[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: [Axiom-developer] debugging information

From: C Y
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] debugging information
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 06:47:43 -0700 (PDT)

--- "Page, Bill" <address@hidden> wrote:

> 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.

Well, I guess I view it as being kind of like the Oxford Unabridged
Dictionary - most mere mortals might not want one, but libraries and
archival institutions might be interested.  Paper is a LOT more durable
than any electronic technology, and we just might be creating something
here worth preserving for the long haul.  Of course, as a living
project any one "snapshot" will be out of date, but we may reach some
"stable" point where the core supporting technology is clear and well
documented, at which point it might be worth making the effort to
preserve it.

Also, if the program is a document, I find it easier to read documents
in print than on an electronic screen.  I might never read ALL the
documentation associated with the entire Axiom system, but it would be
a nice reference to have some day.

> 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.

Well, I don't know how much extra work it would be, really - after all
we want to be able to generate nice pdfs, dvis, what have you and from
pdf to printed book doesn't seem like TOO huge a step.

> > 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.

I'm not advocating the paper copy be any kind of living tie to the
project - its just that paper is a much better long term storage
mechanism.  (Good paper anyway.)  I suppose its a small concern, but
one of the things I like to think about is how to preserve information
over long periods of time.  (Curiously enough, it might be that metal
punch cards would be the most viable long term way to store digital
information - they have the lowest technological hurdle to accessing
them, and can be made physically robust.)

> > 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.

Oh, agreed.  I'm thinking about another aspect of this all together,
one I agree won't interest most people.

> > 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.

Ah, good :-).

> 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).

Sounds good.
> "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?

<<turns bright red>> I knew that!  Er, well, I sure should have.  I
guess I was thinking we might be able to whip up some custom graphics
and such and make it real jazzy, but that's a completely petty
ambition.  I'll have to find a Windows box somewhere and try it out!


Yahoo! Music Unlimited 
Access over 1 million songs. Try it free.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]