WIMS technical documentation

This document is currently under integral style. You may change it to indexed or folding style. There is also a general help and a paper on WIMS.

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What is wims?

WIMS (Www Interactive Multipurpose Server) is an internet server system designed for mathematical and other educational purposes.

The Wims server is composed of a kernel program which is a cgi program (wims.cgi), plus various activity units called ``modules''.

The client accesses the server via a http request to wims.cgi, with parameters specifying the name of the module to request, the type of the request, and eventually parameters for the module. Upon request, wims.cgi processes the requested module, passing the user parameters to it, and sends the result returned by the module back to the client.

A module may consist of a number of script files grouped in one directory. These scripts are written in a special scripting language recognizable by wims.cgi.

The script language contains also commands which allow it to call external programs (especially various mathematical softwares) to make sophisticated computations. Such commands are processed by wims.cgi and sent through interface programs which filters the request, checks for security breaches, and sends back a filtered output.

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Examples of what you can do with wims

The current version 4.09d of wims has several applications which demonstrates (non-exhaustively) what one can do with a wims system.

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Comparison with other approaches

Advantage of wims versus locally installed softwares

  1. No need of software installation and/or update by users. All installation and/or update of background software is done on the server side, which can be anywhere on the internet. On the client machine, only a common web browser is required (which needs not to be very up to date).
  2. No need to learn the usage and the syntax of a particular software package. As wims uses the html standard for user interface, a user, in particular a student, has only to use his usual knowledge of html browsing (which is now a common knowledge), in order to work on wims applications.
    This is not the case for any of current mathematics softwares; all of them require a training period before the user can work on it. This training period may be more or less lengthy, but we remark that the knowledge of using a particular software is not a universal knowledge, and such a knowledge usually has a short lifespan. Moreover, teaching knowledge about a commercial software contradicts with the principle of commercial neutrality of a public education institution.
  3. It provides a means to collect the knowledge and experience of the whole educational community. Wims is a modular system, where each application is a separated module whose links with other modules are done in the usual html way. This allows modules to be developped independently and remotely. It is our hope that as many educators as possible will add their knowledge and experience to the system by contributions in the form of new modules or improvements of existing ones.
  4. It allows student - teacher interactions in several ways. Organized under the structure of classes, a wims system allows teacher to assign works for his students, and get reliable informations about the progress (and/or difficulty) of the student in real time. This may allow the teacher to give more personalised guide to the student. The big advantage of such a system based on internet is that there is no site restriction: any work done from any site (local or remote) is valid, and is taken into account.
  5. It provides a dynamic interaction between different components, e.g. between exercises and computing tools. For example, practically no software dedicated to exercises can interface a computational tool as easily as wims does.
  6. It can be more powerful than any given software for certain works. Because wims can use different (dedicated) software as backend engine, even several softwares for one application or one request.

Disadvantage of wims versus locally installed softwares

  1. Low speed of reaction. Because usually every wims response has to travel through internet. This will improve when internet speed improves.
  2. Limited computational power and programming capability. If a user has a heavy computational job and/or has to design a complicated script to get his job done, he should work directly on the appropriate software. It is not at all the intention of wims to interface such activities.
  3. Limited capability of the graphical interface. The html graphical user interface is not very suited for interactive works.

Advantage of wims versus hand calculators

  1. Easier to use. A html page used by wims for user interface is much more comprehensible than any hand calculator.
  2. (Much) more powerful.

Disadvantage of wims versus hand calculators

  1. Non-portability. Wims is accessible only to computers connected to internet.

Advantage of wims versus interactive web applications based only on java or javascript

  1. More powerful and more versatile. As wims can embed java or javascript programs in its applications, a wisely designed wims application just extends the capability of java or javascript.
    And wims can really do more: even if it is theoretically possible to develop java applications which has the same power as a software used as a backend engine for wims, it would take too much effort to develop (is it reasonable to re-write TeX in java?), and would be so big that it would take forever for an http query to load.
  2. Easier to develop. Because wims language is first based on html (easy to learn), with an extension specifically designed for this purpose.
  3. Allows student-supervisor interaction. The design of server-based interactivity for users allows the back-end communication with supervisors, and much more (performance analysis, automatic intervention from supervisors, etc).

Disadvantage of wims versus interactive web applications based on java or javascript

  1. Lower speed of reaction. Because usually every wims response has to travel through internet. This will improve when internet speed improves. One can also use embedded javascript or java in a wims application, in places where response speed is important.

