Mathematica packages often play a crucial role in many different types of problem solving. However, that is also the area that gives difficulty and frustration, typically for the lack of easily accessible and digestible documentation, for the naive users. On top of that, the difficulty of using a Mathematica package is one thing but not knowing what is available in the system of Mathematica for solving one’s specific need is quite another. One way to improve the overall user experience is to package the Mathematica packages in such a way that the user can easily understand how to use, as well as what to use. Packaging Mathematica for the sake of improving user experience, menu-driven would be one preferable option and at the same time Flash technology can be effectively utilized in many different situations along the way.
Trend in Technology
Until recently, for many developers it might have been deemed novel or even odd to use Flash in the area of presenting mathematical content, while Java has been the norm. However, there seems to be a visible growth in the use of Flash in the recent activities of mathematical content development. Undoubtedly Mathematica developers can certainly benefit from the employment of Flash technology in their efforts, especially in the area of teaching Mathematica and mathematics. Flash not only provides the pizzazz on the surface area but also realizes the rich and interactive user experience at the deeper level.
Survey of Technology
Mathematica communicates with Flash through various channels across platforms, some of which are listed below:
Rich and Interactive Internet Application
- ASP, JSP, PHP, Perl
- .NET, Flash Remoting
The idea of packaging Mathematica packages over the web demands the functionality of a desktop application in the internet application. To adequately satisfy the need, among the techniques surveyed above, .NET with Flash Remoting options looks strong and interesting.