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RE: [Axiom-developer] Re: hyperdoc

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] Re: hyperdoc
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 02:27:31 -0500

On January 13, 2005 8:36 PM C Y wrote:

> --- Bob McElrath <address@hidden> wrote:
> > The list of prerequisites for running axiom is huge, and
> > getting worse it seems!
> ... 
> > So in the interest of having something people can download
> > that is functional with a minimum of effort, I think axiom
> > (and any help system or hyperdoc) should be decoupled from
> > zope and zwiki.  A download (think windoze users here) which
> > included zope, zwiki, latex, ghostscript, python, PIL, gcl,
> > gcc, *and* axiom, is too much, methinks.
> Heh - even I agree there.  Perhaps it would be best to
> acknowledge the reality that if one wants to take advantage
> of all the vast possibilities of open source software, that's
> going to be at odds with having the full power of the system
> available on all platforms, particularly Windows, as a single
> package.  Surely power users who are willing and able to use
> the full web-like setup, instead of just a TeXmacs or Mathematica
> like document interface, would be willing to set it up or at
> the very least boot a live Linux CD loaded with the full set
> of Axiom tools and dependencies. 

Personally, although I have tried knoppix and some variants on
several occasions I have always been a little disappointed
and frustrated. The problem is that I live in linux about 1/2
the time and windows the other 1/2 and when I boot one of these
"live" things I feel like I am in neither. It's fun to play for
an hour or so but then it goes in the desk draw with all the
other things that once fascinated me but I haven't looked at
for so long that they are now collecting dust. So I am quite
sceptical about the utility of a "live" Axiom/Doyen CD except
as a kind of conference "promotional gimmick".

Let's put the list in the following order and fill it in a
few more:

         /    |    \
      gcl   latex   python
      /       |      |    \
     /    noweb      |    zope
    /  /      |      |     /
 axiom   ghostscript PIL  zwiki
      \      \       |   /
       \       LatexWiki
        \        /

Add your favourite text editor and browser and set it all up
in Linux/Unix or Windows.

There. Now that doesn't seem so large and complex does it?
(: At least not if you compare it to the list of capabilities
that this remarkable combination of entirely open source
software provides... :) I am quite sure that this would all
easily fit on one-side of a Cdrom, including documentation.
And of course we can add as many more optional add-on packages
as we want, such as Reduce, Aldor, Maxima, ... eventually all
integrated with a common web interface.

What this gives you a fully web-integrated, collaborative
mathematical research and development, hyper-linked publishing
environment right on your desktop, or even in your pocket (I run
almost all of this on a Zaurus 5600). This is all easily doable
right now for free. I would have given my left arm for something
like this back when I was a student!

Bill Page.

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