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Current features of wims

  1. Write html pages with a programmability extension: substitution of variables, conditional branching, etc. This wims programmability extension to html does not require any addon or plugin at the browser side, as all the wims commands are treated by the wims server before sending the result to the browser, which will be a standard html page.
    For example, this allows you to define style macros which can be dynamically changed.
    And this extension can cohabit with all the current (and hopefully future) html standards, including java applets, javascripts, embedded objects, dhtml... This is because the wims extension follows a strict line discipline (i.e. a wims command must start at the first word of a line), while html standard is not line-oriented.
    This means that you can even embed wims extensions into javascripts, applets, dhtml...
  2. Dynamic insertions of paints, plots and TeX formatted mathematical formulas into html pages. For example, you may insert the following line into your wims-extended html page. At the browser side, the visitor will see a TeX formatted matrix whose content varies with the value of the variable $matrix:
          !instex $$ \left( $matrix \right) $$
    Moreover, this implementation of dynamic insertions makes future updates possible without modification at module's level. (For example when a better way to render mathematical formula is available, a simple modification at server's level will immediately let all !instex lines take benefit of the new standard.)
  3. Insplot is now animated! Exemple: the tool Tracés Animés .
  4. Direct interfaces to powerful external software packages. For example, you may define a variable `factor' by the following line:
          factor=!exec pari print(factor($number))
    Upon execution of this line, the variable will be replaced by its current value, then the software package `PARI' will be called with the string `print(factor(<value of $number>))' as command to execute. The output of the program, with the overheads stripped, will be placed as the value of the variable `factor'.
    Interfaces provided in version 4.09d of wims: PARI, Maxima, MuPAD, Coq, Povray, gnuplot, PostgreSQL, Fly (gif drawing), CALC (by Keith Matthew).
  5. Simple and versatile language. The language used for wims modules is an extension of the existing and popular html language. This extension is designed to be simple, easy to use and close to natural language. Synonymes are accepted whenever necessary. For example, to include the content of another file, you don't have to remember whether the command is include as in C, or input as in TeX, because both are valid.
  6. Convenient directives for string manipulations: replace with regular expression capability, extraction of a subset from a list of items, shuffle, evaluation of mathematical expressions, etc.
  7. Easy inline mathematical symbols: simply type $m_pi for pi, $m_RR for RR, $m_eufM for eufM, $m_le for le, $m_Rightarrow for Rightarrow, etc.
  8. Intelligent treatment of mathematical expressions: built-in translation routines to allow error-tolerant expressions like 2y (instead of 2*y) or (x+1)(x-1) (instead of (x+1)*(x-1)), and translations of raw mathematical expressions into beautified html sources (x^3-3*x^2+1*x-5 will become x3-3x2+x-5 , etc.), or TeX sources, etc.
  9. Powerful random capabilities: random permutation (shuffle), random record from a datafile, random filename, etc.

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Online development of activities

The system includes several facilities allowing you to create and develop WIMS activities directly online. To do so, you have only to click on the respective links from the home page of the server.

The easiest is the creation of simple interactive exercises which does not really require the knowledge about a computer language, but exercises that can be written in this way have limited power and versatility.

On the other hand, you can also develop full-power WIMS modules by working entirely on line. For obvious security reasons, you will need a login/password pair which you must ask the site manager to attribute to you. Once logged in, you can create and modify as many modules as you like, in a special development zone. When you have finished the development of a module, you can ask the site manager to move it to a public place.

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Basic structure of wims

The central piece of a wims server is a cgi program, usually in the name of wims.cgi. It takes all the http calls to the server, then does the following work:
  1. Call the module asked by the user, and process parameters and variables according to what is defined in the module.
  2. Session management.
  3. Send the result of the process to the user.
  4. Write to different log files.

Modules of wims

A wims server is a modular system, with different applications as modules. At each new call to wims, the user has to specify which module he want to access.

A wims module may be an interactive course or interactive exercise (of any level), a computational tool, a dictionary, a mathematical game, a database, or a mixture of the above.

Wims modules are independent from each other. Each module has its own directory, which serves as its address, and contains all the files of this module. Different modules have different authors and different maintainers, and may follow different copyright policies.

There is no relation between modules in a same wims site, except hypertext links which allows one module to access another in various ways.

How to access a wims server

Wims is accessed by a request to the main cgi program, for example
which usually should be followed by parameters. A call to the main wims.cgi program without parameter will bring up the wims homepage of the site.

Parameters of wims.cgi is a usual http name=value pair, where the name field may be one of the following:

calls the wims server at wims.unice.fr, with `new' as the value of `cmd', `tool/algebra/factor.en' as the module name.

How to use the supervisor-side interface

Supervisors of registered classes can maintain their classes and consult results of students via the same web address (the main cgi program), just by logging in as supervisor. All the options are then available via html links and buttons.

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Structure of a wims module

Each wims module has a private home directory in which go all the files of this module.

A module must have at least the following files:

And it may often contain the following (optional) files too:

There may be any number of other files, like a README file, one or more help pages, an about page, one or more graphics files, files called by one of the above mandatory or optional files, etc.

Variable processing files

The files var.init and var.proc, as well as any files called by these two files, are variable processing files.

A variable processing file is divided into lines, separated by non-escaped new-line characters. A new-line character can be escaped by the character \, in which case it does not separate the two lines before and after it.

Every line of a variable processing file must be one of the following:
  1. A comment line, whose first non-space character is either the character #, or ! followed by another !.
  2. A variable definition line, in the form of name=value. The content of value may be a string (if this string contains a new-line character, it must be escaped by the character \), or a wims variable command (which must then start with the character !).
  3. A command line, whose first non-space character is the character !, followed by the command name and optional parameters.
    If the command produces an output string, this output will be ignored.
  4. A label line, whose first non-space character is the character :, followed by the name of the label. Anything following the label name will be considered as comment and ignored by the interpreter.
    Label is used in conjunction with the jumping command !goto.
    A label starting with the character '*' is catch-all, matching any !goto label.
  5. Any line not fitting into one of the above 4 will generate a wims error message.

Phtml files

The files main.phtml and intro.phtml, as well as any files called by these two files, are phtml files (programmable html).

A phtml file is an ordinary html file, except for lines whose first non-space character is a ! or a :.

Lines can be escaped by \, just as in the case of a variable processing file.

