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[Axiom-developer] Re: FW: summer of code

From: Ondrej Certik
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: FW: summer of code
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2007 02:33:03 +0200

language for Axiom as part of the basic design. Even Sage has
a front-end pre-processor to make Python more "friendly" for
math users and it has forked a version of Pyrex as it's
"compiled" language. So I am saying this as a caution: Just

And also I disagree with their decision in this. :)

because Python is popular today, this does not provide any long
term guarantee longevity.


in Python or SymPy might incorporate a large part of the current
Axiom Library in Pythonic form. That this sort of collaboration
might be possible is one of the great strengths of open source
software development.

That is true. However the key to success is just in finding enough
motivated people who are going to stick together and produce something
useful. And actually, to me it seems it's only about the politics. I
wasn't even alive when Axiom was started, thus it's difficult for me
to judge what the most popular language was at that time, however it's
seems to me that at that time, the methodology of programming was
quite different (for example the computer memory was a limiting factor
and the overhead of a language like python would be completely
devastating, none of which is a problem today for most of the

So it's almost certain that Python is going to be around for couple of
years, but in the 25 years horizon, it's actually pretty clear it will
not, at least not in the current form. However, if my program is not
going to be used anyway in 25 years, or only marginally, I prefer to
have something good today and attract people today, not tomorrow. Do
you have some estimate, how successful Axiom was in 1980s, when lisp
was quite more popular, than it is today? It's an unfair comparison,
because something like SymPy wouldn't be possible without the internet
and opensource and if I lived in 1980s, I wouldn't even started
anything like that, becase I wouldn't have means of spreading it to
people and especially getting anyone interested. Today's situation is
incredible - it's enough to write a code, put it on the web, create
some documentation and it will start living on its own if it is good
enough, because people will find it in google.

As to the collaboration - I think SAGE could use much of the Axiom, as
it already glues a lot of nice software. And once it is in python, it
can be used immediatelly by SymPy or any other project.

So lets remain in touch as and when time permits.



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