Stephen Wolfram has created a video showing the capabilities of Wolfram language. Is this impressive?
Wolfram is best known for Mathematica and the Alpha query engine. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, he suddenly woke up a few months ago and realized that the language that was part of Mathematica could be spun off as a separate language.
Rather than just spinning the language off, the claim is being made that it is something very new - symbolic programming.
This isn't particularly new; Lisp got there first and the Mathematica language has been doing it for some time. In fact, any mathematical language e.g. Maple, has to be symbolic. It's in the nature of what they do.
Take a look at the video and see if you can work out what is new:
Wolfram certainly thinks there's something special here.
"It’s amazing to me how much of this is based on things I hadn’t even thought of just a few months ago. Knowledge-based programming is going to be much bigger than I imagined…"
However, to others what is most amazing is that Stephen Wolfram seems to be so amazed that the language can do all this - any Mathematica or Maple user could have told him that it was all obvious in a few minutes.
Most of what is described seems to be something that could be achieved by adding suitable libraries. This is the reason that Python is so useful a language - there is a library for everything. You just have to import the correct library and you can do anything that the Wolfram Language can do.
The big difference is that the Wolfram Language starts out as a language to do symbolic maths in and this does give it an edge. As to all the other bits and pieces that have been grafted on, they are mostly nothing special.
The big problem with the Wolfram Language is that it is proprietary and depends on the Mathematica engine even if it pretends it doesn't.
A bigger problem is that there is nothing fundamentally new here, just a repackaging of what we already had despite the fuss being made over it.