A line starting with : is a label line, as in the case of a variable processing file.

A line starting with ! is a command line, as in the case of a variable processing file. To the difference that if the command produces an output string, this output will be inserted into the html page, at the place of the line.

Lines not of the above two types will be sent to the http client, after substitution of variables.

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Variables in a module

Definition and substitution of variables

Wims variables have only one type: they are all string variables. Numerical evaluation can be done on variables via the variable command !eval.

A variable may be defined or modified in a variable processing file, or by the commands !let and !default.

Variable names can contain any alphanumeric character, as well as the underscore character _. There is a limit to the length of variable names, and a limit to the length of values. (Limits depending on server configuration.)

Variable substitution can be done anywhere in a variable processing file or a phtml file (even in the name field of a variable definition line). A word preceeded by the character $ is considered to be a variable name, and will be replaced by its value when the line containing it is processed.

Special rules of variable substitution:

Reserved variable names

The following names are reserved for their special meanings. They should not be used for internal needs of any module.

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Variables with special meanings

Variables for general purposes by wims server
wims_exec_error is used to store error messages of the external program called by !exec. For this reason, this variable will be overwritten each time a !exec command is executed.
wims_module_log is used for individual module's log files: if this variable is non-empty, wims.cgi will put its content into the module's log file, at the end of the process of the user request.
wims_version has a value preset to the current version of the wims server.
wims_version_date has a value preset to the last compile date of the server program.
wims_site_manager contains the electronic address of the site manager, as defined in the configuration file wims.conf of the site. Modules should not modify this variable.
wims_print_precision defines the printing precision when a result of evaluation (via !eval or NaN) is converted to a character string. Default value: 8 (may be modified in wims.conf).
wims_warn_... is ...
wims_compare_precision is used to define error tolerance when wims compares two numerical values. Formula: !ifval a=b will return TRUE if


Default value: 10000 (may be modified in wims.conf).
wims_texsize can be used to modify TeX sizes for the module. Default value is 0 (no change). Maybe 1,2,... (increase TeX size) or -1,-2... (decrease TeX size).
wims_homeref_parm is reserved for future use in the command !homeref.
wims_homeref_bgcolor is...
wims_rawmath_functions is used to tell rawmath routine that the words contained in the variable value should be treated as function names. These words can be separated either by white space or by comma.
wims_rawmath_variables is used to tell rawmath routine that the words contained in the variable value should be treated as math variable names. These words can be separated either by white space or by comma.
wims_ref_name gives the addess of the wims serveur (for this server, http://wims.unice.fr/~wims/wims.cgi)
httpd_HTTP_HOST gives the name of the wims serveur (for this server, wims.unice.fr)
wims_ref_target defines the target of the command !href, !homeref, !form. Its value is not automatically reset to empty after the commands. (Defaults to empty string, meaning that the target is the current document.)
wims_ref_id defines the id in the command !href (<a ... id=" ">). Its value is automatically reset to empty after the commands. (Defaults to empty string)
wims_ref_class defines the css class in the command !href (<a ... class=" ">). Its value is automatically reset to empty after the command. (Defaults to empty string)
wims_ref_title defines the title in the command !href (<a ... title=" ">). Its value is automatically reset to empty after the command. (Defaults to empty string)
wims_html_header is the standardised html header for all its modules' html outputs. Its value is defined in the file html/header.phtml. It is highly recommended that modules use this variable to define their html headers.
wims_expire is used to define expiration dates of the pages sent to clients. Don't touch it if you don't know what this means.
module_init_parm is...

Variables reserved for dynamic insertions
ins_align defines the manner in which the inline picture is aligned with respect to the line. Possible values: bottom, middle or top. Default is empty (which means bottom).
ins_attr is used to define miscallaneous attributes of a dynamic insertion. Examples:
  ins_attr = align=middle
(aligns the middle of the image with the baseline for the current textline), or
  ins_attr = ismap
(coordinates of the click will be passed back to the server; if the link of the element is the wims server, the coordinates will be registered under the variable no_name.)
This variable is reset to empty after a dynamic insertion.
ins_border is used to define border width of the html element IMG resulted from the dynamic insertion. Its value should be a positive number.
This variable is reset to empty after a dynamic insertion.
ins_density is used to define the density of the dynamic insertions. Default value: 100x100 .
Avoid using this variable! We are planning to suppress it. Will be replaced by a server-managed variable.
ins_format can be used to determine the format of the graphics file of the dynamic insertion: its value should be either gif or jpg. The default value of this variable is gif (which can be changed by modifying the file wims.conf; but such change is not recommended).
Some types of dynamic insertions may not be affected by this variable.
ins_quality is used to define quality of the graphics convertion used in dynamic insertions. Its value should be between 0 and 100. Affects only dynamic insertions whose graphics format is jpg.
ins_tag is used for dynamic insertions within a form. In this case define
ins_tag=form name
where name is the name of the html element IMG within the form (optional).
This variable is reset to empty after a dynamic insertion.
insdraw_size is the size in pixels for the dynamic insertion.
ins_filename is the name of the graphics file of the dynamic insertion (generated by wims). It must be taken just after the command !insdraw
ins_url is the url of the graphics file of the dynamic insertion. It must be taken just after the command !insdraw
insplot_data is ...
insplot_font is ...
insplot_set is ...
insplot_split is ...
insplot_transparent is used to define transparent color for insertions. Default is empty (no transparency). Usual value: 255,255,255 (white is transparent).

