Wolfram Cloud 1.50 and 1.51: Major New Releases Bring Cloud Another Step Closer to the Desktop
August 29, 2019 — Jan Poeschko, Cloud Development
A couple weeks ago, we released Version 1.51 of the Wolfram Cloud. We’ve made quite a few significant functionality improvements even since 1.50—a major milestone from many months of hard work—as we continue to make cloud notebooks as easy and powerful to use as the notebooks on our desktop clients for Wolfram|One and Mathematica. You can read through everything that’s new in 1.51 in the detailed release notes. After working on this version through to its release, I’m excited to show off Wolfram Cloud 1.51—I’ve put together a few of the highlights and favorite new features for you here.
Cloud 1.50 Recap
But before we get into what’s new, let’s first catch up on what Version 1.51 is building on. The release of Wolfram Cloud 1.50 in May was an incredibly massive effort, especially for cloud notebooks. Here are some of our major accomplishments from 1.50:
- License modernization (simplification of products and subscriptions)
- New URL structure (/obj for deployed view, /env for editable view)
- DynamicGeoGraphics is supported in the cloud
- Improvements to server-side rendering of cloud notebooks (the HTML cache)
- CodeAssistOptions are implemented in the cloud
- The cell insertion menu design matches the desktop
- Autocompletion for special characters works in text cells as well as input cells
- ListPicker is modernized in the cloud
- New front-end web fonts are supported in the cloud
- Internal and Wolfram Enterprise Private Cloud (EPC) users can disable embedded-view branding via the Wolfram Language
- … and much, much more
Click-to-Copy for Noneditable Cells
In cloud notebooks, output cells are generally not editable, and selections within them didn’t work very well because browsers had a hard time dealing with their structure. To make it easy to still “grab” some output, we added click-to-copy in 1.51: you only need to click an output cell to copy its whole content to the clipboard. You can then paste it into another cell, cloud notebook, desktop or any other application (rich structures might not be preserved in other applications, though).
Click-to-copy is disabled on controls that are interactive by themselves, e.g. buttons, sliders and graphics (which you can select individually), in order not to interfere with that interactivity.
Of course, the longer-term goal is to actually support the same granular selection mechanism as on the desktop.
Evaluate in Place
You can evaluate expressions “in place” now, just like in desktop notebooks. Just select a (sub) expression in an input cell and press +Shift+ (on Windows) or + (on Mac) to evaluate it, replacing the original expression with the result from the computation.
Since cloud notebooks don’t yet support the feature-rich “two-dimensional” input found on the desktop, we added a new control that allows you to enter a textual representation of various typesetting constructs (what we call InputForm) and turn it into the corresponding two-dimensional boxes. Press +Shift+1 (or, put differently: +!) to bring up the input field, and press to “resolve” it into its typeset form. It works both in input cells (with the right evaluation semantics) and textual cells.
You can enter x/y for a fraction, x^y for superscripts, Sqrt[x] for square roots and various other forms. Clicking the resulting output brings you back to the edit mode.
The control is quite similar to += for free-form linguistic input in the Wolfram Language. We’re working on another similar control that would allow entering TEX syntax.
Inline Cell Group Openers and Closers
We now have the same cell group openers and closers as on the desktop (Version 12). Closed cell groups have a little chevron attached to them to open the group, which makes the content within them easier to discover. If you use that opener, there will also be a corresponding closer.
Improved Support for Special Unicode Characters
Cloud notebooks are now better at rendering non-plane-0 Unicode characters—including emojis! If you know their hexadecimal code point, you can enter them using the special \|xxxxxx notation, or you might use some built-in OS functionality (e.g. ++ on Mac). They work in text as well as in computations.
However, extended Unicode support isn’t quite perfect yet: ToCharacterCode still splits up non-plane-0 characters into surrogate pairs (we’re currently working on a fix, which will come in Wolfram Cloud 1.52), and the editor cursor can be moved “inside” emojis (this will be improved in the longer term).
There are many other new features, and we fixed quite a few bugs as well. Check out the release notes for all the details! We always love hearing from our users, so let us know in the comments section if you have any questions or suggestions. You can also join us on Wolfram Community to continue the discussion about cloud news and developments. We’re continuing our hard work improving the cloud even after 1.51, so keep an eye out for 1.52, coming soon!