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

From: Bill Page
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] (Possible) reasons Axiom didn't appeal to SoC coders...
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 16:48:12 -0400
User-agent: Webmail 4.0

Quoting Martin Rubey:

lest my recent rant stirs bad emotions, I'd like to send the
. three of you a

                               BIG  "THANK YOU!"

for your work on making axiom available and stable!  Sometimes
I am very impatient, and in fear I become even more impatient
and more uneasy.

Don't worry. I understand very well the reasons for your frustration.
Also, especially Waldek earns another

                               BIG  "THANK YOU!"

for succeeding in making my guessing package available, even if
Neil Sloane was unable to build it, for whatever reason.

Well, it is difficult to help people who do not ask for help ...
I am very much indebted,

As are we all.
Earlier quoting Martin Rubey:

"Bill Page" <address@hidden> writes:

.. Does anyone have any other ideas about why we did not
receive any applications?

I must say that this question makes me a little angry.  There is
at least one *very* simple reason why we will not participate in

I prepared a wiki page, in the contents of which I put roughly
five hours, trying to prepare something which would be focussed
and possible to tackle. (not all of this effort is visible on the
page, I did do some more thinking) In fact, I also prepared a
rather detailed application for google.
I then asked for mentors to step forward.  I got *very* little
response, and in the end, *not a single person* was ready to
send me his/her google account adress as required by google. In other words, I wasted a lot of energy.

I am sorry Martin. I recall clearly the SOC wiki page you created
but I do not recall your request for mentors, as such. Certainly
I was willing. In fact a couple of weeks later when Hoew asked me
if the Axiom project was interested in participating in SOC via
LispNYC, I immediately said "yes!" and in that case I did register
online with Google as a mentor under the LispNYC project, but I
did not have to supply Hoew directly with my Google email account. Perhaps there was some misunderstanding of the requirements?

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...

I added two new items to your SOC 2007 page which were specifically
directed at people with Lisp experience as soon as Hoew invited us
to participate.
 Furthermore, the last lisp project was, in my opinion, a complete

Why do you say that? Have you looked at the code that Kai produced?
I would say that the fact that we are not yet using any of this code
is not related to Kai's effort at all. I counted it as successful
because at least he showed that it was possible to work with Axiom
using common lisp tools and how to adapt Axiom's boot code to better
interface with an externally supplied user interface based on a web
browser. Personally I think that was a lot to accomplish during one
summer project.
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:

No, that is not the kind of project I would consider suitable for SOC.

* I do not know enough about the boot/lisp internals of axiom

* I doubt that it would be very interesting for somebody not enthusiastic about the axiom project

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

I would be useful. In fact we already have at least two people doing
that: Gaby and Waldek - although that is not their only objective.
I believe it is not true that there are too few interested people
in CAS.

I never said that. I think that C.Y. might have argued that in
another email. I also do not agree with that. What I said was that
there are first of all only a few students currently interested in
Lisp and of those there seem to be only a few who are interested
in Axiom. In fact the only proposals that LispNYC did receive that
could be considered related to Axiom did not even seem to realize
that what they were proposing was already a basic part of Axiom!
I replied to these applicants and at least one of them has since
joined the Axiom developer email list.
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.

I disagree. From other emails from Ondrej it is clear that SymPy
also was only an "add-on" to three separate Python-oriented projects. It seems to me that the attention that SymPy got was directly related to SymPy's association with these projects.
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.

I would be glad to help. I would be VERY GOOD to have Sloane a
supporter of Axiom and I would really hate to lose your input to
the Axiom project.

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.
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

Tim Daly reported successfully building HyperDoc under cygwin on
Windows and accessing it via Xming (an X-windows server for
Windows). I think that it is a real possibility to build both
HyperDoc and Axiom graphics under cygwin in this manner. Cygwin
is a "unix emulator" for windows. GCL however currently only
builds under MSYS/MinGW which a native Windows build environment. Requiring both cygwin and MSYS/MinGW to build Axiom on Windows is a bit of a heavy requirement but it is possible.
I use Xming together with Putty on Windows to access HyperDoc
on a unix host all the time. I works great for me. So if this
was also the way we accessed HyperDoc and Axiom Graphics on
Windows I would be quite happy.
It is currently quite easy (but not for the "turn-key faint-of-
heart) to run Axiom on a virtual machine runing Linux under
Windows. Some people use VMware but I am particularly fond of
Microsoft's own free virtual server environment. It runs SuSE
10.2 for me under Windows XP on a dual processor AMD 4300+
machine very nicely. If I want to, I can use Putty and Xming to
access Axiom in this environment although in this case it is
easier (if you know linux) just to run a standard Linux windows
like gnome in the virtual machine.
If anyone wants details about running Axiom in this way under
Windows, I would be glad to discuss it.
* a free Aldor, or, since this is quite unlikely to happen,

I still think it is possible. Please keep up the pressure however
you can. Most recently (two weeks ago) it was publicly promised
by Steven Watt that there would be some news within a week. But we are still waiting ...
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

SPECIES ==> (L: LabelType) -> CombinatorialSpecies L;

)(L: LabelType): CombinatorialSpecies(L) == add {
        Rep == Union(left: F L, right: G L);
        import from Rep;
        <<implementation: Plus>>

  (To make this easies to understand, here is a usage example:

Partition(L: LabelType): with {
        <<exports: Partition>>
} == add {
        <<representation: Partition>>
        import from Rep;
        <<implementation: Partition: auxiliary functions>>
        <<implementation: Partition>>

  is used (in Axiom roughly) like


  which would give the generating function for the Bell numbers,

structures(set [1,2,3])$Partition(Integer)

  which would return all set partitions of [1,2,3]: [[1,2,3]],
  [[1,2],[3]], [[1,3],[2]], [[2,3],[1]], [[1],[2],[3]]

P2 ==> Plus(Partition, Partition)(Integer)


would return twice the generating series of the set partitions.

I think it would be great if you and other members of the "Species
project" could find a way to make your work more visible (and
therefore more interesting) to others. I still do not completely
understand the objectives and what has been accomplished so far.

  Another remark: I'm meanwhile more convinced than ever that
SPAD is simply a subset of Aldor.  A while ago, somebody said
that "==" would have different semantics, since "==" would mean
"delayed evaluation" in Axiom, but that's not quite true: it's
meaning within SPAD is compatible with Aldor's meaning, namely
"constant assingment": functions in Aldor and SPAD are constants,
and the usage

  f(1)==1; f(2)==1; f(n)==f(n-1)+f(n-2)

is only possible in the interpreter -- and that's a wise decision,
too, as Christian Aistleitner confirmed.

I think that is basically correct however you do realize that Aldor
was specifically designed to be the replacement for SPAD, so this
relationship to SPAD is not at all unexpected.
Bill Page.

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