Variables reserved for software
wims_backslash_insmath is ...
pari_precision (dans oef ??)


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Data structure


There is no special syntax in wims language for arrays. However, it is possible to design array-like variable structures, with integer or even string subscripts. This can be done using nested variable substitutions. For example, ...

Fields in a string

Wims variables are all string variables. There are three different ways to split a string into fields:

This section is not yet finished. Sorry.

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List of commands

WIMS commands can be used in variable processing files and phtml files. A command is a word preceeded by the character !.

Commands has two types:

Some commands can be used both as execution command and as variable command.

Commands may accept parameters which are words following it. Parameter fields are separated by white spaces or special words (depending on the command).

Here is the list of all commands.

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List of inline mathematical symbols

The symbol names are based on corresponding TeX names.

SymbolName tt
alpha, beta, gamma,... pi,... omega $m_alpha,$m_beta,$m_gamma...$m_pi...$m_omega
Gamma, Delta, Lambda, Phi, Psi, Pi, Sigma, Theta, Xi, Upsilon, Omega $m_Gamma, $m_Delta, $m_Lambda, $m_Phi, $m_Psi, $m_Pi, $m_Sigma, $m_Theta, $m_Upsilon, $m_Xi, $m_Omega
varepsilon, varphi, wp, ell, Re, Im $m_varepsilon, $m_varphi, $m_wp, $m_ell, $m_Re, $m_Im
aleph, infty, nabla, partial $m_aleph, $m_infty, $m_nabla, $m_partial
AA, CC, RR, QQ, ZZ ... $m_AA, $m_CC, $m_RR, $m_QQ, $m_ZZ ...
calA, calB,... calM,... calZ $m_calA, $m_calB,... $m_calM,... $m_calZ
eufA, eufB,... eufM,... eufZ $m_eufA, $m_eufB,... $m_eufM,... $m_eufZ
eufa, eufb,... eufm,... eufz $m_eufa, $m_eufb,... $m_eufm,... $m_eufz
le, ge, pm, times, div $m_le, $m_ge, $m_pm, $m_times, $m_div
neq, equiv, cong, approx $m_neq, $m_equiv, $m_cong, $m_approx
leftarrow, rightarrow, mapsto, Leftarrow, Rightarrow, Leftrightarrow $m_leftarrow, $m_rightarrow, $m_mapsto, $m_Leftarrow, $m_Rightarrow, $m_Leftrightarrow
exists, forall, in, emptyset $m_exists, $m_forall, $m_in, $m_emptyset
subset, supset, subseteq, supseteq, cap, cup, prec, succ $m_subset, $m_supset, $m_subseteq, $m_supseteq, $m_cap, $m_cup, $m_prec, $m_succ
sum, prod, coprod, surd $m_sum, $m_prod, $m_coprod, $m_surd
int, oint, Vert, oplus, otimes $m_int, $m_oint, $m_Vert, $m_oplus, $m_otimes
bigtriangleup, bigtriangledown, bigvee, bigwedge $m_bigtriangleup, $m_bigtriangledown, $m_bigvee, $m_bigwedge
Besides, large parentheses are available under the name of $m_leftpar2, $m_leftpar3,..., $m_leftpar10 and $m_rightpar2, $m_rightpar3,..., $m_rightpar10. They can be used to inclose matrices of 2,3,...,10 rows. Ditto for leftbrace and rightbrace.

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List of slib (library of scripts)

Scripts in this library can be called from modules using the command !read (or !readproc from within a phtml file). For example, the line
 !read slib/matrix/random 3, 5, 10
generates a 3×5 matrix with random integer coefficients in [-10, 10]. The result is placed in the variable slib_out. To call an slib script from OEF exercises, documents or forum messages, use the function slib().

Only variables prefixed by slib_ are modified by these scripts.

