Going Live—and Webcasting It

May 12, 2009
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The Wolfram|Alpha Launch Team
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We’re now in the final stages of getting ready to launch Wolfram|Alpha. It’s a hugely complex piece of technology; certainly one of the most complex web-based services ever constructed. We’ve sought advice from many experts as we’ve designed its infrastructure and technology management processes.

But we’ve been rather surprised that we haven’t been able to find even a single publicly available record of the commissioning of any large website at all. So we thought we would document our own experience and that perhaps some of you would like to share this journey with us. We can’t guarantee that everything will go smoothly. Indeed, we fully expect to encounter unanticipated situations along the way. We hope that you’ll find it interesting to join us as we work through these in real time. Perhaps you’ll even have some advice to share.

We’ll be making our first attempt to go live with Wolfram|Alpha this Friday evening, May 15. We’ll start webcasting our preparations at 7pm CDT (UTC -5). We’ll work through checklists, do a final test of our infrastructure—and then, if all goes well, within an hour or two we’ll have Wolfram|Alpha live on the public web for the first time. Along the way, we’ll include behind-the-scenes views of what it’s taken to create Wolfram|Alpha.

After Friday evening, we expect to be continuing to test and resolve infrastructure issues throughout the weekend—and we’ll probably be webcasting intermittently during that time. If all goes well, we’ll then be able to declare Wolfram|Alpha officially launched on Monday, May 18.

Come to the Wolfram|Alpha Blog for details. You can also go directly to justin.tv, which will be handling the live webcast feed. We hope you’ll join us on Friday!

62 Comments

Good Luck everyone! Can’t wait to watch history in the making this Friday evening. I’ve written a small review about WolframAlpha on my technology blog and have included all the details on where and how to watch the launch!

Jeremy
http://www.abiztechnews.com

Posted by Jeremy May 12, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Good Luck! I am looking forward to possible competition to Google :-D

    Posted by Ameya May 12, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Sounds interesting, Can’t wait to test this search engine!

Hope that the infrastructure can handle the traffic on the launching day!

Good luck

Monir

Posted by Monir May 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm

I am definitely looking forward to Friday evening. Good luck!

Posted by B.C. Richter May 12, 2009 at 5:35 pm

We are wating for the big launch!
Good Luck from Chile

Posted by Mario Romero May 12, 2009 at 5:45 pm

I am eager to see Wolfram Alpha working. Good luck everyone!

Posted by Ícaro Medeiros May 12, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Doing a demo screencast on wolfram alpha in a few minutes. Chance to ask certain queries and view results. Over at http://www.mogulus.com/techlabs

Posted by Mark F May 12, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Congratulations to your team. I am usually at zero excitement when a tech venture or webventure happens. This time is entirely different. I feel many of the questions that intrigue me in technology and science can be addressed with your new service. I feel and think that in a short time it will be recognized as worthy successor to the many turning points in the history of the web.

Posted by bengt May 12, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Good Luck also! Very interesting. I can’t wait to use it.

Posted by Steven May 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm

May the Earth be Light on You!

I have invited many friends to join me in the net as we all want to be Witnesses and First Users for the benefit of a Free Scientific Society. I also plan to be the first in Mexico tu use your service in an Integrated Web based Economics Course in our National University (UNAM). Best of Lucks!

Posted by Jay RuizA May 12, 2009 at 9:00 pm

You guys should consider adding Twitter gallery of trending topics to search results.

Posted by Paul Lopez May 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Hi Paul,
    That is a great idea! We are hoping to use our Wolfram|Alpha Facebook page and a community page to host things like this.
    Thanks!

    Posted by The PR Team May 13, 2009 at 11:40 am

I am waiting to get a sneak view of Wolframalpha. Hope the wait will not disappoint me a-la Cuil.

Posted by Dev May 12, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Good luck and all the Very Best.

Posted by Rajesh Sanghvi May 12, 2009 at 10:40 pm

After reading A New Kind of Science, I think that if anyone can do this, you can. That was a lovely book, and obviously an influence.

Posted by Eric Smith May 12, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Congratulations to the Wolfram Alpha team! Just the publicity alone has coincidentally (?) coincided with Google launching new services as well. An arms race that challenges and advances search engine capability is good for everyone and brings us closer to a true realization of semantic web. Best of Luck!

