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Re: [Axiom-developer] debugging information

From: C Y
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] debugging information
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 19:28:06 -0700 (PDT)

--- root <address@hidden> wrote:

> > Gee, that reminds me of our plans long ago to publish
> > hardcopies of these volumes on . 

Heh, funny I was just looking at myself.

> There are 4 volumes in book--main--1:
>   Vol 1: Tutorial
>   Vol 2: Programming
>   Vol 3: Reference
>   Vol 4: Developers Guide

Sounds good!
> I've been working my way back thru the email archives and extracting
> emails that need to be integrated into these volumes. I've also split
> up the book into the related volumes. 
> There is much work to be done and I have no time estimate. 
> Documentation is vital and good documentation takes much longer
> than anyone expects. 

Amen.  I've yet to write one line of code or get past reviewing other
work and the fundamentals and already I've got 20 pages of content on
Units and Dimensions.  'course, I'm probably going overboard...

> I'm looking into parts of the system and
> have decided to write some debugging techniques and documentation
> on writing pamphlet files so most of my effort is going into volume
> 4.

Neat! And here I'm cut off from my tla tools...
> > [snip] maybe it would be a good idea to split
> > the volumes out further to chapter sized documents and then
> > define a master document for printing?

FWIW, that's what we did with Maxima Book, although it was never web

> Later I want to develop a few more volumes that are related to
> pieces of the system. For example I think 
>   Vol 5: Categories, Domains, and Package Internals
>   Vol 6: The compiler
>   Vol 7: The interpreter
>   Vol 8: The algebra
> where these contain, structure, and build upon the sources.

I LIKE that idea!

> Volume 5 would explain the static and dynamic data structures,
> file structures and manipulation functions. Volume 6 would
> explain the compiler internals. Volume 7 would explain the
> interpreter internals, and Volume 8 would document the algebra.

One comment - the algebra volume could wind up containing a really
really large amount of data.  Perhaps after 5, 6, and 7 have been
tackled we should look at breaking down the algebra into more managable

> These 4 volumes would contain and structure the actual source
> code of the system. So the current pamphlets would become
> chapters within these volumes.
> The system would be built from the books.
> Eventually modifying Axiom becomes a job of authoring or
> editing a section of one of the volumes.

Awesome!  So a set of printed volumes of Axiom books would not be
simply a document but actually define the entire system, in all its
detail, from implementation to mathematics to user interface! 
Depending on how much effort gets put into the algebra over the years
Axiom might become a virtual encyclopedia of mathematics, at least
mathematics at or above the level of that comprising the foundation of

> > It reminds me also that we had talked about making it possible
> > to order CDrom containing installable versions of Axiom, the
> > source code and documentation. I think this can be done on
> > lulu with a bit of effort. I know that it is quite easy to
> > sell CDs through where we currently have
> > the Axiom Foundation Store (Axiom Gear).
> > 
> > I wonder if there is anyone out there who would like to take
> > on the task to prepare such a CD? I could help but I don't
> > want to lead the effort.
> I can look into the installable CDRom issue.
> I've already built iso images for ISSAC.

Just curious - are you talking about the auto-install CDs like
Mathematica has that you just pop in the disk and it starts up the
install wizard?  I know that doesn't fly on Linux and I have no idea
about Mac (assuming we are in shape to run on the Mac and Windows in
the first place, of course) but it might be kind of neat to use
whatever that trick is and make a professional looking install CD.  As
far as installer tools for Windows go, I've been curious to check out
the Nullsoft installer at  (of course, not
having a Windows box kind of puts a damper on that ambition.)  Anybody
know anything about it?


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