switch reference frames. I am going to give you an entirely different viewpoint about why I see the Wolfram Language as an important global asset. Imagine the year is 2060 and ten billion people are squeezed into an overcrowded world. Somewhere in Africa a young girl is standing in a burned-out city. She has literally nothing … no schools … no tutors … hardly even enough food and water to survive that day. But she does have an alert mind, and someone hands her a working computer tablet. On that tablet is the Wolfram Language! With that tool, she could begin to express her thoughts – she could begin to start computing a solutuion to her problems!!

    The truth is that you are now 95% of the way to the positive outcome I am describing – giving people ANYWHERE on Earth that chance to compute their destiny. You have devoted am immense amout of work to developing the Wolfram Language, The one thing that is still missing really is an online educational tool that could take people who are at “ground zero” with their computing skills – and get them going with your new product. This is no trivial undertaking – really it’s not. A good educational tool needs to be be brilliantly “intuitive”. It has to form a bridge between peoples’ minds and the Wolfram Language. You need to get people over the hump of the learning curve. I know of very few software systems that have ever had good learnin interfaces … they all claim fell short. However, I do believe that if you search around you will find someone with a rare talent who can help complete that picture … to design an educationa tool so a girl in an African ghetto could pick up the Wolfram Language and start rolling with it! This is no small feat, but I think it is do-able.

    Why did I happen to mention this unusual scenario? Because it is “baked into the cake”. It WILL happen. Or at least, I can surely say that tremendous upheavals are coming to our world because we are rapidly moving down an unsustainable road. Multiple computer simulations all point to the same general outcome now … they differ only in details.

    But I can say this: If your legacy to the world is that you leave everyone with a tool that really allows them to compute solutions to their problems – then perhaps our species will have a fighting chance!!

    My best wishes to you,
    (Dr.) Pete Pollock, Los Angeles

  13. Yeah, so that was awesome

  14. Interesting, but the one question that was burning in my mind the entire time was — how can I use it on my own (private) data sets. For example I might have a lot of information about my clients and would like to discover who my most valuable North American client might be.

  15. WOW! This is amazing. As a web programmer only 2 years into my career (i.e., still having a lot to learn), I have to say, I can’t wait to try this!

  16. Truly amazing. I can’t wait to try it.

  17. Looks exciting! How do I try it out?

  18. One thing that keeps puzzling me is what the difference between Wolfram Language and Mathematica 10.0 is. Are you decoupling the two? Also, it seems to me that “language” is an understatement. This is more like an expert system. It knows things. Programming languages don’t know anything.

  19. My only question is how do I start using it. The video is amazing, After looking at the reference site, I’d like to start using it right now. Tell my students, colleges and the whole world about it. Thanks.

  20. Could you please explain: how do I try to use wolfram language to crawl websites? I have found an example, but I want to edit and run it – how do I do that?

    Thank you in advance!

  21. I don’t see any comments, assuming everyone else is also speechless in awe!!

    I am super excited to get into this! Not sure how it will be packaged – is it online only?

  22. So how much is this going to cost us to be able to use?

  23. Where can i try this. I feel like junking a whole chunk of other code and rebuild with this!!!

  24. As a fish taxonomist and systematist, I see the Wolfram Language is a very exciting development. It is perhaps the first computational context that may be sufficiently general and capable of facilitating the study and modeling of the natural world in an efficient manner. Mathematica already provides a framework of computational interactivity that is sufficiently general and automated enough to begin the task of building the kind of new internet that will move from simply linking static webpages with disconnected pieces of semi-structured data, such as embedded data and video, into a new world of integrating this content across the web of everything in a way that can be studied, dynamically archived, and modeled numerically.

    As noted by Lord Kelvin, if you can’t express ideas in numbers, then your ideas scarcely reach the level needed to science. It is the science of managing the complexity of the consequences of human existence on fragile and rapidly changing ecosystems that is perhaps the greatest challenge facing mankind. Conventional languages and the internet, although great achievements, are simply not sufficiently integrated nor operate at a sufficiently high enough level of generality to save us from ourselves within the short time frame we may have left.

    As a Mathematica user for a few years now, without sufficient formal training in either mathematics or computer science, I have struggled to learn this huge, yet immensely powerful language and its underlying principles. Because it is a huge language and because the functional/symbolic paradigm is so radically different from conventional technologies becoming fluent in the language is not yet easy to accomplish. Nonetheless, your demo incorporates a few ideas of tremendous importance to biologists that I have been striving to express in Mathematica, but existing demonstration projects, tutorials, webcasts and online help provide insufficient insight for me to yet program in Mathematica.

    For example, you use a function called GeoGraphics, which could well form the basis for a tremendous number of applications within the life sciences. It seems to provide a high level model for integrating and using geographic and geophyscical data in the context of computer graphics and conformable maps that seem to be more immediately accessible to users and programmers. More information about this function could not come too soon so that a new internet of linked computable document formats can be assembled to literally model, study and manage the real world, while there is still time for humans to shift the current trajectory of global ecosystem degradation and rapid change toward one that is pointed more toward human survival rather than extinction.

