Launching the Wolfram Open Cloud: Open Access to the Wolfram Language
January 28, 2016 — Stephen Wolfram
Six and a half years ago we put Wolfram|Alpha and the sophisticated computational knowledge it delivers out free on the web for anyone in the world to use. Now we’re launching the Wolfram Open Cloud to let anyone in the world use the Wolfram Language—and do sophisticated knowledge-based programming—free on the web.
It’s been very satisfying to see how successfully Wolfram|Alpha has democratized computational knowledge and how its effects have grown over the years. Now I want to do the same thing with knowledge-based programming—through the Wolfram Open Cloud.
Last week we released Wolfram Programming Lab as an environment for people to learn knowledge-based programming with the Wolfram Language. Today I’m pleased to announce that we’re making Wolfram Programming Lab available for free use on the web in the Wolfram Open Cloud.
Go to wolfram.com, and you’ll see buttons labeled “Immediate Access”. One is for Wolfram|Alpha. But now there are two more: Programming Lab and Development Platform.
Wolfram Programming Lab is for learning to program. Wolfram Development Platform (still in beta) is for doing professional software development. Go to either of these in the Wolfram Open Cloud and you’ll immediately be able to start writing and executing Wolfram Language code in an active Wolfram Language notebook.
Just as with Wolfram|Alpha, you don’t have to log in to use the Wolfram Open Cloud. And you can go pretty far like that. You can create notebook documents that involve computations, text, graphics, interactivity—and all the other things the Wolfram Language can do. You can even deploy active webpages, web apps and APIs that anyone can access and use on the web.
If you want to save things then you’ll need to set up a (free) Wolfram Cloud account. And if you want to get more serious—about computation, deployments or storage—you’ll need to have an actual subscription for Wolfram Programming Lab or Wolfram Development Platform.
But the Wolfram Open Cloud gives anyone a way to do “casual” programming whenever they want—with access to all the core computation, interface, deployment and knowledge capabilities of the Wolfram Language.
In Wolfram|Alpha, you give a single line of natural language input to get your computational knowledge output. In the Wolfram Open Cloud, the power and automation of the Wolfram Language make it possible to give remarkably small amounts of Wolfram Language code to get remarkably sophisticated operations done.
The Wolfram Open Cloud is set up for learning and prototyping and other kinds of casual use. But a great thing about the Wolfram Language is that it’s fully scalable. Start in the Wolfram Open Cloud, then scale up to the full Wolfram Cloud, or to a Wolfram Private Cloud—or instead run in Wolfram Desktop, or, for that matter, in the bundled version for Raspberry Pi computers.
I’ve been working towards what’s now the Wolfram Language for nearly 30 years, and it’s tremendously exciting now to be able to deliver it to anyone anywhere through the Wolfram Open Cloud. It takes a huge stack of technology to make this possible, but what matters most to me is what can be achieved with it.
With Wolfram Programming Lab now available through the Wolfram Open Cloud, anyone anywhere can learn and start doing the latest knowledge-based programming. Last month I published An Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language (which is free on the web); now there’s a way anyone anywhere can do all the things the book describes.
Ever since the web was young, our company has been creating large-scale public resources for it, from Wolfram MathWorld to the Wolfram Demonstrations Project to Wolfram|Alpha. Today we’re adding what may ultimately be the most significant of all: the Wolfram Open Cloud. In a sense it’s making the web into a true computing environment—in which anyone can use the power of knowledge-based programming to create whatever they want. And it’s an important step towards a world of ubiquitous knowledge-based programming, with all the opportunities that brings for so many people.