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Slightly off-topic question: how would you call these playable things embedded in HTML these days? I would like to use the word "applet" but it can be still confusing to those who remember Java Applets. Any idea?

I’ve seen other people use "interactives", "interactables", and "explorables" (as in "explorable explanation"). Those feel a little forced to me.

At Distill we simply called them "figures" or "diagrams"; sometimes "interactive figures" or "interactive diagrams" when the distinction needed to be made.

Slightly off-topic answer: back in the day these used to be Java Applets so the original mathlets name is probably a pun on them.

One of my grad school text books had interactive experiments based on Java Applets. I occasionally go back to work through the chapters we never finished and running the applets is a challenge. I think the last time I tried, I ended up finding a command-line interface to run an applet outside of the browser.

Agreed, "applet" is a self-documenting word, it's a shame that it is confusing! Personally I like the word "vignette" although I haven't seen it anybody else using it that way.

I would call them interactive animations.

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