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[Axiom-developer] RE: Axiom package system

From: Bill Page
Subject: [Axiom-developer] RE: Axiom package system
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 16:10:09 -0400

On March 19, 2007 9:08 AM C Y wrote
> Bill Page wrote:
> > Project 4: create a package management system for Axiom
> ...
> Bill, would this entail either interfacing with and/or
> polishing the "database" system Axiom uses for mathematical
> relationships?

Certainly interfacing with the Axiom database system is
required since new entries in the database will be required
when a package is installed (and deleted when a package is
removed). There are already Lisp-callable routines for these
purposes that are used internally in Axiom. I don't think any
"polishing" is required - at least not for the purpose of
implementing Axiom packages.

> ...
> I might be wrong, but wouldn't any package mechanism be
> intimately connected with this system?

Yes, certainly connected, but not the main purpose.

> If so, perhaps the first project would be to thoroughly
> document the design of the "database" system (perhaps 
> "datahash" would be more appropriate?) and then from there
> either modernize it as appropriate to make it easier to
> accomplish the new tasks like a package system  or proceed
> to implement the package system if the current setup is
> robust enough to handle it?

More documentation is always a good thing but I think the
current documentation for the Axiom database system is
probably almost good enough. Naturally the Axiom package
developer may need to discuss details with other more
experienced Axiom developers and as a result also contribute
to it's documentation. But again I don't think we need to
touch the actual mechanism.

> Perhaps Waldek and Gaby could comment, having worked with
> this system in the branches?

I certainly hope they would be interested and willing to help
anyone who takes on this task.

> One functionality for package authors that would be really
> nice is a way to automatically generate a list of
> functionality they are using in all the code in a file or
> package.  This is particularly good for cases where multiple
> packages outside the main Axiom tree are used together
> and thus one or more requirements might not be present
> "by default."

I do not know what you mean by "list of functionality". Could
you explain? Can you give an example of this in any existing
package management system, e.g. Debian apt-get, RedHat Yum,
etc. ?

Bill Page.

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