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[Axiom-developer] RE: online algebra files

From: Page, Bill
Subject: [Axiom-developer] RE: online algebra files
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 12:47:08 -0400


On Thursday, October 20, 2005 11:00 AM you wrote:
> ...
> Being able to create/update axiom online would be great because
> it would make the modification task "embarrassingly parallel"
> in most aspects. It will, of course, make my life of integrating
> it all a living hell but it would be worthwhile anyway.

;) Actually, my intention was to make your life **easier**
and also to reduce the amount of time required to make patches
to Axiom.

> There are still a lot of "quality" tasks that go on behind the
> scenes. I document changes, update the CHANGELOG, rebuild from
> scratch, hand check the test case output, cross-build on various
> platforms, and "round-trip" the changes (checkin, erase, checkout,
> rebuild, retest) before release. And finally the release gets
> pushed to all three archives (arch, savannah, sourceforge).

You can (should?) of course continue to do this. I agree that it
is important to maintain at lease one Axiom source archive that
can be treated as "authoritative".

> I don't see how these tasks can be performed in parallel. I do
> feel they are necessary to make sure the quality stays high.
> Every step is there because it eliminates some problem that has
> bitten me in the past.

I think each developer has his own style and preferred tools.
I do not see anything wrong with other developers working in
parallel with their versions of the Axiom sources and submitting
patches to you - better using the new MathAction online access
to the 'axiom--test--1' archive.

One thing that we need to insist on, however is that all developers
take the time to write documentation about the changes they are
making. HI think having the Axiom pamphlet source on-line and
visible should help to encourage developers to do this.

> We need to think about ways to merge a web-based changes to the
> official archive. How do you see this happening? Would it be 
> possible to do a 
>   diff -Naur archive.version web.version >web.version.patch
> for changed files? The "diff -Naur old new" is my primary tool.

What I have in mind is for updates of the Axiom source on
MathAction to be mirrored in a separate tla branch archive
I have called 'axiom--test--1'. This is not implemented yet
but it will be very easy to do. That way, after making some
changes online, a developer could just do a

  % cd axiom--test--1
  % tla update
  % ./configure
  % make

and immediately start testing the new experimental version.

To (selectively) transfer these changes to the 'axiom--main--1'
branch tla has some simple built-in diff-style commands for
comparing versions between branches and applying patches. Of
course one could also continue to do it the old fashioned manually
intensive way with just "diff -Naur old new".

Bill Page.

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