A pilot version of Wolfram's language will now be available free for owners of the UK-innovated single-board Raspberry Pi computer. More specifically, a pilot version of the Wolfram Language (as well as Mathematica) is now available for use on the Raspberry Pi and will soon be bundled as part of the standard system software on every Raspberry Pi computer.
The Wolfram Language proposition itself is a distillation of code originating inside the company's Mathematica product and Wolfram Alpha search technology.
Mathematica itself is described as an "application for computations" but also a development platform capable of fully integrating computation into complete workflows.
Stephen Wolfram himself says that he (and his team) now have a language that's NOT mostly concerned with the details of computers, but is instead about being able to understand and create things on the basis of huge amounts of built-in computational ability and knowledge.
Wolfram has detailed a "giant web of algorithms" joined by "thousands of carefully designed functions" inside the language offering here.
"In effect, this is a technology preview: It's an early, unfinished glimpse of the Wolfram Language. Quite soon the Wolfram Language is going to start showing up in lots of places, notably on the Web and in the cloud. But I'm excited that the timing has worked out so that we're able to give the Raspberry Pi community (with its emphasis on education and invention) the very first chance to put the Wolfram Language into action," wrote Wolfram.
Wolfram will also release the Raspberry Pi Remote Development Kit, so that programmers can develop code while they maintain a "notebook interface" on a standard laptop or other computer, while seamlessly executing code on a networked remote Raspberry Pi.
"Within the Wolfram Language there's actually a whole emerging structure for symbolically representing remote running language instances — and for collecting results, dispatching commands, doing computations in parallel, and so on. We're also going to have the Wolfram Symbolic Transport Protocol (WSTP, derived from the MathLink protocol that we've used for nearly 25 years), that'll let one exchange code, data, or anything else in a very flexible way," wrote Wolfram.
Quite Zippy, But a Trifle Sluggish
The command-line Wolfram Language is described as "quite zippy" on the Raspberry Pi. But, in comparison, the full notebook interface to Mathematica (which requires the whole X Window stack) can be a "trifle sluggish" by modern standards.
Raspberry Pi owners with 600MB of space can install now with the following command:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install wolfram-engine