Available scripts in slib
algebra/partitionconjPartition conjugate []
algebra/partitiondrawYoung diagram drawing of a partition []
algebra/partitionlexNext partition in the lexicographic decreasing order []
algebra/slopedrawPolygone tracé à partir des pentes (dessin) []
analysis/inversedomainInverse image of domains []
analysis/odejsDraw solutions of a differential system (with jsxgraph). []
analysis/odejs2Draw a solution of a differential system: x' []
analysis/odephasePhase portrait of a differential system []
analysis/rungekuttaEquation différentielle (par Runge-Kutta) experimental en faire une liste sans dessin []
analysis/slopefieldDirection field (for example for differential equation system) []
chemistry/brut2htmlHTML form of the formula of a molécule []
chemistry/chemeq_addComputes a combination of chemical equations []
chemistry/chemeq_compareComparing chemical equations []
chemistry/chemeq_componentsChemical components []
chemistry/chemeq_elReturns the number of electrons in a redox reaction []
chemistry/chemeq_equilibriumAnalysing the equilibrium in chemical formulas []
chemistry/chemeq_massMolar Mass []
chemistry/chemeq_revReturns a chemical equation reversed []
chemistry/chemeq_rqTypeset reaction quotients and Nernst laws for chemical equations []
chemistry/chemeq_texTypeset molecules and chemical equations []
chemistry/chemshowDessin d'une molécule en 2D []
chemistry/cramCram representation []
chemistry/jmolbuttonButton in Jmol. Has to be inserted AFTER the Jmol applet. []
chemistry/jmolcheckboxCheckbox Button in Jmol []
chemistry/jmolradiogroupRadio Group in Jmol []
chemistry/jmolshowJmol Applet []
chemistry/leftindleft and right indices and exponents []
chemistry/molarmassMolar Mass []
chemistry/moleculePeriodic table []
chemistry/moleculeViewerJava Molecule Viewer []
chemistry/newmanNewman projection []
circuits/complistList available circuit components []
circuits/compposComponent position information of a circuit type. []
circuits/drawDraw circuit scheme according a circuit type. []
circuits/drawcompDraw circuit components according to a circuit type. []
circuits/drawwireDraw the fixed circuit wiring of a given circuit type. []
circuits/rangeSize and range information of a circuit type. []
data/columnsortSort data according to a column []
data/randlineTake a random line of a data file []
data/randomRandomly selects a number of (different) objects []
data/randrecTake a random field of a record file []
draw/balanceBalance (Roberval) []
draw/brokenlinegraphTrace une fonction affine continue par morceaux à partir des points de changement de pente []
draw/clockDraw a clock according to given time []
draw/convpixelConversion pixel image coordinates - mathematical coordinates []
draw/dominoDomino []
draw/drtgradueeDroite graduée []
draw/graphvizGraphviz []
draw/graphvizpointsCoordinates of the nodes of a graph by Graphviz []
draw/meterMeter []
draw/polygonRegular polygon []
draw/radar Radar []
draw/randpolygonPolygone quelconque []
draw/rangeRange []
draw/repdroiteCalcule les coordonnées des deux points extrêmes pour tracer une droite dans un repère []
draw/repereTrace un repère []
draw/thermometerThermometer []
function/boundsThe bound of a real function of one variable within an interval [x1,x2] []
function/bounds2The bound of a real function of two variables within a rectangle [x1,x2],[y1,y2] []
function/integrateIndefinite or definite integration of a function of one variable []
games/chessimageChessboard []
geo2D/geogebra3Geogebra Applet []
geo2D/ggb2jsxgraphGeogebra to Jsxgraph []
geo2D/jsxgraphPlugin for JSXGraph []
geo3D/3Dviewer3D Viewer []
geo3D/CaR3D applet with C.a.R []
geo3D/Convex3DPolyhedron applet with Convex3D []
geo3D/drawPolyedron in flydraw []
geo3D/drawtileLattice of cubes []
geo3D/off2jmolFormat off to xyz []
geo3D/off2xyzFormat off to xyz []
geo3D/polyhedraPolyhedra applet in C.a.R []
geo3D/polyhedradualPolyhedra applet and its dual in C.a.R []
geo3D/threeDThreeD Applet []
graph/connexcomponentConnex component of a vertex in a graph []
graph/connexityConnex components of a simple graph []
graph/distanceMatrix of diameter of a graph []
graph/drawGraph draw []
graph/drawccGraph draw with one colored connex component []
graph/drawtreeTree draw []
graph/gptOriented graph without circuit []
graph/graphvizGraphviz []
graph/pathPath of a graph []
graph/randomconnexrandom connex graph []
graph/randomeulerrandom eulerian graph []
graph/randtreeRandom tree []
graph/shortpathShortest path of a graph []
graphpaper/correct_milliGraphic paper sheet with red correct plot preloaded []
graphpaper/funcOne function plot, ready to append to a previously made graph paper []
graphpaper/func_milliGraphic paper sheet with function plot and red correct plot preloaded []
graphpaper/imgpointsUtility for a clickable graphic paper sheet []
graphpaper/millimetreGraphic paper sheet []
graphpaper/stringsPrepare strings to be written on a graphic paper sheet []
graphpaper/tographUtility for a clickable graphic paper sheet []
graphpaper/whereclickUtility for a clickable graphic paper sheet []
lang/enword2ipaIPA transcription of english words []
lang/epd2ipaIPA transcription according to epd ascii codage (for english) []
lang/fnameA random firstname []
lang/fraccordAccord of French adjectives and names []
lang/frapostropheApostrophe reduction of a French text []
lang/frartdefTransform a French noun into definite form []
lang/frcodcoiFind a random complement of a French verb []
lang/frverbconjThe conjugation of a French verb []
lang/imagesImages in some datamodule []
lang/randomwordOutput random words in the dictionary []
lang/sampa2ipaIPA transcription according to Sampa Ascii codage (for english) []
lang/swacInsertion of words (audio) from the swac packs []
life/frcommodityGive a random commodity with given price, French []
list/selshufSelective shuffle []
matrix/concateconcatenation []
matrix/detThe determinant of a square matrix []
matrix/givenrankGenerates a random matrix of given rank []
matrix/inverseThe inverse of a square matrix []
matrix/invertibleGenerates a random invertible matrix []
matrix/itriangularGenerates a random invertible triangular matrix []
matrix/non0Generates a random matrix with non-zero coefficients []
matrix/orthogonalGenerates a random orthogonal matrix []
matrix/randomGenerates a random matrix []
matrix/traceThe trace of a square matrix []
matrix/transposeThe transpose of a matrix []
matrix/triangularGenerates a random triangular matrix []
matrix/unimodularGenerates a random unimodular matrix []
media/audioAudio insertion []
media/dewplayerAudio insertion with dewplayer []
media/playerAudio insertion with hbs_mp3_player []
media/player_mp3_multiAudio insertion with player_mp3_multi []
media/videoVideo insertion []
numeration/babylonienEcriture Babylonienne d'un nombre entier []
numeration/basepPassage de la base dix vers la base p. []
numeration/ecriturenombreEcriture d'un nombre avec regroupement des chiffres par trois. []
numeration/egyptienEcriture Egyptienne d'un nombre entier []
oef/blankBlank []
oef/codelimOEF code length limit register []
oef/codenameRegister OEF code reply name allow/deny []
