Chapter 15. Interactivity
I’m alive Oh oh, so alive I’m alive Oh oh, so alive ... My head is full of magic, baby And I can share this with you The feel I’m on top again, baby That’s got everything to do with you
—Love and Rockets, “So Alive”
The pièce de résistance of Mathematica 6 is its dynamic interactivity features. These features forced Wolfram to completely rethink and redesign its frontend. This had the unfortunate consequence of breaking many notebooks from version 5 and earlier, especially those that used graphics. However, it is my opinion that the gain was well worth the pain!
The interactive features of Mathematica 6 are even more impressive
when one considers that they sit on relatively few new functions. The
centerpiece of interactivity is the function
Manipulate. Think of
Manipulate as a very intelligent
Manipulate’s power comes by virtue of its
ability to take any Mathematica expression plus a declarative
description of the expression’s variables and generate a mini embedded
GUI within the notebook for interacting with that expression. Of course,
there are always caveats, and an important feature of this chapter is to
help you get the best possible results with nontrivial
Manipulate use cases.
The first five recipes of this chapter are intended to gradually
introduce the reader to
Manipulate by demonstrating increasingly sophisticated examples. These recipes are not necessarily intended for direct use but rather to illustrate ...