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Re: [Help-glpk] [ANN] Mathprog Web IDE available

From: Jeffrey Kantor
Subject: Re: [Help-glpk] [ANN] Mathprog Web IDE available
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2013 10:57:49 -0500

Hi Michael,

That's a very fair point.  Please know that Henri Gourvest and I have been working together pretty closely on a number of aspects. I've very much appreciated his help and support with a number of issues, and his permission to incorporate some key functionality.

Speaking for my own project ( ), the main goal is support for teaching applications of OR methods. That's the reason behind keeping the interface simple and incorporating an annotated list of examples.  My secondary goal is more experimental -- how should an app be designed to support MOOC scale teaching?  That's the reason for using Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive for file stores, and maintaining the logic client-side for integration with web based course management systems. (In fact, that's how I expose MathProg to students -- as a web resource within Sakai, our local course management system).

A web ide for applications development would probably make a different set of choices. While there is substantial overlap, at a minimum you'd want a more solver options, integration with external data feeds, and server side support for project management. Maybe at some point a sufficiently polished web ide for OR will be available that can span the range of use cases, including teaching. In the meanwhile some diversity of thinking and implementation may be a good thing.

One nice aspect of glpk.js is that, with the same code base, calculations can be done client side in the browser or server side with Node.js. I could be wrong on all of this -- wouldn't be the first time -- but I regard Henri's development of glpk.js as a potential game changer for the wide spread adoption of OR techniques. With little effort the same models can be solved on phones, tablets, browsers, servers, distributed databases.  There are tradeoffs, including performance penalties and frustrations with sandboxed file stores. But that has to be balanced against opening glpk's very nice api to web applications.  Consider the opportunities -- web based route planning, portfolio management, scheduling, complex business logic, smarter visualizations. There are some amazing js libraries out there to support rapid development of complex applications.

Again, speaking for my own project, I don't think it should be seen as anything more than addressing a specific use case of glpk.js -- introductory teaching of applications for ops research methods. In my own view, glpk.js opens up many interesting opportunities to develop complete IDE's and other great web apps, and hope others will join in the fun.


On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 9:40 AM, Michael Nagel <address@hidden> wrote:
Hi all,

I have one more comment:


there seem to be two projects that offer quite similar functionality.

I do not know how big the market is for Mathprog Web IDEs and what your ultimate goals are,
but maybe it might be a good idea to join forces...

Best Regards

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