Is Wolfram still developing for Raspberry Pi?

Wolfram's computation application
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Is Wolfram still developing for Raspberry Pi?

Postby tgwena » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:07 am

Hi all/anyone (especially Wolfram),

I am a longtime Mathematica user. It seems to me that the Mathematica on the Pi has stagnated to the point of no discussions on this forum (or anywhere else). The biggest barrier I have seen in trying to teach with it is the lack of comprehensive help like in the purchased editions.

Can we expect future developments? My biggest hope is to be able to install the help on the machine as opposed to having to rely on the web. It would help greatly in internet-limited parts of the world.
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Re: Is Wolfram still developing for Raspberry Pi?

Postby tenochtitlanuk » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:17 pm

I too have wondered. Safely retired from teaching for a decade, my first thought when I heard it was available on the Pi was 'what a fantastic resource. I'd have died to have access to that as a student.'.
Apart from one magazine article I've seen nothing to suggest it has gained any foothold via Pi with school kids. I'm not entirely surprised- when I was trying to get colleagues in subjects other than 'Computer Studies' to make constructive use of computers I found Maths for some reason to be one of the least adventurous, while subjects like Geography or Biology or Physics would leap in with adventurous use of the machines. Somehow the teachers at that time saw Maths as a pure subject 'out there' and stuck to traditional development in a hierarchical way. The Head of Maths was a good electronics buff, and used machines constructively himself, but regarded it as an imposition that anyone suggest that code existed that could make a mathematician more powerful, and learn deep ideas more easily!
Hope my analysis is dated and unduly pessimistic. My first contact with computing machinery was in about 1963 when the school in Cambridge where my father taught Maths got access via terminal to a primitive machine of that era... but I unfortunately was at another local school with no access!
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Re: Is Wolfram still developing for Raspberry Pi?

Postby ejolson » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:08 am

I haven't noticed a lack of help files, but maybe that is because I'm reading the help online through a web browser. There was enthusiasm in some mathematics departments in the 90s. In the States the current trend seems to be computerized homework in which a computer teaches the student to work pencil-and-paper problems. While this appears a role reversal to the original idea that the student should use a computer for computing things, it is popular because of increasing class sizes and decreasing computer literacy.

Effectively using Mathematica in class requires both the teacher and the students to be able to read and write programs. New books are needed that go beyond paper and pencil calculations. My suspicion is that nobody writes such books because nobody would buy them; at the same time, nobody buys them because nobody has written them.
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Re: Is Wolfram still developing for Raspberry Pi?

Postby kreisler » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:32 pm

I can see that on this forum or probably anywhere else there is little interest in 'Mma on Pi'. When i learned the language, Mma was available on full PC's only and on the go one had to resort to handheld TI calculators, apart from bulky laptops back then. I wouldn't carry a laptop, only to have some math power on me. I felt lucky when Wolfram published the WolframAlpha, it gave us some math power on the go through a web browser. And when smartphones became popular they made a mobile app version of WolframAlpha, super cool great stuff!

Finally i have a full Mma installation on my smartphone thanks to Pi. I haven't done much with Mma lately, so i won't make too much use of Mma on Pi but sometimes it is not all about utility in life but about wanting and desire. Ask your fiance what's the actual utility of a jewellery ring? It has no real utility other than it looks nice, makes you feel better about yourself (because it looks nice and it is expensive, $$$ valuable), and reminds you of the past, present and promises of the future. Having a full installation of Mma finally available on a smartphone may have no real utility either .. i don't enjoy coding Wolfram Language on a smartphone screen or on the go for that matter. But i always wanted to have that possibility. Just have. Ownership. Possession.

Now i have it and i love having it, even though i don't use Mma much anymore and would not code a Mma program on the go. Not on my smartphone screen.

Mma is certainly the most powerful programming language for prototype programs, spontaneous little programs. It operates at the highest level. Deep down, the core was built in C or C++ afaik but nowadays the Wolfram programmers and developers program in Wolfram Language (aka Mma) and don't need to go down anymore.

Thanks and greets to Wolfram and the Raspi Foundation for having made this possible. Mma on Pi, and even free. So cool. :ugeek:
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Re: Is Wolfram still developing for Raspberry Pi?

Postby ghostinthepi » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:59 am

I hit a depressive episode in my twenties and when following my dad to work found Mathematica on one of the computers in an abandoned room on a research campus of UC Berkeley. It was probably my oldest/fondest memory of programming. Most people, or the really good programmers, start very young. Still I feel lucky to have some memory about the beginning of all these things I've done.

I've since found the program to be very versatile, as kreisler was saying. What is unsung about this language is that is good for beginners. I was able to write some interesting music programs with Mma. I had to give up because it was too hard to get the program and I disliked writing into the free HTML cloud version. Things changed when I found out the Pi had it, as I plan to pick up where some of my old programs left off soon. :D