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[Axiom-developer] [MathAction problems]

From: Bill Page
Subject: [Axiom-developer] [MathAction problems]
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 23:41:07 -0500



>From wyscc Mon Jul 11 18:54:08 -0500 2005
From: wyscc
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 18:54:08 -0500
Subject: Magic? I 'm confused!
Message-ID: <address@hidden>
In-Reply-To: <address@hidden>

For some unknown reason, ![my output] *was* ![wrong] but now becomes
the correct answer! (Actually, it turns back to ![wrong] when I click
the "reply", but for the page, it gave the correct answer [when] redone!

>From wyscc Mon Jul 11 19:09:14 -0500 2005
From: wyscc
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 19:09:14 -0500
Subject: Oh, my! MathAction playing tricks.
Message-ID: <address@hidden>
In-Reply-To: <address@hidden>

When I edit the message of Mon, 11 Jul 2005 18:18:25 -0500, and preview,
the *answer* changes to the correct one! When I cancel this change, the
correct answer remains, but then if I "reply" to the message again ![it
becomes wrong] again.

Reason: When I *edit*, the entire page is re-rendered and hence the answer
is the correct answer (not 1), but when I *reply*, a new instance of Axiom
is started, and hence the value of 'p' is just a variable 'p'.

I think Mathaction should be more consistent, or else we may be wasting a
lot of time.

>From wyscc Mon Jul 11 19:39:36 -0500 2005
From: wyscc
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 19:39:36 -0500
Subject: Conclusion
Message-ID: <address@hidden>

So Mathaction should give a warning that in using the reply box (instead of
directly editing the page), a new session of Axiom is initiated.

>From BillPage Mon Jul 11 21:24:05 -0500 2005
From: Bill Page
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 21:24:05 -0500
Subject: MathAction playing tricks
Message-ID: <address@hidden>

William Sit wrote:

> When I edit, the entire page is re-rendered and hence the answer
> is the correct answer (not 1), but when I reply, a new instance
> of Axiom is started.

That is essentially correct. It is a limitation of MathAction.

In fact, in both cases a new Axiom session is started when you
click 'Save'. Axiom starts, computes some output and then stops.
The output is converted to a web page (rendered) and the resulting
web page is saved. But the state of the calculation in Axiom is
not saved.

As you say, the difference is that when you use 'edit' and then
'Save', all of the commands on the whole page are executed by
Axiom and the entire page is re-rendered. But when you simply
use 'Add comment', only the commands contained in that comment
are executed by Axiom, nothing else. The additional comment is
rendered and then added to the bottom of the existing page.

'Preview' does the same except the result is not saved.

This means that the commands contained in the comment will not
refer to any previously computed values on the same page until
the whole page is re-calculated, either by a subsequent 'edit'
and 'Save' or by clicking 'refresh' (see right side above comment

> Mathaction should give a warning

Maybe we should add something to the comment box such as:

<em>Click _refresh_ after 'Save' if comments refer to
previous results.</em>

Or can you suggest another way to say this in a brief but
clear manner?

>From wyscc Mon Jul 11 22:08:32 -0500 2005
From: wyscc
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 22:08:32 -0500
Subject: Thanks
Message-ID: <address@hidden>
In-Reply-To: <address@hidden>

Bill, thanks for confirming what MathAction does. Actually, I simply
did not notice the "Click refresh to recalculate all" and now that
I am aware of the difference between edit and add comment, that
should be ok.  Prior to your upgrading preview for comments, I seldom
use add comments, to avoid broadcasting too many editing changes after

In order to present a consistent page, there should not be this
difference. I think any time someone press "save" (or even "preview")
using "add comments", the entire page should be recomputed. (I know
this is less efficient, but it would avoid treating potentially
unintentional wrong results as correct (since when a viewer reads the
page, the same error remains until page is refreshed). And we did a
lot of minor editing that would recompute anyway (even though very
often, the axiom code was not changed).

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