Wolfram, the company behind the Mathematica computational software and the Wolfram Alpha “computational knowledge” search engine, has released a new document format today – the Computable Document Format (CDF). As the name suggests, the CDF aims to bring real-time interactivity and computational power to documents, by enabling them to include a variety of graphs and formulas.
This makes a “computable” document quite different than a “print” document. The information isn’t fixed but can be manipulated by the reader. Unlike static formats, CDFs are “as interactive as apps, yet as everyday as documents,” say Wolfram. “Central to the concept are knowledge apps, interactive diagrams, or info apps – the live successors of traditional diagrams and infographics.”