FAQs about NKS|Online

The NKS book is divided into two major parts:

  • Main text (pages 1-846)
  • Notes (pages 849-1197)
  • NKS|Online contains:

  • Page images for every page
  • Text views of each page of the main text
  • Text views of each note in the notes
  • Links from text views go to text views, and image views go to image views.

    Some tips for quick navigation:

  • Click the "v" after Table of Contents to get a pulldown of chapters.
  • Enter the beginning of an index term in Look up in Index.
  • Use the Related Links to jump between pages and related notes.
  • In the main part of each web page, all items in orange or gray are links.
  • [ Registration & Access | Content & Navigation | Using Material from NKS|Online ]

    Registration & Access

    Q: I filled out the registration form, but did not get any email. What might be going on?

    A: First, check that you typed your email address correctly on the registration form. Second, the email might be being dropped by a spam filter on your computer system or mail program. NKS|Online access email will come from support@wolframscience.com. You should be able to tell your spam filter to pass through email from this address, and then register again.

    Q: The link in the registration email I have received is not working. What might be going on?

    A: When you go to the URL provided in the registration email, it may take a few seconds for the registration process to complete, but you should then be taken to the page of NKS|Online that you were last looking at. Note that you can use the URL provided only once. A cookie stored in your browser should automatically allow you access to NKS|Online in the future.

    If you do not copy the URL and paste it into your browser, but instead click it directly in your email program, then the way that NKS|Online opens will depend on how your email program is set up. If clicking the link appears to do nothing, check that your email program is configured to follow links, and see if the link might have opened in a different browser, or in a window that is currently minimized or not visible.

    Q: Do I have to register separately for each web browser I use?

    A: Yes. Registration is based on cookies stored in your browser. This means you have to have separate registrations for each browser and each machine you use. Most people find cookie-based registration more convenient, but we are considering providing an alternative password-based scheme as well. Please let us know if you feel this would be a helpful option.

    Q: When I restart my web browser, I have to register again. What might be going on?

    A: Most likely, you have a "privacy protection" product that deletes the cookies in your browser when you end each browser session. You should be able to specify that cookies from www.wolframscience.com are to be kept, which should solve the problem.

    Q: Can I read NKS|Online with a browser that has cookies switched off?

    A: No. The NKS|Online access system requires that cookies are enabled.

    Q: Can I archive NKS|Online offline?

    A: No. First, there are aspects of the site that require an active web server in order to operate correctly. And second, bulk downloading is not allowed by the Terms of Use for the site. We are considering a future e-book version of NKS, but it is difficult to achieve adequate quality levels. The printed book, of course, provides full offline access, and this is the solution we recommend.

    Q: What browsers does NKS|Online support?

    A: NKS|Online supports any HTML 4.0-compatible browser, including Internet Explorer 5.0 and higher, Netscape Navigator 6.0 and higher, as well as latest versions of Mozilla, Safari (for Mac OS X), Opera, and other major browsers. Cookies have to be enabled.

    Q: What is the best way to use NKS|Online with a slow connection?

    A: Try to use the text versions of pages as much as possible, and avoid image views. If you go to the text view of a page, most links (including Next and Previous) will take you only to text views. Many of the images are necessarily quite large. But you should be able to get at least some idea of them from the smaller thumbnails. Of course, the printed book gives all images at full resolution, without requiring web access at all.

    Content & Navigation

    Q: Is the content of NKS|Online the same as the printed book?

    A: Yes, though the resolution is inevitably much lower for pictures. Page images in NKS|Online are taken directly from the latest printing of the printed NKS book. Text views have slight differences, typically because they can do less formatting. There are many additional navigation features that are not possible in the printed book. In pure content, the only addition is that deaths since January 2002 of people mentioned in the book are recorded in the index of NKS|Online but not in the printed book.

    Q: What's better about the printed book than NKS|Online?

    A: First, the printed book is a nice physical object. The pictures are printed at more than 30 times the resolution of the images in NKS|Online. The layout is optimized for pages in a printed book. And with the printed book, you have an immediate sense of the complete scope of NKS.

    Q: What is the difference between "Look up in Index" and "Search for" in NKS|Online?

    A: "Look up in Index" shows which terms in the index start with whatever you type. "Search for" does a full-text search in the text version of the book. Note that the index contains terms that do not appear literally in the text of the book (see http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/page-852d-text).

    Q: Why are there phrases given in brackets?

    A: They are elements added for navigation in NKS|Online, not present in the printed book. A note named "History" in the printed book might for example be renamed "History [of symbolic systems]" so it can be identified more easily in a list of notes.

