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[Axiom-developer] Axiom for Windows and TeXmacs

From: Page, Bill
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Axiom for Windows and TeXmacs
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 15:49:49 -0500


On Monday, December 06, 2004 2:39 AM you wrote:
> ... 
> I've already found one infelicity and need to find out your 
> standard process for generating those Makefile.pamphlet
> patches to the GCL source tree - specifically, what "diff"
> command line arguments do you use to make each patch?

I believe it is diff -Naur

> Bill, I'm interested in seeing that extra information if
> you can still be bothered to chase your own GCL HEAD build.
> I think it would be good to try uncovering the problem so
> that you can gain some faith in the process.

I will get back to that later today. So far the only
difference I can see is that last week I had not updated
to the latest versions of MinGW runtime 3.35 and Win32 3.1.
I have now done this and I will let you know the results

> I spent odd moments over the weekend (text mode) and today
> (Windows TeXmacs - no cygwin involved at all) trying to
> crash Axiom and or TeXmacs. I'm very pleased to report that
> I failed completely.  My main attack has been to type in
> code snippets which solve specific problems from the Axiom
> book and various web sites.  Axiom is certainly a stunning
> program.

Wonderful. I was *very impressed* with the speed of Axiom
under Windows and I also have not found any peculiarities
in the output compared to Axiom on Linux. My first impression
is that Axiom on Windows is faster than Axiom under Linux on
the same hardware. But that seems improbable.  Perhaps it has
something to do with the changes in GCL head? Certainly the
combination of TeXmacs for Windows and Axiom is faster than
TeXmacs for Linux and Axiom for Linux but I think that has
to do with the threaded interface program.

> I'm also hoping that someone on the Maxima development
> team will build a tm_maxima equivalent for Windows based
> on Bill's superb weekend efforts.

I would be very happy to work with someone who knows Maxima
to produce a new native Windows tm_maxima. The version of
TeXmacs for Windows is still very new and only a few plug-ins
have been tested with it - most require a rewrite specifically
for windows because Windows process handling is different from
Linux. I think that example of threaded process handling that
Mike Thomas sent me is superior to the older TeXmacs interface
code (on Windows at least and possibly also under linux).

If someone volunteers to help with testing, I could probably
produce a first attempt at a tm_maxima by merging the new
process code with the conversions embedded in the old tm_maxima
for Linux. This might take a 1/2 day work.

About Maxima and TeXmacs for Windows, see:

This tutorial should be updated for the new native Windows

I am also mildly motivated to add Maxima support to MathAction
but so far only Bob McElrath has shown any direct interest
and unfortunately he has had other priorities and not
enough time.

I am very impressed by Dan Martin's work with porting TeXmacs
to windows. From the description at

I think it is currently rather undervalued by the original
TeXmacs developers perhaps because Windows is viewed as a
less desirable target platform by most open source
developers? But the reality is that the number of potential
windows users still far exceeds the number linux desktop
users. I think that it is interesting to see from the
MathAction web stats that in just 5 days, the new Windows
version of Axiom has already by downloaded more that 125

> I just wish we had saveable worksheets for both CAS systems -
> TeXmacs seems not to be able to do that yet.

I am not sure I understand your comment. It is already
possible now to save a TeXmacs document that includes any
kind of session output (including Axiom) as if it was a
"worksheet". My only quibble with TeXmacs is that it currently
has no easy way to re-execute all of the session commands
embedded in a document with one click. One must visit each
command in the document and press Enter to cause it to be

Or do you mean simply that you cannot access Maxima from
TeXmacs for Windows? I think both the Cygwin and Linux
versions of TeXmacs can do this.

> Attached is a picture of Windows Axiom in TeXmacs.
> Bill, I can send you an up to date PDF copy of the Axiom
> book built from CVS if you would like to include it in
> your web zip file.

That's a cool idea. I think we need to give some thought to
how to package Axiom for Windows. As C Y (subject: crazy
idea) has pointed out, Windows users tend to have greater
expectations when in comes to the completeness. C Y's
"crazy idea" was that maybe we should include TeXmacs for
Windows together with the Axiom for Windows - assuming
that TeXmacs would be the preferred interface. Even if
we don't do that, then at least I think the Windows package
should include the tm_axiom interface and as you suggest,
the Axiom book.

Dan Martin has offered to provide a auto-install script
for Axiom for Windows using the Nullsoft installer system.

Is your PDF version of the book built with working internal
links? The method that I used most recently (dvipdfm under
Debian) did not produce working links.

Bill Page.

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