oef/envGet an OEF environment variable []
oef/insfilenameOutput the file name of the last insert []
oef/newfileSave a text in a file []
oef/postsrcOEF code input postpender []
oef/presrcOEF code input prepender []
polynomial/randomRandom polynomial []
set/subsetSubsets of a set []
stat/1dComputes 1-dimensional statistical data []
stat/arithmeanArithmetic mean of statistical data []
stat/betaGeneration of beta random data []
stat/betacdfCumulative distribution function of a Beta law []
stat/betainvQuantiles of a Beta law []
stat/betapdfProbability density function of a Beta law []
stat/binomialGeneration of binomial random data []
stat/binomialcdfcumulative distribution function of Binomial law []
stat/binomialinvQuantile of Binomial law []
stat/binomialpdfProbability density function of the binomial law []
stat/cauchyGeneration of Cauchy random data []
stat/cauchycdfCumulative distribution function of Cauchy law []
stat/cauchyinvQuantile of Cauchy law []
stat/cauchypdfProbability density function of Cauchy law []
stat/chi2Generation of chi-square random data []
stat/chi2cdfChi-square cumulative distribution function []
stat/chi2invQuantile of a chi-square distribution []
stat/chi2pdf Chi-square probability density function []
stat/correlationMatrix of correlation []
stat/covarianceMatrix of covariance []
stat/deviationDeviation of statistical data []
stat/discretelawGeneration of a discrete law with nonnegative coefficients []
stat/effectifEffectifs of statistical series in classes []
stat/empiricGeneration of random numbers with a discrete law []
stat/exponentialGeneration of exponential random numbers []
stat/exponentialcdfCumulative distribution function of exponential law []
stat/exponentialinvQuantile of exponential law []
stat/exponentialpdfProbability density function of exponential law []
stat/fisherGeneration of Fisher random data []
stat/fishercdfFisher cumulative distribution function. []
stat/fisherinvQuantiles of a Fisher law (also called F-distribution) []
stat/fisherpdfFisher probability density function []
stat/freqFrequencies of statistical data []
stat/gammaGeneration of Gamma random data []
stat/gammacdfCumulative distribution function of Gamma law []
stat/gammainvQuantile of a Gamma distribution []
stat/gammapdfGamma probability density function []
stat/geomeanGeometric mean of data []
stat/geometricGeneration of random data with a Geometric distribution on N []
stat/geometric1Generation of random data with a Geometric distribution on N* []
stat/geometric1cdf Cumulative distribution function of a Geometric distribution on N* []
stat/geometric1invQuantiles of a Geometric law on N* []
stat/geometric1pdfProbability density function of a Geometric law on N* []
stat/geometriccdfCumulative distribution function of a Geometric law on N []
stat/geometricinvQuantiles of a Geometric law on N []
stat/geometricpdfProbability density function of geometric law on N []
stat/harmonicHarmonic mean of statistical data []
stat/histoHistogram []
stat/hypergeometricGeneration of Hypergeometric random data []
stat/hypergeometriccdfCumulative distribution function of a hypergeometric law []
stat/hypergeometricinvQuantile of hypergeometric law inverse []
stat/hypergeometricpdfProbability density function of a Hypergeometric law []
stat/laplaceGeneration of Laplace random data []
stat/laplacecdf Laplace cumulative distribution function []
stat/laplaceinvQuantiles of the Laplace law []
stat/laplacepdfLaplace probability density function []
stat/linearcongGeneration of linear congruential random integers []
stat/logisticGeneration of logistic random data []
stat/logisticcdfLogistic cumulative distribution function []
stat/logisticinvQuantile of the logistic law []
stat/logisticpdfProbability density function of the logistic law []
stat/lognormalGeneration of lognormal random data []
stat/lognormalcdfCumulative distribution function of log-normal law []
stat/lognormalinvQuantile of log-normal law []
stat/lognormalpdfProbability density function of log-normal law []
stat/medianData median []
stat/multinomialGeneration of multinomial random data []
stat/nbinGeneration of Negative binomial random data []
stat/nbincdfCumulative distribution function of the Negative Binomial law []
stat/nbininvQuantile of a Negative Binomial law. []
stat/nbinpdfProbability density function of a Negative Binomial law []
stat/normalGeneration of Gaussian random data []
stat/normalcdfCumulative distribution function of the normal distribution []
stat/normalinvQuantile of the normal law []
stat/normalpdfProbability density function of the normal law []
stat/pascalGeneration of Pascal random data []
stat/pascalcdfCumulative distribution function of the Pascal law []
stat/pascalinvQuantile of a Pascal law. []
stat/pascalpdfProbability density function of a Pascal law []
stat/poissonGeneration of random numbers with Poisson law []
stat/poissoncdf Poisson cumulative distribution function []
stat/poissoninvQuantile of a Poisson law []
stat/poissonpdfProbability density function of a Poisson law []
stat/posdiscretelawGeneration of a discrete law with positive coefficients []
stat/prodProduct of data []
stat/quadraticQuadratic mean []
stat/randomGeneration of random numbers []
stat/rangeData range []
stat/studentGeneration of Student random data []
stat/studentcdfStudent cumulative distribution function []
stat/studentinvQuantile of a Student law []
stat/studentpdfProbability density function of a Student law []
stat/sumData sum []
stat/varianceVariance []
stat/weibullGeneration of Weibull random data []
stat/weibullcdfCumulative distribution function of Weibull law []
stat/weibullinvQuantile of Weibull law []
stat/weibullpdfProbability density function of Weibull law []
text/approximationCalculate an approximation interval for a given real []
text/balloonTalking Balloons (Cartoon style) []
text/cdecommentExtract comment from a c source code. []
text/comblinSimplify a linear combination []
text/crosswordCrossword []
text/cutchoice2Cut out embedded choices for OEF []
text/cutchoicesCut out embedded choices for OEF []
text/markerrorFor marking words with mistake []
text/markgroupFor marking group of words with given explanation []
text/marktextTexte for use with type mark for OEF (word) []
text/marktextpartialFor marking some words with given explanation []
text/markwordFor use with type mark in OEF []
text/matrixhtmlTransform a matrix into html matrix (table) []
text/matrixinsertInsert a coefficient in a matrix []
text/matrixtex Matrix in Latex []
text/maximamatrixTransform a matrix to maxima format []
text/octavematrixTransform an octave output matrix into standard format []
text/sigunitsMake a representation of a physical quantity with a given number of significative digits []
text/spiraleWrite on a spirale []
text/whitespaceReplace white spaces []
triplerelation/tabularDouble entry table for training to relations between three quantities []
utilities/mathcalcMathcalc []
utilities/nopasteNo copy-paste []
utilities/notepadNotepad []
utilities/tooltipTooltip containing an html text which appears when the mouse points on a word. []
utilities/trigo-calcInline Trigonometric calculator []


