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Shortcut to Wolfram|Alpha [wolfram://]

by repellent (Priest)
on Feb 13, 2010 at 10:14 UTC ( #823003=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

It would be highly useful to have a shortcut to Wolfram|Alpha, e.g. [wolfram://]

Update: Added link to search page.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Shortcut to Wolfram|Alpha [wolfram://]
by jdporter (Canon) on Feb 16, 2010 at 19:19 UTC

    I like it. The true power of shortcuts comes from the target website having a useful search interface or fuzzy selection interface. If a monk can confidently predict that the thing(s) she wants to point people to will be found by entering [google://yet another perl conference] or [wp://quantum electrodynamics] or [c2://You Arent Gonna Need It] or [wolframalpha://10 choose 3], then having the shortcut is a win.

    But if the monk has to navigate to the desired target page every time anyway, she can simply copy-and-paste the URL, and having a shortcut is not a win.

    Update: The shortcut has been implemented. Note that it is wolframalpha (or wa), but not wolfram.

    What is the sound of Windows? Is it not the sound of a wall upon which people have smashed their heads... all the way through?

      Yeah, it seems a reasonably useful shortcut to me. However, I wouldn't use "wolfram" as the key. We already have a shortcut to Wolfram's MathWorld and there are a several other things by Wolfram already. I'd probably have wolframalpha:// work for when you can't remember which abbr. works. "Alpha" is a widely-used word but alpha:// seems reasonable as an abbreviation since there aren't a lot of web sites primarily named "alpha". wa:// seems an even nicer abbr. So I'd define those three.

      - tye        

        Both [wa://] and [wolframalpha://] have my vote. I'm skeptical about [alpha://].
Re: Shortcut to Wolfram|Alpha [wolfram://]
by GrandFather (Sage) on Feb 16, 2010 at 20:45 UTC

    Linking to Wolfram|Alpha may be somewhat fraught. Because its content and search algorithm is evolving the result of a particular search today may be quite different than performing the same search yesterday. Maybe that's not a major issue in general use, but it does provide a disincentive to use where a stable result from the link is desired. On the other hand, maybe that is no worse than linking some Wikipedia pages.

    True laziness is hard work
Re: Shortcut to Wolfram|Alpha [wolfram://]
by CountZero (Bishop) on Feb 13, 2010 at 12:23 UTC
    Does Wolfram|Alpha has any Perl-related content?


    A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little or too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity." - The Tao of Programming, 4.1 - Geoffrey James

        Does Wolfram|Alpha has any Perl-related content?

      Depends on the definition and scope of "Perl-related". Wolfram|Alpha is as related to Perl as Google would be.

      We have various kinds of shortcuts on PerlMonks to help us point to helpful web content when trying to explain things. I see Wolfram|Alpha as a way of (at least) describing mathematical notions with better illustration in our posts. Of course, it's not only limited to mathematics. Think of it as a more technical content-targeted version of Google.

      An example post could contain:

        There are 120 ways of choosing any 3 things from a pile of 10 different ones. (PerlMonk shortcut: [wolfram://10 choose 3|120 ways])
Re: Shortcut to Wolfram|Alpha [wolfram://]
by Ratazong (Monsignor) on Feb 13, 2010 at 21:29 UTC

    A shortcut should be introduced if something lengthly is used many times. While I think that Wolfram|Alpha is a useful web resource, I haven't seen many nodes linking to it. Therefore in my eyes there is no benefit of introducing that shortcut.

    just my 2cents. Rata
      Thanks for your input, Ratazong. I do agree with you that repeated lengthy use of links to a particular site gives more of a reason to have the shortcut.

      However, I was unaware that a show stopper criterion to introduce a shortcut was that there aren't already many existing links. Were there a lot of links to the Urban Dictionary when [ud://] was introduced? In fact, Wolfram|Alpha is pretty new (launched in May 2009) so there may not be as many links.

      Also, it's the lack of using Wolfram|Alpha that we can encourage by introducing this shortcut. Many posts have convoluted explanations that could have otherwise been described more clearly with Wolfram|Alpha, IMHO.
Re: Shortcut to Wolfram|Alpha [wolfram://]
by Anonymous Monk on Feb 13, 2010 at 11:51 UTC
    A link to something flash? No thanks
Re: Shortcut to Wolfram|Alpha [wolfram://]
by Herkum (Parson) on Feb 15, 2010 at 21:28 UTC

    I have never heard of them before, and it seems like more of a corporate web site than a research engine. Now you argued that it may be useful. However when I typed in Perl this is what I get...

    * Mathematica form
    Perl (male given name in the US)
    Information for US births:
    rank     | beyond 1000th
    fraction | less than 1 in 12500 people (0.008%)
    number   | < 200 people per year 
    (US data based on 2008 births and other SSA registrations in the US)

    Based upon the fact that Perl is considered a mans name rather than a programming language I fail to see the deep need for a shortcut for this web site.

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