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Re: [Axiom-developer] (Possible) reasons Axiom didn't appeal to SoC code

From: C Y
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] (Possible) reasons Axiom didn't appeal to SoC coders...
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 13:28:54 -0700 (PDT)

--- Martin Rubey <address@hidden> wrote:

> It is quite obvious to me why nobody from the lisp community wanted
> to write something for axiom: the projects I proposed had nothing
> at all to do with lisp... Furthermore, the last lisp project was, in
> my opinion, a complete failure.

Well, to be fair it was lispnyc that was the "parent" project supporter
- if we are going to ask them to support an Axiom project it's only
reasonable to expect their potentital students to be looking for
"lispy" projects.

Just as another data point - Maxima has not qualified as an SoC mentor
on its own.  In one sense it might have an easier time being a
sub-project of lispnyc than Axiom in that the hurdles to jump through
to get working on it are lower (runs on more common lisps, for one
thing) but I didn't seen any such projects.

> I guess that it would have been possible to prepare some lispy
> project, for example cleaning up the boot compiler.  This might
> have been interesting, but I'm unable to prepare such a project
> for several reasons:
> * I do not know enough about the boot/lisp internals of axiom

I think that's a problem with many potential Axiom projects.  I know I
certainly don't have enough knowledge currently to act as a mentor.
> * I doubt that it would be very interesting for somebody not
> enthusiastic about the axiom project

Most of our projects are going to be like that, unless we are looking
for some more "general purpose" lisp library we can make use of.

> * I'm not sure whether it would be useful.

Hard to say.  Done well I'm sure it would be, but it is not a simple
job.  I am not sure how many of the projects Axiom needs at the lisp
level at this stage are good summer projects.

> I believe it is not true that there are too few interested people in
> CAS.  At least Ondrej stated that he had more students applications
> than he could mentor, and I'm convinced that this is only partially
> due to Pythons popularity.

Well, that's a good sign.  

> Finally, I'd like to ask you for help.
> It seems that I have lost (more or less) Neil Sloane. I hope I'll be
> able to win him back, it is very important for me personally.  I am
> currently extremely close to having to stop maths (and thereby also
> axiom), and I badly need some "success" stories.

Sorry to hear that!

> I am also advertising axiom at the maths and physics departments of
> Vienna university -- that's one of the bigger players in the game, 
> by the way.

If I may ask, what applications would they be likely to use Axiom for?

> I am not sure what I can ask for, I only know what would be most
> helpful (regarding non-mathematical projects):
> * HyperDoc or a HyperDoc replacement on Windows

One question - as I understand it, AXIOMsys works on Windows but the
parent program axiom does not.  Would a HyperDoc for Windows also
require a new communications mechanism?  Doing this straight from lisp
(ala hunchentoot or something similar) would be my preference, but
again it's probably not simple.

In this problem being on a non-ANSI lisp without the support of most of
the library of Lisp goodies available today hurts.

> * a free Aldor, or, since this is quite unlikely to happen, SPAD
> becoming more Aldor-like. Furthermore, but maybe also a first step,
> Axiom should understand Aldor's "extend".  Concerning SPAD becoming
> more Aldor-like, the most important thing would be to allow 
> signatures as used in the Species
> project:

Has anyone attempted ANY SPAD compiler hacking as yet?  To the best of
my knowledge that area is almost completely uncharted waters.

Martin, is the most important thing for you to have available a Windows
binary with the Guess package successfully installed?  I can see where
we might be able to put together a NSIS based installer of a merger of
the latest build-improvements, the Guess package and maybe Emacs as a
GUI for Windows, if that would help, but getting to the point where we
can be reasonably sure of not running into the same sort of issue that
originally caused the problems with the Guess package is (IMO) a ways
down the road.  (Not that I'm qualified to have an opinion - Tim, Gaby,
or Waldek would be a much better source.)  I might be able to take a
stab at compiling a Windows release, but I'd be starting from square
one and I'm not completely sure I'll have access to a Windows box.  If
that would be a very significant help, I will look into it - let me


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