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Version 13.1 of the Wolfram and Mathematica language is available, which introduces important innovations in areas such as user interfaces and the compiler

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It has now been 34 years since Mathematica and what is now the Wolfram language were launched. On June 29, Wolfram Research announced version 13.1 of the Wolfram and Mathematica language. In the past few years, we have established a kind of pace, bearing fruit from our development efforts about twice a year. We released version 13.0 on December 13, 2021. And now, about six months later, we are releasing version 13.1, “said Stephen Wolfram, founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, creator of Mathematica and the Wolfram language.

Version 13.1 of the Wolfram and Mathematica language brings 90 new functions as well as substantial updates for 203 existing functions. In addition to what appears in specific functions, version 13.1 also includes important new features in areas such as user interfaces and the compiler.

Wolfram language is a multiparadigm computer language developed by Wolfram Research. This language is used for symbolic computing, functional programming, and rule-based programming and can use arbitrary structures and data. It is also the programming language of Mathematica (a mathematical symbolic computation program) and of the Wolfram Programming Cloud. It is used for symbolic computation, functional programming, and rule-based programming and can use arbitrary structures and data.

This language includes built-in functions for generating and running Turing machines, creating graphics and sounds, analyzing 3D models, manipulating matrices and solving differential equations. Widely documented, the Wolfram language has fundamental principles that differentiate it from other programming languages: an integrated knowledge base, automation in the form of meta-algorithms and superfunctions, an integrated understanding of natural language. In 2019, Wolfram’s libraries became compatible with the Unity game engine, giving game developers access to high-level features of the language.

The Wolfram language, as it stands today, encompasses a wide range of features. But its great power comes not only from what it contains, but also from the consistency with which it is integrated. For nearly 36 years I have taken personal responsibility to ensure that this consistency is maintained. This required both great concentration and deep intellectual work. But as I experience the use of the Wolfram language every day, I am proud of the results, “says Wolfram.

Emoji and multilingual support

When version 1.0 was released, characters were represented as 8-bit objects – usually ASCII, but you could choose another character encoding (hence the ChararacterEncoding option). Then, in the early 1990s, Unicode appeared. Now the “characters” could be 16-bit constructs, with nearly 65,536 possible “glyphs” scattered across different languages ​​and uses (including some mathematical symbols introduced by the Wolfram research team).

In the early 1990s, Unicode was a novelty for which operating systems did not yet have built-in support. But we had bet on Unicode and so we built our infrastructure to handle it, “Wolfram says.

Thirty years later, Unicode is effectively the universal standard for representing character elements. But at some point it turned out that the world needed more than 16 bits to represent the characters. In the beginning it was about supporting historical variants and writing systems (think Cuniform or Linear B). Then came the emoji.

Expansion has been slow. The original 16-bit Unicode is “plan 0”. There are now up to 16 additional aircraft. They are not really 32-bit characters, but given the way computers work, the current approach is to allow characters to be represented by 32-bit objects. It is by no means trivial to do it uniformly and effectively.

For Wolfram Research, it was a long process of upgrading the entire system, from handling character strings to rendering laptops, to handling 32-bit fonts. It’s finally done in version 13.1.

Improved user interface

Wolfram notebooks were introduced with version 1.0 of Mathematica in 1988. Since then, the notebook interface has continued to improve. The Ctrl = mechanism for entering data in natural language (“Wolfram | Alpha style”) made its debut in version 10.0. In version 13.1, it is now accessible from the “image” button on the new default notebook toolbar. But what is an image when it is in a notebook? In the past this was a rather complex symbolic structure, mainly suited to evaluation. But in version 13.1, the Wolfram research team made it much easier.

Another interface change in version 13.1 is the new asynchronous progress overlay on macOS. This does not affect other platforms where this problem has already been fixed, but on Mac, changes to the operating system had led to a situation where the laptop window could suddenly come to the fore on the desktop. A situation that has now been resolved.

In version 12.3, the Wolfram research team introduced the tree as a new fundamental construct in the Wolfram language. In version 13.0 it added a variety of styling options for trees and in version 13.1 it has even more styling and a variety of core new features.

An important update to the fundamental construction of trees in version 13.1 is the ability to name branches to each node, giving them in association:

All tree features now include association support:

In many uses of trees, node labels are crucial. But especially in more abstract applications, you often want to deal with unripe trees. In version 13.1, the Tree without label (more or less similar UndirectedGraph) takes a tree of labels and removes all visible labels.

Source: Wolfram research

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See also:

Wolfram and Mathematica language version 13.0 is available, with a total of 117 new functions, new ideas to make the system even easier and more fluid to use

Mathematica version 12.0 (and Wolfram language) is available, which should push the limits of what can be done in mathematics

Stephen Wolfram releases the Wolfram engine for developers for free, but not open source

Wolfram Language and Mathematica v12.1 enable better use of machine learning, while WolframScript allows you to run Wolfram Language code from any terminal

Mathematica 11 released, featuring symbolic neural networks, support for 3D printing, and a reworked interface

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