Table of Contents

Interfaces to external software packages

This documentation is yet not finished ... WIMS provides interfaces for some software packages which must be installed independantly.
the PARI group
Use PARI/GP est un système de calcul formel très répandu, conçu pour des calculs rapides en arithmétique (factorisations, théorie algébrique des nombres, courbes elliptiques...) mais contient aussi un grand nombre de fonctions pour le calcul matriciel, sur les développements limités, les nombres algébriques, etc. ainsi que de nombreuses fonctions transcendantes.

Use Maxima is a system for the manipulation of symbolic and numerical expressions, including differentiation, integration, Taylor series, Laplace transforms, ordinary differential equations, systems of linear equations, polynomials, and sets, lists, vectors, matrices, and tensors. Maxima yields high precision numeric results by using exact fractions, arbitrary precision integers, and variable precision floating point numbers.

Use Graph visualization is a way of representing structural information as diagrams of abstract graphs and networks. Automatic graph drawing has many important applications in software engineering, database and web design, networking, and in visual interfaces for many other domains.

The GAP Group
Use GAP is a system for computational discrete algebra, with particular emphasis on Computational Group Theory. GAP provides a programming language, a library of thousands of functions implementing algebraic algorithms written in the GAP language as well as large data libraries of algebraic objects. See also the overview and the description of the mathematical capabilities. GAP is used in research and teaching for studying groups and their representations, rings, vector spaces, algebras, combinatorial structures, and more.

Use interface to bc ; bc -l

Use YACAS is an easy to use, general purpose Computer Algebra System, a program for symbolic manipulation of mathematical expressions. It uses its own programming language designed for symbolic as well as arbitrary-precision numerical computations. The system has a library of scripts that implement many of the symbolic algebra operations; new algorithms can be easily added to the library. YACAS comes with extensive documentation (hundreds of pages) covering the scripting language, the functionality that is already implemented in the system, and the algorithms we used.




Logiciels internes à WIMS

Norbert Haider, norbert.haider@univie.ac.at, modified by Ernst-Georg Schmid
Input data
Output data

Xiao Gang
Use Compare two curves
Input data Input parameters: environment.
w_curvecomp_1 and w_curvecomp_2: curves to compare, as lists of points.
w_curvecomp_xrange and w_curvecomp_yrange: list of 2 integers each.
w_curvecomp_tolerance: Maximal tolerance of distances.
Output data Output: 10 double numbers separated by white spaces.
- Average distance of curve 1 with respect to curve 2.
- Average distance of curve 2 with respect to curve 1.
- Maximal distance of curve 1 with respect to curve 2.
- Maximal distance of curve 2 with respect to curve 1.
- Proportion of curve 1 close to curve 2.
- Proportion of curve 2 close to curve 1.
- Maximal jump of curve 1.
- Maximal jump of curve 2.
- Ratio of repetitions found in curve 1.
Number 10: Ratio of repetitions found in curve 2.
Furthermore, words "fnofx" and/or "fnofy" will appear if curve 2 represents the graph of a function of x (and/or y).
Returns empty if one of the curves is degenerated.


