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Do you get the sense that Wolfram Alpha plays dumb sometimes? Like sometimes I can get it to obey a Flatten command by itself, or maybe Flatten and Sort, but if I try to put that into a Table, it instead responds with the Mathematica documentation of the Table command.

Wolfram Alpha also seems to me to be completely incapable of Plus@@ or Times@@ anything, though sometimes I can get Sum to work.

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closed as too broad by m_goldberg, bobthechemist, Öskå, RunnyKine, acl Jun 27 '14 at 20:17

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Welcome! Though interesting, this may be off-topic: meta.mathematica.stackexchange.com/q/265/131 –  Yves Klett Jun 27 '14 at 19:15
As Mark said, Wolfram|Alpha doesn't really support Mathematica syntax. Do not expect that when you type Mathematica syntax into W|A, it will give the same result Mathematica would. –  Szabolcs Jun 27 '14 at 19:55

1 Answer 1

Though WolframAlpha understands some basic Mathematica syntax, that is simply not it's first objective, namely to attempt to understand natural language input. Thus, rather than typing


one may type some variant of

integrate xsinx x,0,pi

The results, whether obtained via the web interface or right in notebook, are identical. Note that these results include a lot of information that you don't get from Mathematica by just typing the Integrate command. The reason, quite simply, is that both inputs are interpreted identically.

Your Flatten command could be entered into Alpha as




It seems to me that the real reason Mathematica commands "work" is because their names indicate what they do.

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