    To facilitate this Mathematica needs a broader and more actively interacting user base. The Woldfram Language may well provide the context that permits scientists of all kinds to build the kind of knowledge based computational engine necessary to build the dynamic interdisciplinary cooperation needed for the the scale of the task that lies before us. Keep up the good work and create more examples and set up more avenues of dialog that will facilitate user productivity and broader adoption within the scientific community and the larger web audience generally. Provide more hooks that make it easier to integrate the results of open software initiatives into the Wolfram Language.

    Hopefully GeoGraphics and other high level functions will make the job of biologists and environmental scientists easier. I can’t wait to get started learning more about GeoGrahics and Classify. There is no time to waste. Hurry up and release it soon. Address the final tweaks in a subsequent revision.

  25. Amazing – there are literally millions of application we could construct with this quickly. When might this be available for early developers to experience?

  26. As a developer since the eighties this is the first time I’ve thought “ooh, this changes a lot of things.” It’s a language for the new generation and I look forward to experimenting with it.

  27. Amazing – there are literally millions of application we could construct with this quickly. When might this be available for early developers to experience?

  28. Excellent work. Can’t wait to try this.

  29. Can’t wait to try it out!

  30. How does Wolfram Language process large distributed datasets which are not publicly accessible?

  31. This seems brilliant, I definitely want to give it a try at some point!

    I think, however, that there is some wrong data in the demo. Under which scheme are Norway and Sweden part of the Western Europe but Finland isn’t? In any classification that I know of, they either all belong to the Northern Europe or all belong to the Western Europe.

  32. Please tell me what programming language this programming language is written in?

  33. Pure Genius.

  34. Hi Stephen! I’ve been a programming for 10 years and I am so excited to start using this! I knew a higher abstraction would eventually replace what we have now. Count me in! ^_^

  35. just wanted to note that WL is not JUST Mathematica. yes, it is the language that underlies Mathematica but it is also a stand-alone language. i have spent over 25 years writing code in WL and i have only used a mathematical function in my code one time. If you need or want to program, then you can do it with WL. and you should becuase it is awesomely cool and fun (sure, it’s extremely productive as well, but if it ain’t fun to do,i don’t do it).and you can use any programming paradigm you want (functional, procedural, declarative, object-oriented) though i personally prefer the rule-based, pattern-matching style becuase it reflects the way i think. there are few things more boring than trying to express what you want to compute to a dumb machine (it’s like having a conversation with my dog who is very cute but not real bright). i want (demand) a language that brings my computer up to my level of thinking rather than require me to bring my thinking down to the level of a piece of hardware. and the core WL language can be understood and used productively in a matter of hours – it’s really that simple as i know from teaching it to probably over a thousand people from many different fields (not just science and engineering).

  36. When I started computing there were visionaries like John Backus, Ken Iverson, and Johm Mcarthy who had worked in a world of assembly language programmers and created Fortran, APL, and Lisp.

    Watching the video I feel that Wolfram Language is that kind of transformation. Its API’s to embed it into the web and access the world’s data bases are going to be remarkable in their effects on how we do things.

    I got a Raspberry Pi for Christmas because it has this engine and necessary hooks to the internet on it for free. Haven’t had this much fun since I learned enough Fortran one night in 1970 from a programmed learning text to start programming the next day at the university’s IBM 1130.

    Looks like Stephen Wolfram has engineered the next generation language.

    Thank you Dr. Wolfram for re-establishing the sense of wonder in computing.

  37. Thank you for your work Dr. Wolfram.

  38. Mathematica 10 will be the first implementation of the Wolfram Language, I believe.

    (this is for those of you asking where to get it.)

    You can see a pre-release version of Mathematica 10 if you own a Raspberry Pi. ‘sudo apt-get install wolfram-engine’ then run ‘mathematica’ from within the window manager, or ‘wolfram’ at the console/terminal.

  39. Hello Dr. Wolfram:

    I recently saw your announcement of the “Mathematica Language”. I was somewhat surprised since, of the examples I saw, they all used standard Mathematica language constructs I am already familiar with.

    But as I thought about this more, I realized that the power of the language when used for data representation and integrated with curated data and W|a, is indeed very powerful.

    I thought this some time ago and after reading some more, I am very interested to beta test the Wolfram Data Framework (or whatever it is called). I have been thinking about this since I made some YouTube videos about this a few years ago.

    Basically what I am interested in is to hook the Mathe curated data architecture to some web services in the outside world.

    Please let me know if I can work to make this be realized.


    Roger Williams

  40. Will it be possible for developers to market their own Wolfram functions on the site? (i.e. a “function store” as opposed to an “app store”)

  41. I found this very interesting and looking forward to trying it. When do you think it will be released?

  42. Is it possible to release the Wolfram Language as Open Source perhaps through ASL 2.0?

  43. I believe that the first system (program, software & hardware, etc.) with which you can access a very large data set extracted from the web, analyze the data using any ad hoc method specified and (this is very important) interact with you vocally / verbally, in natural language and, in essence, discuss your data needs to get exactly the the data and analysis you want – that this will dominate the database and analysis market as soon as it is perfected. The Mathematica Language with expanded Alpha functionality brought to the point that it is the equal or better than IBM’s Jeopardy playing Watson – which IBM is moving toward market can reach this goal. I think Wolfram can take the IBM market and indeed all similar products markets…if they can deliver the spoken word, natural language interface first.