I can use Manipulate[] to create a grapher that emulates some of the functionality of a typical graphing calculator.By using InputField as a control, the user can type in a function into the field and Mathematica will produce the graph on the fly.

Today I noticed that I can deploy this grapher as a standalone CDF and it still works using the CDF player alone. Then Mathematica does not need to be running.

I didn't realize this was possible. I was thinking of creating a grapher and then parking it as a standalone CDF in my dropbox. This would offer my students a free alternative to purchasing a physical graphing calculator, Mathematica, etc.

These are some questions in my mind:

  • Is this plausible?
  • Does a standalone CDF have enough power to be used a standalone functional graphing calculator with multiple controls that emulates buttons on a physical graphing calculator?
  • Has anyone seen a decent standalone CDF grapher?

I'm curious on whether its worth my time to build one.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes it is possible. Any one can run any CDF, by using the player. But the free player do not allow non-numeric input in the input field. InputField as a control the user can type in a function into the field so this will not be possible. You'd need the pro CDF. Here is the chart how-player-pro-compares Look for the Keyboard entry to text fields entry. This requires the EnterpriseCDF version. $\endgroup$ – Nasser Dec 23 '15 at 2:17
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    $\begingroup$ Here is a PocketCalculator at the demo site. One way you can do what you want without text input field, is to use pop-up menu and have pre-selected functions to choose from. $\endgroup$ – Nasser Dec 23 '15 at 2:47
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    $\begingroup$ It could certainly be done but it would be a fairly time-consuming project. If your student's already have a computer that can run CDF Player, why not have them use one of the free graphing calculator apps that already exist? Macs come with one installed -- Grapher. $\endgroup$ – m_goldberg Dec 23 '15 at 3:48

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