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RE: [Axiom-developer] debugging information

From: Page, Bill
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] debugging information
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 22:54:31 -0400

On Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:28 PM C Y wrote:
> 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 
> manageable chunks?

I agree completely. At something like 10,000 pages I seriously
doubt that anyone with an environmental conscience would dare to
print it or even order the volumes! In fact I doubt that most
people would be that interested in printed material after the
first tutorial and programming guide. These days when it comes
to printed material **smaller** is better. The rest of the stuff
just stays on the CDrom (or web site) just in case you might want
to take the time to look at it.

So when it comes to publishing hardcopy, I think we should be
quite selective - at least at first. Lulu is "print on demand"
so creating material is no problem - just extra work with
perhaps little payoff.

> 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! 

But this will never work. Paper is just too awkward a media to
maintain a "crystal" system of this size. Of course I am just
promoting my own approach with MathAction, but I seriously doubt
that we can realistically continue to maintain Axiom unless we
can solve the problem of really *collaborating* over the Internet.

> 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 Axiom.

Useless in my opinion unless it can be made to be very easily
accessible online.

> 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?

Auto-install on windows is a piece of cake - just a couple of
extra files on the CD.

Something similar is possible on some versions of linux, but
usually linux people it isn't worth it since they want to know
exactly what it is doing anyway. For linux there is at least
RPM (see new files in AxiomDownload page) and Debian apt-get
(which can be made to read from CDrom).

> 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)

Mac, no I don't think so. Not yet. Someone used to be working
on it but I haven't heard anything recently. On Windows, yes
(but not graphics or hyperdoc). This is where we need to complete
the work on the new AxiomUI interface which is intended to run
on both linux and windows and provide a functionally similar
interface as hyperdoc but using a standard browser.

> 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?

"Damper on ambition", did you say? :) !!!

    Where have you been this last year???

We have been using the Nullsoft installer for the Windows
version of Axiom since December last year. What would you
like to know about it?

Bill Page.

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