Developing Your Own Pages
Once you have installed and configured a webMathematica
server so that the examples run correctly and have studied the basics of writing material for webMathematica
, as described previously
, you are ready to start developing your own material.
One way to start is to make your own area in the webMathematica
web application. You could make a directory here (for example NewScripts)
and copy one of the samples (for example Plot.jsp
) from the Examples
directory. You could then access this script with the URL http://localhost:8080/webMathematica/NewScripts/Plot.jsp
This might be a good time to revisit the webMathematica
index page found at http://localhost:8080/webMathematica/index.html
, which provides a number of links that demonstrate features of webMathematica
. When you actually want to write your own material, you may look at the Tips and Tricks
described in this chapter. The chapter continues to describe other page development utilities that are part of webMathematica
provides tools for developing solutions and applications based on Wolfram products such as Mathematica
. It also includes support for webMathematica
More information can be found in the Workbench
documentation, but the following gives a summary of some of the main features.
is a project-based system, and to work with webMathematica
it supports a type of webMathematica
project. This allows you to develop your web pages and Mathematica
code, perhaps archiving it in a code repository. You can test the individual components, and then deploy them to the server to actually use them.
Syntax Support for JSP Pages
provides a variety of syntax support for JSP pages. This includes showing both XML, HTML, and JSP syntax errors. Of particular value are reports on Mathematica
syntax errors inside of evaluate
provides a number of tools that help writing JSP and HTML pages. These include command completion and preview features. In addition, a palette is provided that allows templates for entire page structures to be added.
offers a number of wizards for creating webMathematica
material such as an entire project or a new web page.
Server Interaction Tool
contains a tool that works with the actual server. From this you can carry out tasks such as starting or stopping the server, deploying your project, and connecting with a debug session.
Full webMathematica Documentation
contains the webMathematica
user guide, along with other material specific to the Workbench
tools. This is probably the most convenient way to read the documentation.
Debugging for Mathematica Code
provides a debugger for Mathematica
code. You can use this debugger to connect to the server and follow your code as it executes, setting breakpoints to halt in particular locations.
More information is available in the debugging
Tips and Tricks
This section provides a summary of a few issues that will help you to get started writing your own pages. These are all described in more detail in later sections of the documentation, but are collected together here in a brief description. Getting a good grasp of these points will help you to make progress in developing your site.
There are two types of variables that are important for you to understand when you are getting started with webMathematica
: input variables and page variables.
Input variables come with the HTTP web request, for example from an input field in an HTML form. You can identify input variables in Mathematica
code because they are labeled with a '$$' prefix. In the example below, the setting
variable may be sent from an input field. In Mathematica
code it is called $$setting
<input type="text" name="setting" />
If[ MSPValueQ[ $$setting],
You should be aware that input variables are a potential security risk to your server. Therefore, you should always use the special functions, MSPBlock
, for converting into Mathematica
input. In particular, you should never use ToExpression
on an input variable. An example of using MSPBlock
is shown below.
<input type="text" name="fun" />
Integrate[ $$fun, x]
Page variables are Mathematica
variables that you use to hold intermediate values. They are called page variables since they are cleared when the page is finished. In the example below, the page variable tmp
is used to hold the expression that was entered into the text input field (which is held in an input variable called $$expr
). Note the use of the secure function, MSPToExpression
, to convert the Mathematica
expression from the input.
<input type="text" name="expr" />
tmp = Null;
tmp = MSPToExpression[ $$expr] ;
If[ tmp =!= Null,
If you want your variable to persist from one page to another, you can declare it as a session variable. This and further details of variables are discussed in detail in Advanced Topics: Variables
Coding in Pages
The purpose of webMathematica
is to use Mathematica
for web computation; a key part of this is placing Mathematica
code in your web pages. This is done with evaluate
tags, as follows.
Note that the Mathematica
code will evaluate in the typical way for Mathematica
and the result of the computation will appear in the web page. You can use MSPFormat
to change the way that the result is formatted; more information on formatting in webMathematica
is found in Advanced Topics: Evaluation Formatting
. An example of MSPFormat
is shown below; this formats the integral into TraditionalForm
using a GIF image to display the result.
MSPFormat[ Integrate[ 1/(1-x^3),x], TraditionalForm]
If you do not wish to see the result in the web output, you can suppress it by using a semicolon ';'. In the following example an assignment is made to the variable x
, but no output appears.
x = 109;
A final tip for working with code in webMathematica
pages is the separation of multiple computations in a single evaluate
tag by using a semicolon ';'. This is shown below.
x = 109;
y = 44.5;
More information on coding in webMathematica
pages is found in Appendix: MSP Taglib
, which gives a detailed reference on the webMathematica
provides a number of templates and other utilities that can be used to incorporate more design into your webMathematica
examples can be reached from the webMathematica
home page, which you should be able to reach via http://localhost:8080/webMathematica
. (You may have some other URL for accessing your server.) The home page shows examples wrapped up in a template that adds more design around the pages to give them a better visual appearance. This template makes use of HTML frames and so it would be relatively easy to modify your own work to make use of it.
As you develop your own material, you may wish to look at the design examples. These are a collection of samples that make use of colors, fonts, and images for a more professional appearance. You can access the design examples from the main index page, or with a URL such as http://localhost:8080/webMathematica/DesignTemplates/DesignTemplate1.jsp
Banners and Buttons
A collection of banners and buttons are available for use in your pages, which you can find with the link http://localhost:8080/webMathematica/BannersImages/
. To use one of these images, such as the banner webm-white.gif
, you can use an img
tag such as the following.
<img src="/webMathematica/Resources/Images/webm-white.gif" />
The section on including static files
has more information on how to include images.
Certain license options for webMathematica
require that you use an approved banner for your site. You may use one of these banner images in order to comply with this requirement.
When you have confirmed that your webMathematica
site is running correctly and you start to develop your own material, you may wish to strip out all of the documentation and examples to get a minimal installation. The minimum set of files for webMathematica
is that everything in the WEB-INF
directory must be kept.
Minimal File Layout
WEB-INF everything in here
In addition you can remove all the J/Link
native libraries from webMathematica/WEB-INF/lib/SystemFiles/Libraries
except for the library required for your system, which is located in a directory named by $SystemID