Scott
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/spic0016/medialiteracy/

Posted by Scott Spicer May 12, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Hello, i want to see this working but i think that i own the perfect domain name for your technology.
And when i say the perfect domain name, i mean the PERFECT domain name.
Write if you are interested.

Posted by Aldo de la Vega May 12, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Arg, what a bad timing for Europe, it’ll be about 2AM here.

I’ll try to be there!

Posted by igo May 12, 2009 at 11:55 pm

i am waiting to ask wolframalpha how it works

Posted by fancyui May 12, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Looking forward to the launch of your search engine.
It is always interesting to see new technology developments that will help people.

Good Luck and God Bless

Posted by Jai Shankar May 13, 2009 at 12:16 am

Whatever Wolfram Alpha will be, just yet it’s at least good marketing :-) Good luck, will also join on Friday.

Posted by Don May 13, 2009 at 12:54 am

Are you ready to rumble?

Posted by Exi May 13, 2009 at 1:04 am

Thank you for sharing this historic moment with us and Good Luck!

Posted by Dr. Holger von Jouanne-Diedrich May 13, 2009 at 2:03 am

Someone has rightly said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indispensable from magic.. Can’t wait to see it.. use it..

Posted by Leo May 13, 2009 at 2:26 am

Are there any Chinese?

Posted by 景鹏飞 May 13, 2009 at 2:41 am

Can’t wait to try Wolfram search. Looks really awesome!

Posted by Ramas (tikra.info) May 13, 2009 at 3:22 am

good luck guys :) sounds like interesting

Posted by Waleed May 13, 2009 at 4:08 am

Hope you´ll be able to launch this Friday and allow Internauts to have an option to the Google/Wikipedia mess and provide a more scientific and democratic way to find info in the Web. Will be there to support you. Best of lucks!!!! Claudio/BUENOS AIRES/ARGENTINA

Posted by Claudio Bevilacqua May 13, 2009 at 4:58 am

First off: I can’t wait! I think this is a truly interesting and promising approach.

Secondly: I love the name Wolfram Alpha! It makes me feel all ‘Hollywoody’ >> “Wolfram Alpha, one of the most complex web-based services ever constructed. We’ll be making our first attempt to go live with Wolfram|Alpha this Friday evening, May 15 at 7PM CDT. The system became self aware at 7.23 PM. It launched its missiles. The survivors of….”

Posted by Jarno May 13, 2009 at 5:05 am

If your blog engine is going to be able to tell me when I ask – “Where are Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 now on ? …” – I will insert date when I ask this question … then you will indeed have created a truly phenomenal computative (is there really such a word?) search engine of the first orbit!

Congratulations on what I have read so far. As a practicing and prolific aviation and science fantasy writer with a voracious appetite for accurate information, I much look forward to your pending arrival on my screen. Thank you … Ted Beaudoin – Welland, Ontario, Canada.

PS: Who knows, your engine might even be able to tell me what the straight-llne, “as-the-crow-flies” distances are between two or more points on the globe, or two or more points in space.

Posted by Ted Beadoin May 13, 2009 at 5:55 am

Stockpile pizza, guys, stockpile pizza.
And good luck!

Posted by olaf May 13, 2009 at 6:00 am

5 days to go and can’t wait to spend my day trying different things and see how things work in wolfram’s alpha. Examples and screenshots throughout the net looks amazing and makes me more curious.

Posted by Damodar Bashyal May 13, 2009 at 6:12 am

We have an ongoing debate about how much can it do. Very interesting. I can’t wait to use it.

Posted by stot May 13, 2009 at 6:23 am

Way to go Wolfram team! Good luck on the release!

Posted by Manuel T May 13, 2009 at 6:59 am

Good luck this Friday from Belgium

Posted by Wim May 13, 2009 at 6:59 am

Good luck!! :) I hope your servers won’t be crushed from the load over the weekend. ;-) My experience from big launches like these, whether it’s online games, or popular web services, is that it seems like the load is often about the expected from an optimist… times five. ;-)

Posted by Jonas May 13, 2009 at 8:06 am

I’m looking forward to the launch. One small bit of advice that can make or break the popularity of your site———a simple name change to a shorter domain name that is catchy, consisting of one or two syllables, would be more ideal. Your site name, wolframalpha.com, may not be practical for the average-thinking consumer to type. People by nature are lazy typers and could just shrug off using wolframalpha.com because they have to remember how to spell it—-no matter how good the site may be. Please take this into serious consideration. I wish you well on a successful launch.

