Wolfram|Alpha displays search/query results in GIFs

Do you know that Wolfram|Alpha displays search/query results in GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format bitmap image format)? Shocking screenshot included.

Wolfram|Alpha displays search/query results in GIFs

Yesterday I discovered that Wolfram|Alpha, the much touted Google Killer is more like a big online calculator than a search engine. Guess what I have discovered earlier today?

Check this out, Wolfram|Alpha actually displays search/query results in GIFs! Wolfram|Alpha search/query results may look like innocent texts and numbers but if you analyze your search/query page result more closely, you’ll see that your search/query results are actually represented by lots of GIF images that possibly have been generated dynamically by Wolfram|Alpha’s search/query engine.

Wolfram|Alpha displays search/query results in GIFs

I wonder why they’re doing this in the first place. A quick check on their FAQ revealed that Wolfram|Alpha does render their search/query results as images. Why? Well, they say that they’re doing so for the sake of maintaining consistency.

WTF!? They have something good in their hands and they’re wasting time with stupid bitmap images!? No wonder Wolfram|Alpha has so many problems!
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Anonymous said...

I think they use images to make sure all the math stuff is displayed correctly. If you click on an image you get a plaintext version of the information.

In their API documentation is described that you can also get this information in MathML, PDF, Mathematica or ExpressionML format.

Saidul A Shaari said...

Really, I'll check it out afterwards. Thanks.

You seems to know a lot about Wolfram|Alpha, are you one of them?

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