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[Axiom-developer] user feedback

From: root
Subject: [Axiom-developer] user feedback
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 13:24:54 -0500

I don't use TeXmacs so I'm not familiar with his issues here but we
need to fix these...


I have had some difficulties with getting the program working properly, 
which may or may not be attributable to me. Here are some issues that I 
encountered. Some reflect my own stupidity, but I think in general the 
information on Open Source software tends to be written with a certain 
user in mind - who is very much not typical of people who use windows as 
their exclusive OS.

To begin:

I downloaded the current windows version of axiom. The one clearly 
highlighted as "recommended." Although TexMacs is mentioned 
prominently,  nowhere does it state that TexMacs is a separate program 
that the user must download independently of axiom.  Why not come out 
and say it, instead of assuming the user will infer that from the 
discussion or be sufficiently knowledgeable of the open source world to 
understand how the pieces interact with each other?

Ok - so now I realize I have to get texMacs. Not a big deal. Being 
intimidated by the installation process for cygwin, I opted for the beta 
version of the native windows release. It seems pretty nice, so I want 
to get started using axiom. I open the tutorial in the axiom package ( 
hard to read on screen using acrobat reader) which tells me that to open 
an Axiom session you click on the "Text" menu in TexMacs, and then 
Session - Axiom.  This is an error. It should be the "Insert" menu. It 
is a little discouraging when you have trouble  getting started.

I tried some of the CAS stuff, and it worked nicely - lovely looking 
output. I'm not sure the strong typing is something that beginning 
students can handle, but that is an educational issue. Continuing with 
the tutorial, I wanted to use the Axiom browser. The tutorial says to 
click on the button in texmacs that says "Axiom Browser", but there 
isn't any such button, nor any item in any menu that seems to address 
that option. Maybe the beta verison of texmacs for windows is deficient 
- any clues?

I then tried to do some simple graphics. I had to look in the Axiom book 
to find the basic commands. The tutorial only discussed graphics in the 
context of plotting solutions of ODEs. I think it could use a brief 
chapter on elementary graphics. The Axiom book was fine in that regard. 
So I tried
draw(x^2, x=-2..2) and draw(sin(x), x=0..6), but after compiling the 
expressions, and reporting that the data was being sent to the viewport 
manager, both the texmacs interface and the native axiom command window 
reported the following error messages:

system error: SOCK-SEND-INT is invalid as a function
protected-symbol- warn called with <NIL>

Can you clarify what's going on and if possible put me back on the road 
to wisdom?. BTW I am using Win-XP, professional, if that is of any 

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