Posted by mespanol May 13, 2009 at 8:12 am

Good luck. This is such a big and daring project. Fingers crossed for a smooth launch into the next level of search engines.

Posted by Mike Mesh May 13, 2009 at 8:38 am

Friday?! Already!
Thats good news :)
Good luck with the launch! I’ll attend it for sure.

Posted by Michael May 13, 2009 at 8:43 am

Can’t wait to friday to look it going online!

Good luck!

Posted by DVK May 13, 2009 at 8:44 am

yay! good luck with the launch!

Posted by Xen May 13, 2009 at 9:12 am

Magnificent Project and Initiative!!!
GO AHEAD!!

Posted by Yuval May 13, 2009 at 9:32 am

Desde México, les deseamos ¡¡¡ EXITO !!!
————————————————–

Posted by Memo May 13, 2009 at 9:34 am

tic-tac-tic-tac… falta poco para conocerte Wolframalpha…el vierne/lunes te doy mis opiniones. Fecititaciones al grupo de trabajo. CONGRATS TO ALL WOLFRAMALPHA LAUNCH TEAM!! =D

Posted by Danitza May 13, 2009 at 9:35 am

Best wishes for a successful launch.

Posted by Ed May 13, 2009 at 9:46 am

May God bless the work of your hands!!

Posted by Alicia May 13, 2009 at 10:12 am

I admire your bravery :)
I can’t wait to get my hands on this new system – good luck.

Will there be a mobile version of the site optimized for iPhone or Android phones? That would be awesome.

Mike

Posted by Michael Croucher May 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm

May the Force be with you!

Posted by Mark May 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Ambitious vision but glad to see that a step in the right direction has been taken. Eagerly anticipating its launch.

Posted by Doniv May 13, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Maybe it can tell me why my 401K is now half what it was 18 months ago and can tell me why Uncle Sam has to take my income and distribute it to others who aren’t trying to support themselves or to give to illegal aliens that shouldn’t be here in the first place, and can tell me why does my GOV’T think they can spend my hard earned money better than I myself can, and why we shouldn’t repeal the 16th ammendment, the ammendment that gives the federal gov’t the ability to collect unfair income tax? WOW- I think that one would get the unit to blow a nut or valve!

Posted by Mark May 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Good luck. We will be waiting for you on Friday and launch on Monday.We wish you great success.Go ahead with your great project.

Posted by mohamed ahmed May 13, 2009 at 1:39 pm

This is unbelievable technology. When I first heard about Wolfram|Alpha I thought it was a search engine. How wrong I was! If Wolfram|alpha is truly successful, we’ll never have to “search” again. We’ll just ask. I can’t wait to get my chance with it! I’ve got the webcast on my calendar – my Google calendar :)

Posted by John Prevette May 13, 2009 at 1:42 pm

good luck everyone! I’ll be watching!

Posted by andres perez May 13, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Good luck guys! All that I have heard about this project so far has been very interesting.

Wish you all the best!

Posted by Zeeshan Feroz May 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Looks good, but you’ve got a way too difficult name (wolframalpha) for normal people to write and remember…

Posted by keep it simple May 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm

I’m very much eager and exicted to get my hands on it…

Posted by Vijay May 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Wishing wolfram team the very best!

Posted by Vijay May 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I have a very large client in China who would like to test your product as soon as you are ready.

Posted by Larry McArthur May 13, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Good luck all – I’m really excited to see this once it’s live and then play around! The screen cast makes it look fantastic!

Posted by Dan May 13, 2009 at 7:39 pm

支持Wolfram Alpha,好样的!!Go WolframAlpha!雄起!

Posted by Wolfram Fans May 13, 2009 at 7:48 pm

the whole world is talking about wolframalpha.com why chance the name, this is ridiculous.

Posted by Tom May 13, 2009 at 10:31 am