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I am trying to figure out what the announcement of the Wolfram Language means for Mathematica.

Is Mathematica an implementation of the Wolfram Language, or is it something else?

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19  
Oh, dear. He really did name the language after himself. He proposed it in a previous blog entry but there were plenty of names to use instead of that. –  Peltio Nov 21 '13 at 19:02
38  
@Peltio It's A New Kind of Name :D –  rm -rf Nov 21 '13 at 19:03
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@rm-rf You won an un-invitation for the next W-Conference –  belisarius Nov 21 '13 at 19:07
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... negative in particular about the new cloud features) is still M, and I'll always refer to it as M. Internally the employees were instructed about half a year ago to only refer to it as the "Wolfram Language" henceforth, but for me, until I die, it will always be "Mathematica" for me. Has been since 93. I see it as an ill-conceived attempt to rename M with something that bears Stephen's name. Already since M5 it has always been "Wolfram Mathematica" (see the marketing materials, for example), before M5 it was always simply "Mathematica". –  Andreas Lauschke Nov 21 '13 at 19:44
13  
Basically, this question is off topic here, because this site is about Mathematica and not about some weird "new and different kind of language" which no ones has seen so far! ;-) –  halirutan Nov 21 '13 at 22:51
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2 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

The Wolfram Language is what we all know as Mathematica, but rebranded to help wider adoption to people, particularly for people who don't self-identify as "math" people. As a Mathematica programmer, emphasis on the "programmer", I see this as a good thing.

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2  
I think the "Wolfram System" is the term now used to describe what we currently think of as Mathematica. The term "Wolfram Language" is the language in which you write code in the "Wolfram System", or what we currently call (loosely) the Mathematica language, rather than the whole shebang - FrontEnd, Kernel, etc.. Still, that's just me guessing - I know nothing. :) –  cormullion Nov 26 '13 at 20:18
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Is it correct to say that on the Raspberry Pi "Wolfram Language" is a command line interface (just the kernel) and "Mathematica" is Kernel + Front End? This is my impression, but I don't have a Pi at the moment, so I can't try! –  Szabolcs Nov 26 '13 at 20:22
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@cormullion They probably considered WolframFrontEnd and WolframBackEnd for the FE & kernel, but were wise enough to see why that might be a bad idea... :D Oh, all the missed opportunities. –  rm -rf Nov 26 '13 at 20:27
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I see it as a backstep. The name "Mathematica" is absolutely great for it. –  Andreas Lauschke Nov 27 '13 at 0:53
    
Stephen Hawkins words about "A Brief History of Time": "Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve the sales". Maybe the name Mathematica has some similar effect on programmers. I enjoy the "New Kind of Name" strategy. –  Murta Dec 5 '13 at 0:58
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I think that giving the language we use in Mathematica a name ("W", or whatever), and establishing it as separate from the Mathematica Interface is a step in the right direction. Mathematica is "Visual Wolfram" (arg) or something like that - an interactive interface for TWL. It has a REPL, renders graphics, formats tables, grids, etc.. That's not TWL - that's an environment it runs in.

The front end displays plots and graphics from the kernel, but something else could do the same thing. If you look inside the expression returned from evaluating Plot[...], the stuff you see isn't "The Wolfram Language" - it's data from the kernel, to be displayed. Splitting out TWL paves the way for other platforms (like in Rasberry Pi), and perhaps someday something like a compiler.

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What the heck is a TWL? –  István Zachar Dec 11 '13 at 13:26
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If you're not kidding, The Wolfram Language –  George Wolfe Dec 13 '13 at 6:06
    
No, I wasn't kidding, I could not figure out the "The" and thought it is something more general. Thanks for the clarification! –  István Zachar Dec 13 '13 at 7:43
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