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Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: Requiring LaTeX

From: Ralf Hemmecke
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: Requiring LaTeX
Date: Sat, 02 Sep 2006 01:21:32 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20060719)

On 09/02/2006 12:14 AM, root wrote:
Suppose you are an axiom-developer (and you can build everything of
Axiom on your local machine). Now person A is posting a message that Axiom does not build on machine X for this or that reason. Let's say the reason is that the binaries don't compile. You have access to a similar machine X' and you have the feeling that you could solve the problem.

Here is where the change in MINDSET kicks in.

The source code is [latex vs gcc]
What does that mean?

and someone posts a bug in a program. You try to build the program and it fails in the [noweb-latex vs gcc compile] step so you give up.

Yes. Because from the description of the build failure posted I had some
feeling what is going wrong. But I cannot reproduce it. Since my build
doesn't come to that point.

Or you argue that you could take the intermediate code [spad/lisp vs AST-RTL] and debug with that. (GCC can generate intermediate files of
abstract syntax trees (AST) or register transfer language (RTL) which
are system-independent.) You can certainly build/debug with that.

I don't even have "intermediate code".

I really don't understand why you insist on preventing people from
contributing to Axiom. It is all community work. If someone understands
what is going on and posts a fix. That is much quicker than having to
wait for someone how has the right environment, understands the problem,
is able to fix it. Note that I could even post a patch that fixes a
problem without having latex on machine X'. Note that I have
(deliberately) included a phrase in parentheses in my first sentence
above. I either do it on my local machine and testing the latex build
there and the binary build on X'. Then I could send a fully documented
patch and everyone would be happy. No?

And even if I submit a patch that does contain a latex error. The guy
who posted the problem could check the binary build and fix the latex
stuff and post a correction patch. That is distributed development! You
need not have just one person knowledgable in everything.

I fully understand that for the enduser you want latex, noweb and
everything, but what does that have to do with developers doing
distributed development to produce proper pamphlets?

You checkout Axiom on X' start compilation and... the compilation stops just after trying to latex the first Makefile.pamphlet, because unfortunately, LaTeX is not installed on that machine and you don't have root access to install it.

So if [noweb-latex vs gcc] is not installed you give up? You don't need root access to install latex. It's just a program. Latex can be installed locally with no problems.

Of course, I could install it. But why should I invest my precious time
with installng LaTeX (or anything else) if it is actually not needed for
what I am trying to achieve.

The point I'm trying to make is that not have latex is like not having GCC.

Really? If I write a paper, I don't care whether gcc is installed. LaTeX
is what counts. It all depends on what I want to achieve.

It is perfectly reasonable to have a -nosource option. Many people don't care about the source.

But not having source is just using a binary. It's not a build environment.

There are simply different use cases for Axiom. Some people USE
mathematical theorems but are unable to prove them or even to invent new
ones. What you are saying is: I consider those people not as my target
audience for application of mathematics.

If build speed is the ONLY issue then just don't 'rm' anything. There
 is NO reason to rebuild the system from scratch or make clean.

Right. But if I don't have latex and change a pamphlet, I am lost.

One of the current design principles is that this should 'just work'.

Wasn't there someone who said that --patch-50 does not build on debian?


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