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[Axiom-developer] SIGNEF.o

From: Tim Daly
Subject: [Axiom-developer] SIGNEF.o
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 11:23:03 -0500


> I have just succeded to compile axiom on
> > uname -a
> Linux dragonfly 2.2.20-idepci #1 Sat Apr 20 12:45:19 EST 2002
> i686 unknown
> (2.4GHz/1GB Debian Linux)
> without any problem.

Nice computer. Mail it to me :-)

> Congratulations to the developers!

>From all of us, thanks. Join the party and become a developer.

> I know that AXIOM is still in a very early state, but I would like to
> add a few comments.
> A good thing is that the compilation process works fine. After that
> however, someone who wants to give a try on AXIOM, becomes certainly
> rather frustrated. The reason is the missing documentation. OK, the
> current stage is like that, but I think it is rather important, in
> order to attract new people (users/developers/beta testers). I hope
> the new axiom book is ready soon.

Slowly but surely the docs are coming. I have a near-religious belief
in documentation so you will eventually see it. 

> It would be a good idea to provide at least some sample file with a
> collection of commands that are most commonly used in first year
> undergraduate courses. Of course the book by Jenks & Sutor is a good
> reference, but not everyone has it.

The mnt/linux/input subdirectory contains commands that work.
Eventually these will be in the mnt/linux/doc directory with
explanations of the associated mathematics.

> After I had finished the compilation, I looked for documentation.=20
> Unfortunately only the various Makefile.dvi files yields some
> information, but there is one other file
> mnt/linux/doc/DeveloperNotes.dvi
> which, unfortunately is not a DVI file, but a LaTeX source. 

(humpf. a bug. mumble, mutter, moan. i biffed another one.)
We'll get it fixed tonight. Sorry about that.

> which, unfortunately is not a DVI file, but a LaTeX source. The
> extension should be changed to avoid confusion. (OK, it is only for
> the developers, so maybe it sould not be present in the anonymous
> cvs.)
> What about ADVI. It seems that it has not been built during make.
> Is this intensional or simply will come later when more documentation=20
> files are available?

I have done several experiments with ADVI. David Mentre has expressed
interest in looking at further development and integration. ADVI, as
it stands now, is mostly of interest because it demonstrates the power
of the dvi file format. We can embed \special tags that allow us to 
include other pamphlets, include active graphics, include inline axiom
sessions, etc. In the long term this is very important. However we are
still recovering old functionality so there is very little time to 
expend on new work yet.

> Wouldn't it be a good idea to rename the top-level README to 00README
> so that it appears first in the directory listing? I would expect that
> it guides me through the system, telling me which things are finished
> and which are not. This would certainly prevent people (like me)
> asking stupid questions about non-existing (or better
> not-yet-existing) stuff.

Umm, no. It appears that standard expectations are that we have a README
file (and a configure script). README exists to conform to that expectation.
The configure script is coming. I'll update the README later tonight.
I don't mind questions and don't consider them stupid. 

> Since I have done some development in Aldor, I am rather interested in
> a connection of Aldor and Axiom. Unfortunately, the language is one
> thing, the libraries on which to build one's own program are another.

Aldor libraries seem to have a rather small overlap with Axiom libraries.
There are 1100+ domains, packages, and categories in Axiom and, though
many have tried, there is no easy way to make them available in Aldor.
(The key problem is that you have to implement underlying lisp functionality
in Aldor and that is a huge amount of work). Aldor programs can be used
with Axiom.

> Is it intended that Manuel Bronstein's libraries libaldor and
> libalgebra and the axiom library converge? I guess, at the moment they
> are incompatible. If I now build some program on libalgebra, is there
> a chance (in a nearer future) that I can run this inside AXIOM without
> modification. Is someone working on such a connection?

I doubt they'll converge. Some people want standalone code to implement
a particular algorithm and work in Aldor. Others want to write algorithms
in a general setting and work in Axiom. It is much easier to move an
Aldor program to Axiom than it is to move an Axiom program to Aldor. So
eventually I see Axiom containing algorithms originally written in Aldor
but not the reverse due to practical considerations mentioned above.
It's a minor point, really, as the algebra languages are the same.

Tim Daly

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