A colleague is considering re-implementing this online "Photon Propulsion Calculator" using a Mathematica-based product. I wanted to ask the community which product would be best.

  • WebMathematica
    • Runs locally on our servers (good)
    • Requires client enables Java / Flash, which browsers are moving away from.
    • Not many "webmathematica" tags on Mathematica StackExchange & Wolfram Community -- maybe hard to get help.
    • Not many updates since MMA 8, see here.
  • Mathematica / CloudDeploy[]
    • Develop the GUI in MMA, then CloudDeploy it
    • Easy to develop locally (in MMA)
    • Costs Cloud-credits
  • Mathematica Online / Programming Lab
    • Users would see a Mathematica-like environment in their browser
    • Users would have to at least know how to shift-enter to execute it?
  • Wolfram|Alpha Simple API
    • Not a tool for building interactive user-interfaces
  • CDF
    • Have users download the CDF and the CDF player, and run it locally.
    • Seems abandoned in favor of cloud-based stuff.

This link from 2016 suggests that cloud stuff is the wave of the future, but I wanted to see if WebMathematica had a chance.


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Which would be the best for what? What is the background, just a widely accessible web tool? Commercial tool? Does it need to be as smooth as the linked example? All details matter. $\endgroup$ – Kuba Mar 13 '17 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ Requires client enables Java / Flash, I had no idea that WebMathematica needs one to install Java on Browser to use it! This is definitely a show stopper. Java in browser these days? Is this even possible to do now? I have always thought WebMathematica does not need Java on client side. I was wrong. $\endgroup$ – Nasser Mar 13 '17 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Kuba, you are correct that the calculator is a non-commercial widely-accessible web tool. As I understand it, this porting effort is mainly to convert the Calculator into a form that is easier for undergraduate physics students to maintain (Mathematica instead of Javascript). $\endgroup$ – ConvexMartian Mar 13 '17 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Nasser, re: webMMA needing Java, I inferred that from the Web MMA Q&A here: "Administrators of a webMathematica-based site must be able to maintain a Java Servlet site." Also: "Using the Java applet LiveGraphics3D, you can create and manipulate three-dimensional graphics interactively in your web browser." $\endgroup$ – ConvexMartian Mar 13 '17 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Nasser No Java in a browser is needed to run webMathematica, except you really want to use LiveGraphics3D (which is not supported anymore). $\endgroup$ – Rolf Mertig Mar 13 '17 at 21:26

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