Deploying interactive Mathematica graphics

Interestingly, Wolfram still supports webMathematica. I was even able to run the Polyhedron Explorer example, which uses LiveGraphics3D 1.92.

Also, I had a look at the Wolfram Demonstrations Project. I like to think that LiveGraphics3D had an influence on the concepts behind this. However, when I tried some demonstrations, it wasn’t a very smooth experience: the frame rate of most of them was below 10 frames per second, the Wolfram CDF plugin wasn’t recognized at first, sliders didn’t work well in the external CDF player, and my Mac rebooted. Having the full power of Mathematica to drive interactive demonstrations is a great advantage, but if the overall experience is so unpleasing as it was for me then it’s not much fun. And with less and less browser support for NPAPI, I’m afraid that the experience for most users won’t become any better.

Apparently, Wolfram is now recommending Wolfram Cloud. That appears to solve some of the problems; however, latency (and therefore real-time interaction) is still a problem. Also, running computations in the cloud costs a lot more resources (i.e., money) than just hosting CDF files or notebooks.

The next thing appears to be Wolfram One. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe Wolfram Cloud with the Wolfram Desktop option for individuals?

Anyway, I’m not sure whether Wolfram is currently offering a good solution for deploying real-time interactive graphics on the web. Maybe the bottom line is that offering the full power of Mathematica for real-time interactive graphics on the web is just not a good idea, and web apps with limited computational power are still useful.

Martin