    Q: How are notes labeled?

    A: Page 898 > Note (c) is, for example, the third note that starts on page 898. When a single note spans multiple pages, the text view associates it only with the page on which it starts.

    Q: What page numbers can I use in "Jump to Page"?

    A: You can use any page that's numbered in the physical book, including the front matter numbered with Roman numerals. Jump to Page, and Next and Previous, skip pages that are blank. The very last page is the Colophon.

    Q: Why do page numbers such as 1004' appear in the index?

    A: Page numbers in the index of NKS|Online are links. For the notes, they are links to individual notes. In a few cases (26 to be precise) there are two different notes that appear in a single index entry, but start on the same page. To distinguish the links for these notes, the second one appears with a prime. (Yes, there were lots of subtleties in making NKS|Online!)

    Q: What determines the order of the "Notes related to this page" in the Related Links?

    A: Ones specific to the page come first, followed by ones in the same section, followed by any others. The links here were chosen by Stephen Wolfram. But inevitably there may be other notes that are also relevant. Use "Look up in Index" or "Search for" to help find them.

    Q: Can I see the covers of the book in NKS|Online?

    A: Here is a picture of the physical book (see also this note). Here is the flap copy. Here are the pictures from the back dust jacket. The endpapers are only in the printed book.

    Q: What technology was used to create NKS|Online?

    A: The source to the printed NKS book was converted using Mathematica programs to SymbolicXML, which was then converted to XHTML to create static web pages. A variety of Mathematica-based tools were used for automated creation of images, conversion of program source, and link finding.

    Using Material from NKS|Online

    Q: How should I cite NKS|Online?

    A: Stephen Wolfram, "A New Kind of Science," (Wolfram Media, 2002), page ____; available online at NKS|Online, www.wolframscience.com/page-____. Note that we maintain a bibliography of publications citing NKS. Additional citation information is available.

    Q: Can I link to NKS|Online from my website?

    A: Yes. The URLs for all parts of NKS|Online should be permanent. If you link to a specific page in the main text, we recommend that you link to the image version. If you link to a specific note, link to the note page. Note that we maintain a bibliography of publications citing NKS, including significant websites.

    Q: Can I quote passages from NKS|Online?

    A: Yes. As stated on the copyright page: "Individual verbatim quotations of up to twenty lines of plain text may be made for scholarly purposes if this book is clearly identified and cited as the source." Please include links back to specific pages in NKS|Online whenever possible. Note that we maintain a bibliography of publications citing NKS.

    Q: How can I make comments about items in NKS|Online, or read other people's comments?

    A: From each page of NKS|Online there is a link to The NKS Forum, which provides an excellent venue for further discussion.

    Q: How can I use the Mathematica programs in the notes?

    A: Any piece of Mathematica input that is displayed as a separate paragraph you should be able just to copy and paste into a Mathematica session. For constructs such as superscripts, the text in NKS|Online contains hidden tiny white characters that show up when the paste is done, and make everything work correctly. Complete Mathematica notebook versions, with test examples, are available, and are linked from each relevant page in NKS|Online. See also the Q&A about the downloadable programs.

    Q: Why do Mathematica programs that contain Greek characters sometimes come out strange when I paste them?

    A: It's the result of a peculiarity in special-character handling with certain browsers. You can avoid the problem by having already started an Input cell in Mathematica before you paste what you have copied from NKS|Online.

    Q: Can I get higher-resolution versions of the graphics?

    A: You can generate your own versions of many of the graphics, and their variants, on your own computer using A New Kind of Science Explorer. For scholarly and journalistic publication purposes we can also supply full-resolution EPS versions of any graphic in the printed NKS book. Please contact us for more information.

    Q: Can I get versions of the graphics to use for lectures?

    A: We are planning to make available a CD with images optimized for presentations at various screen resolutions. Please contact us for more information.

    Q: How can I find more references for concepts in NKS?

    A: First, just use key words or phrases from NKS and do a web search. You may also find it useful to search the online database of books in Stephen Wolfram's library. Note that this database remains incomplete; we are working on completing it. We are also considering a database of papers, perhaps keyed to sections of the book. Please contact us if you are interested in this.

    Q: I've found an error in NKS|Online. How should I report it?

    A: If it is a content error, contact the Wolfram Science Group. If it is a web copyediting or web technology issue, contact the NKS|Online team.

    Q: How can I contact the NKS group?

    A: Send email to contact@wolframscience.com. Please do not send anything you consider confidential or proprietary. See this page for more contact information.