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RE: [Axiom-developer] Idea for mathaction updates

From: Page, Bill
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] Idea for mathaction updates
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 18:24:13 -0500

On Friday, February 18, 2005 1:01 PM Martin Rubey wrote:
> I think that with changing AxiomInterface to SandBox a
> lot of noise has gone, a further lot will go away when
> there is a preview button also for IssueTracker.

Unfortunately, adding a **preview** button to **add comment**
and **add issue** is a little complicated because preview is
part of the **edit** function but the code for **add comment**
and **add issue** is designed for entry only. Such a change
would have to be done by the developers of ZWiki. I have been
discussing this at:

Feel free to join in.

In the mean time, one can use a two-step process:

1 First enter only a subject or title, leave the body of
  the comment or issue blank and click **add**. Because
  it consists of only a heading, MathAction will not
  create an email message.

2 Second, click **edit** and the main body of the comment of
  issue. Since you are editing, you have access to **preview**
  and an email will be sent only when you finally click

It might be possible to program a simple **preview** button
for the **add* boxes which automatically presents the user
with the **edit** page.

> ... 
> Some more thoughts: I'm absolutely certain that noise will 
> reduce as time goes by and, of course we should keep our
> eyes open for simple ways to reduce noise.

You may notice that since yesterday there is a new link
at the beginning of each message forwarded from MathAction.
Although this does not reduce the amount of "noise", it
might make it a little more convenient for people who use
email and a web browser in an integrated manner.

Emails from MathAction now look like this:

text of changes ...
forwarded from

The first link points to a much easier to read web page
containing only the changes, complete with colored strike-out
and insertion mark-up. From there you can also review the
history of the changes and view the whole page as it is

> I would suggest that we at least wait until the preview 
> button on IssueTracker exists.

Fortunately there are a fairly large number of active
developers of ZWiki on which MathAction is based.

> Finally, it is quite clear that usage of MathAction 
> did increase quite a bit recently!

Indeed! I have been fascinated to watch the apparent
exponential growth in the number of accesses to MathAction
displayed in the web statics at:

It is amazing to me that in the last 3 months the Axiom book
has been downloaded more than 4,000 times and the Windows
version of Axiom has been downloaded more than 3,000 times.
Clearly there are a lot of people who are interested in
Axiom but only a very small number of these, only about
1%, who are active on MathAction and the email lists. And
and even smaller number who have been motivate to donate
to the Axiom Foundation. :(

>From these statistics I am not so confident that the
amount of "noise" will reduce on it's own any time soon.
If anything it might grow as more of these new users
become motivated to communicate with each other and learn
more about Axiom. 

Bill Page.

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