Xiao Gang
Use This program generates cyclic code from a polynomial defined over a prime field. It does not check whether the polynomial is primitive or irreducible.
Input data Accepted parameter: 3 words
Word 1: field characteristics, limited to 2,3,5,7
Word 2: The polynomial coefficients (except the leading one, from lower degree to higher).
Word 3: The starting status (starting from the first bit).
Output data

cyclicode 3 22 10


Xiao Gang
Use for adm modules
Input data
Output data

Xiao Gang
Use Sort dictionary
Input data for adm modules
Output data

Xiao Gang
Use This program computes an optimal coding of variable lengths on a given distribution of probabilities, using Huffman algorithm.
Input data Two environment variables
wims_exec_parm is a comma-separated list of probability distributions
Limited to MAX_ITEMS
The input data will be scaled to unit sum
w_huffman_radix is the encoding radix, between 2 and MAX_RADIX.
Output data two lines
Line 1: Entropy and Average code length, comma-separated
Line 2: comma-separated list of codes.
huffman 0.16, 0.39, 0.55


Lucas Nussbaum, lucas@lucas-nussbaum.net
Use jeu "le compte est bon"
Input data 7 integers
Output data How to obtain the first number from the six other ones by addition, multiplication, division, substraction

lceb 598 6 8 2 5 10 12


Norbert Haider, norbert.haider@univie.ac.at, modified by Ernst-Georg Schmid
Input data
Output data

Xiao Gang
Use Mathematical expression manipulations for WIMS
Input data For the moment, use only in deductio
Output data

prints a number with fixed amount of decimal places
Use Usage:!exec moneyprint number1,number2,number3....number_n decimal_places
\text{A=wims(exec moneyprint number1,number2,number3....number_n decimal_places)}
default value "decimal_places = 2"
A=!exec moneyprint 123,43.5,23.45665
or specified a last "word"
A=!exec moneyprint 123,43.5,23.45665 3
Input data
Output data

Xiao Gang
Use Finds the shortest paths linking given points
Input data wims_exec_parm is ... . w_shortpath_style : 0: loop to the start
1: arbitrary open path
2: open path with fixed start
3: open path with fixed end
4: open path with fixed start and end
Output data
shortpath 1,3


J.M. Evers
Use Prints a number in scientific notation.
Input data Usage: !exec scienceprint number,significant_digits,output_type
\text{A=wims(exec scienceprint number,significant_digits,output_type )}
    output_type can be
  • 0 : calculating format : 1.234*10^-4
  • 1 : html format :1.234×10-4
  • 2 : latex format : 1.234\times10^{-4}
  • 3 : prefix format : 1.234×10-1 m
  • 4 : mathml format : 1.234×10-4
  • 5 : long prefix format : 1.234×10-1 milli
Output data

Steve J. Fortune
Use compute Voronoi diagram or Delaunay triangulation. Voronoi reads the standard input for a set of points in the plane and writes either the Voronoi diagram or the Delaunay triangulation to the standard output.
Input data Each input line should consist of two real numbers, separated by white space.
Output data If option -t is present, the Delaunay triangulation is produced. Each output line is a triple i j k which are the indices of the three points in a Delaunay triangle.
Points are numbered starting at 0.
If this option is not present, the Voronoi diagram is produced.
There are four output record types.
s a b indicates that an input point at coordinates l a b c indicates a line with equation ax + by = c.
v a b indicates a vertex at a b.
e l v1 v2 indicates a Voronoi segment which is a subsegment of line number l; with endpoints numbered v1 and v2.
If v1 or v2 is -1, the line extends to infinity.

voronoi -t 5 7
2 8
7 6
3 5
1 2
8 1
4 3
6 4


Xiao Gang
Use Versatile translation according to a dictionary
Input data for adm modules
Output data

Xiao Gang
Use This special program selects words composed by selected characters, each selected character being used at most once in the word. Used in the shell script public_html/bin/dicfind
Input data Selected characters are entered by the env var 'oncechar'. Words entered by stdin. Output to stdout.
Output data


Table of Contents

Java applets capable of interfacing with wims

This documentation is yet not finished ...

Many OpenSource java applets are suitable (or can be easily modified) to work within WIMS, e.g. WIMS can dynamically configure applets, the student actions on the applet can be read from the applet and send back to WIMS as answer (via javascript).

R. Grothmann (Zirkel Compass and Ruler)
In the wims-ditribution a slightly modified version of Zirkel is present.
Use For information on how to use this applet in interactive wims-exercises : wimsedu forum

Alex M. Clark (SketchEl
A modified version of SketchEl, called WIMSchem is used for several chemistry modules.
Use Ready to use OEF answertypes are written.

Chemistry Input applet
J.M. Evers
Applet developed for use within wims. Typical input of linear chemical formulas and equations (H2O)
Use Used in chemistry module.

J.M. Evers
Applet developed for use within wims. Uses a syntax simialar to the fly (insdraw) program. LaTeX capable.
Use Used as (interactive) image generator and (function) plotter

David Eck (eck@hws.edu).
Well known suit of applets.
Use Some applets are modified to work within wims.

Plinko /Plinko-II
Dr. D.P. Little
An overview of these applets.
Use Two Galton board applets. Sends experimental data to wims.

JOME (Java OpenMath Editor)
Applet modified to work within wims.
Use Configurable mathematical input applet.

J.M. Evers
Analogue and digital clock.
Use Can be configured by wims/random/student. Sends time back to wims

Edward A. Lee, Christopher Brooks
Data plotter. Modified for wims as function plotter capable of reading datafiles/functions from wims-server.
Use Very fast, but non-interactive data and function plotter,


Table of Contents

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Description: documentation of WWW Interactive Multipurpose Server This is the main site of WIMS (WWW Interactive Multipurpose Server): interactive exercises, online calculators and plotters, mathematical recreation and games

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