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RE: [Axiom-developer] Re: libaxiom.a

From: Page, Bill
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] Re: libaxiom.a
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 10:55:46 -0500


On Tuesday, March 21, 2006 11:00 AM you wrote:
> ... 
> AXIOMsys has a large set of libraries. These libraries
> can't be compiled and executed standalone because they
> assume the underlying lisp (grep for $Lisp in the algebra
> sources).

Very true.

> There have been numerous attempts by many people to create
> a standalone version of the AXIOMsys library. All have
> failed because the libraries assume lisp. I suppose you
> could figure out a way to link GUILE into the aldor
> libraries and succeed thru that path.

I cannot see any clear reason to prefer GUILE or even Scheme
over Lisp or even FOAM (the Aldor abstract machine). Also it
seems rather "narrow minded" to think that "standalone"
necessarily means the same thing as "without lisp"... ;)

> The dream was to have a standalone version of the axiom 
> compiler rather than an embedded version. I didn't believe
> this was useful then and I still don't believe it is useful
> now.

That's like saying that "stand alone" Fortran doesn't make
sense without the IBM 360 or that "C" is of no value without
Unix. That is clearly incorrect. As leading-edge compilers,
both SPAD and Aldor represent a great deal of value on their
own - whether they are used to write Axiom library code or

> A more effective path would be to load and compile your
> computation in lisp and then generate a standalone image to
> do that computation, sort of a special version of AXIOMsys.
> This IS standalone, machine-language code with an embedded
> lisp that can use all of the axiom library.

Yes, I agree completely. That is the right way to go.

What would you suggest might be the minimal GCL environment
required to run most of the Axiom library code? Assuming that
we do not want to keep any of the Axiom interpreter but just
the minimum support for SPAD and/or the Aldor interface,
would it be a good idea to start with BOOTSYS or something
earlier in the bootstrap cycle? How much work would it be
to determine exactly what modules are required? And
realistically, how much memory are we likely to save in
the resulting "standalone" executable but dropping all
the stuff that we don't need?

Bill Page.

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