Wolfram|Alpha Launches Widgets

Search engine Wolfram|Alpha has announced Wolfram|Alpha widgets.

Oh boy! I love widgets. What are they? Widgets are little bits of code that you can usually embed somewhere — like on your Web site or Facebook page. Widgets perform calculations, provide information, or other small feats of data crunching. W|A has tons of widgets available at http://developer.wolframalpha.com/widgets/.

You can look at featured, top rated, and the newest widgets, but there’s also a list of popular categories which includes Money & Finance, Physics, Weather, and Astronomy. Just poking around for a few minutes I found a lot of interesting widgets, including a genealogy relationship calculator, calculator for heart disease risk, SAT score analyzer, and to my surprise a bunch of tools for Scrabble and crossword puzzles.

When you find an interesting widget you can try it right from within the gallery. If you like it you can customize it (you’ll have to have your own Wolfram|Alpha account to do this) or you can embed it. There are embed options for specific Web sites, but the WordPress one requires that you have another plugin already installed.

But there is a regular line of JavaScript code for embedding widgets as well. If it works properly and you have JavaScript turned on, you should see a widget below.

I have been playing with WA since it launched and I still haven’t found all the cool stuff it can do. Widgets might be a more targeted way to explore its capabilities.

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