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Re: [Axiom-developer] Fwd: [sage-devel] NSF white paper draft - call for

From: C Y
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Fwd: [sage-devel] NSF white paper draft - call for comments
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 20:45:01 -0700 (PDT)

--- Bill Page <address@hidden> wrote:

> Axiom Developers;
> The following draft white paper by David Joyner and William Stein
> (Sage developers) potentially affects NSF funding of other open
> source computer algebra projects including Axiom, I think Axiom
> developers might also care to comment to the authors. 

Bill, thanks for posting this - if there is any chance of having a real
discussion with the NSF on this issue I think it is a very important

> We probably all agree that more NSF funding for open source computer
> algebra would be a good thing, although we might (strongly?) disagree
> on the priorities, e.g. Axiom versus Sage versus Maxima. Yet I think
> it is important that we somehow manage to present a united front to
> potential the funding authorities. Do you think that this white paper
> accomplishes that?

It does fairly well at being "united", I think.  They seem to stress
open source as a means of verifiability, which in my opinion is
correct.  I'll re-read it after some sleep, but I at least am not in a
real position to critique as they know the audience (the NSF) and I do
not.  You guys out there who have done NSF work in the past, would this

> The authors being Sage developers, naturally present Sage in more
> detail than the other open source systems mentioned in the paper. 
> Should other projects be asking for "equal time" in such a document
> or should each project submit a white paper of it's own?

Is there any chance they will actually be read?  Those who have dealt
with the NSF in the past - are they more likely to pay attention if we
present a united front in a community wide position paper that include
a list of signatures?

I would suggest that a good way to approach this might be not as direct
competition for commercial software but as creating work they too could
use to increase the reliability of their results.  Just a thought but
perhaps an approach can be found.  I would be curious if most of
Mathematica and Maple's revenue comes from academia (who would probably
use a free CAS even w/o commercial support) or industry (who are
probably more likely to take the commercially supported solution.)


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