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[Axiom-developer] Saturn and Windows (was: Please join!)

From: Bill Page
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Saturn and Windows (was: Please join!)
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2007 12:44:40 -0400

On April 22, 2007 12:06 PM Waldek Hebisch wrote:
> Bill Page wrote:
> > ... 
> > Waldek, could you please explain (maybe a sentence or two)
> > about what you mean by "Windows Saturn interface"? What is
> > Saturn?
> Saturn is a name of a user interface in Nag Axiom.  This
> interface (or at least part of it) were used in Windows
> version.

Thank you! :-)

I expect that the only reason for this is the people involved
in trying to get the open source version of Axiom to work had
little idea about this. I know I didn't know because I was one
of them. :-)

> > Plus, assuming I did not know the answer, how would
> > I find out from the Axiom documentation and source code?
> > 
> Is it a trick question?

No, I certainly did not intend it as a "trick". I think it is
important for others to understand how to answer questions
like this about Axiom. At this point to learn how to find
answers is even more important that the actual answsers

> Souce code mention Saturn many times without saying what
> it is.

Yes, amazing and frustrating, no? I think we must do our best
to avoid this happening in the future!

> One can deduce that it has something to do with user interface
> and that it is probably a Windows thing, for example in
> patches.lisp we had:
> ;; browser stuff:
> #+:UNIX (defvar |$standard| 't)
> #-:UNIX (defvar |$standard| 'nil)
> #+:UNIX (defvar |$saturn| 'nil)
> #-:UNIX (defvar |$saturn| 't)

> But to find out more (and what I wrote is almost all that
> I know about Saturn) you need to read this mailing list
> (Saturn were mentioned few times during user interface
> discussions).

That's a good point. In fact this questions was originally
answered more than 3 years ago even before we knew what
question to ask. :-)

Greg (Vanuxem Gregory) originally pointed out the point
about the "saturn flag" in

concerning comparison between output of windows version
and the linux version of Axiom. The original query about
the "saturn code" came from Mike Thomas

when he was working hard to get the first version of
open source Axiom to compile on Windows.

Tim Daly referred to the "Saturn interface (which is no
techexplorer)" here:

Even more relevant is the following post by Mike Dewar:

"The main file in question was br-saturn.boot ("saturn" was IBM's
pre-release name for TechExplorer) and we also used the $saturn
variable to test whether we were in TechExplorer or not in a few
places (this was so we could use the same CCL image files for both
the TechExplorer and shell interfaces of Axiom under Windows).
It might be worth somebody trying to resurrect this code - the only
hitch I can foresee is that we added a grep command to CCL (coded
in C) since Windows doesn't have a grep program, but you can always
spawn off a system command under Unix (which is what the original
IBM version of Axiom did) to get the same result."

"In particular we had a TeX-based browser interface which
you could wire in in place of )show, )what etc.  

The code for this lived in the file br-saturn.boot ("saturn" was
the codename for TechExplorer before IBM released it) and was not
included by default in the Unix build.  It modified the Lisp
commands kSearch, cSearch, dSearch etc. to produce TeX output
with embeded hyperlinks."


Bill Page.

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