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Goodbye to the CDF plugin for web browsers?

Posted 4 years ago
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Embedded cdf documents doesn't work. Nor private ones nor the included in the Demonstrations Project Page. There is no any information or message. After a little search I have found a note in Wolfram Support:

Quick Answer Which browsers support the CDF plugin?

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Depending on the browser you use, you may notice that the CDF plugin is not available. This is because web browsers are reducing support for plugins in favor of HTML-based technologies.

The CDF plugin is currently compatible with 32-bit Internet Explorer and Opera. The plugin is not compatible with the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Firefox provides an Extended Support Release, which is expected to support the CDF plugin through early 2018.

As web browsers continue to reduce plugin support, we recommend the Wolfram Cloud for deploying CDFs on the web.

But Wolfram Cloud is not a good solution because the most attractive characteristic of CDF –you can see things change in a continuous form in response a controls– disappears.

And downloading documents to use Mathematica o Wolfram Player is not the same.

We can expect some solution or is a lost characteristic (and lost work in some projects)?

7 Replies

If you allow me, let me just set the bar a little higher ;-) by posting a link to a website that kind of shows the trend of current web technology. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the Dynamics of some of those examples?

Thank for sharing that great link. I guess that for Mathematica to do that, in the browser, with no plug-ins, it would need to be re-implemented on top of JavaScript, and that is just too big of a task.

Who knows... eventually with a path from LLVM to webassembly... or something similar...

If it already runs on the iPad, doesn't that mean that "all" dependencies on "strange" libraries were "resolved"? If so, the sky is the limit!

(hope should never die)

PS - here that no one is listening, it is the "WL" that we want to run on the browser... not "Mathematica" ;-)

Actually if we have anything embeddable in a GTK or QT Widget or even an ActiveX the job is more than half done. Community can create an webkit based browser that can play CDF.

Could you elaborate? Some references, links, examples with other systems, general design?

Well you may need to embed a browser inside your application. You can use something like an WebkitWidget. Like any other GUI controls e.g. buttons, textbox etc.. that Webkit widget can be embedded inside your application. That Webkit Widget will give you a browser functionality.

In Microsoft Windows there are ActiveX controls which are sometimes GUI. There used to be an ActiveX control for Internet Explorer, Office, that you can embed in your windows application.

In general I may prefer to write my application ui in a more GUI friendly framework (QT, GTK, etc..) using a language that mathematica supports (C/C++). I will take inputs from that UI. I will use Mathematica as a computation backend which will then produce a CDF, I will save that CDF in some temporary directory and show it in my applications embedded CDF viewer. So I will give better packaging for my application as well.

On the other hand if I can embed the widget anywhere I can somehow integrate it with the Webkit Engine as well if I get both of them in the same platform. Webkit is the same engine that chrome and safari uses. Even if it takes time to produce an official CDF plugin, it will still be possible to create a custom browser by the community. That codebase can latter be used in the official Mathematica plugin.

  • OSX> High Sierra 10.13.6, Safari >Version 11.1.2 (13605.3.8)
  • MacBookPro i7
  • Mathematica v11.3 and CDF Player
  • CDF Player is non functional.
  • It seems that I purchased another Mathematica upgrade and installed a bunch of nonfunctional CDF code.
  • The Demonstration Projects are totally busted. Just a bunch of hyperlinks looping back to the CDF installer.
  • My normal Browser access to Demonstrations is now disappointedly diminished. enter image description here
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