Here are some example code-golf submissions using Wolfram|Alpha:
I have two main questions about the use of Wolfram|Alpha:
- Is the use of the Internet problematic?
- What is considered the output?
The Internet connectivity concern gets brought up alot on these answers and the argument is usually raised that since there are Raspberry Pis which run the Wolfram Language without an Internet connection, they are fine. The problem is that the WL is not the same thing as Wolfram|Alpha (indeed, most Mathematica answers on this site would be more accurately called WL solutions since Mathematica is just one program which runs the WL). I can't find any evidence that these Raspberry Pis can actually evaluate W|A queries such as
heartcurve1 (which are meaningless in the WL) without an Internet connection. Even if they did, it would have to be a limited in scope compared to the W|A site and I doubt people are testing their code on Raspberry Pis to ensure that their query will work.
I think it's also unclear what the output of an expression typed into W|A should be. The results page for any W|A query consists of several pods and subpods, such as
Alternate forms, etc. For the heart curve example, I think we are expected to interpret the content in
Plot as the output, whereas for the Ackermann function example, we go with the
Knuth up-arrow subpod in
Alternate forms (note that we can't even say that the rule is to use the first pod after the input interpretation pod since in this case the output would be
(too large to represent)). How is this valid, but just outputting all possible strings of length 13 isn't considered a valid answer if the challenge is to output
Note that this isn't covered by this question about the use of W|A's datasets since we're not just getting data using Mathematica built-ins, but using Wolfram|Alpha to parse the "code" and functions (such as the Ackermann function) which only exist in W|A.