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Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: noweb / Lisp Skills

From: Martin Rubey
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: noweb / Lisp Skills
Date: 04 May 2006 16:47:24 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.4

C Y <address@hidden> writes:

> --- root <address@hidden> wrote:
> > i'd much rather reduce the number of languages need to understand axiom
> > rather than enlarge the number. some are necessary (like lisp, spad, aldor)
> > but some are optional (e.g. java in the aldor merge) and more properly
> > should be done using existing tools.
> I agree.

I disagree slightly. I'd say that we should try to regard some things as black
boxes. For example, emacs is such a black box, so is noweb and so on. Of
course, we have to be careful which black boxes we choose.

Thus, (were a take sed, awk, java, auto* etc. as tools which may or may not be
the black boxes I would choose)

> > adding sed (1 language), awk (a second), clever bash shell scripts (a
> > third), java (a fourth), auto* (a fifth), simply reduces the number of
> > people who can reliably maintain the system

is probably not true. On the contrary, choosing the right black boxes might in
fact *increase* the number of people able to contribute in a sensible way to

Tim, I think your lisp skills would really be needed to get the axiom
interpreter into good shape and make it understand dependendend types, for
example. We would really need this now, for the axiom-combinat project. If it
doesn't happen any time soon, we might have an aldor-combinat project which is
only very partially functional in Axiom.

I just don't have the required skills. My skills are in combinatorics, not in
writing interpreters and compilers. I don't really want to understand the
interpreter -- at least not right now -- I just want to be able to use it.

And I'm absolutely certain that I don't want to understand how noweb works. No
matter whether it is coded in Lisp, Aldor or C.

Things to do on the interpreter side needed for the axiom-combinat project:

* make it understand Aldor:

  * dependent types
  * extend
  * creating domains on the command line

* separate the mathematical knowledge about the domains from the interpreter,
  possibly incorporate ideas of Nic Doye


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