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[Axiom-developer] RE: [Texmacs-dev] Axiom and TeXmacs

From: Bill Page
Subject: [Axiom-developer] RE: [Texmacs-dev] Axiom and TeXmacs
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 2002 08:55:50 -0500

On Saturday, November 23, 2002 3:19 AM Joris van der Hoeven
address@hidden wrote:
> ... 
> Well, as I understand it, the pamphlet format is
> a LaTeX with special escape sequences for dealing
> with code or other special markup. Therefore,
> I think that the best way of importing such files
> is to first convert it to standard LaTeX
> (with possible pamphlet-specific commands),
> with a language like Perl, and next convert
> the result to TeXmacs using the standard input filter.

Yes and no. Tim, please correct me if I make a mistake

The pamphlet format is really noweb input format. As
Norman Ramsey defines it, the input to noweb is quite
language independent and very simple. noweb is a
simplified version of Knuth's web ("no" for Norman,
I guess). All we have are named "code" chunks e.g.

 <<name>>= ... <<othername>> ... @

which may reference other code chunks, e.g.
<<othername>> above, embedded in a text stream. Text
areas start with @ (except first). There are two
primary operations to be done on this file. One is
"weave" which extracts just the text stream (no code)
and the other is "tangle" which expands a given code
chunk (by default starting with the root chunk <<*>>=)
by including all of the other code chunks referenced
in that chunk, recursively. It is possible to 
generate different results from the same input file
by specifying a different root for tangle.

It is true that the text stream is usually LaTex
code but I don't think that is a requirement of
noweb. The code chunks can also be in any language.

I believe Tim Daly defined the term "pamphlet" to
refer to the noweb input files that he is using in
the open source axiom project. These will (I presume)
always have a LaTex text stream part plus code
chunks in several different languages: makefile
script, C, lisp, SPAD (axiom specific), etc. I think
Tim has in mind also using such pamphlet files to
exchange axiom code between users.

And of course we also plan to use TeXmacs as
a front-end to axiom itself as a high level user
interface capable of entering and displaying
mathematics in a rich graphics format.

So when importing a pamphlet file into TeXmacs,
it is desirable to interpret the text stream part
of the input file as LaTex and convert it
appropriately, but it is also important to retain
the code chunks in their place in the original
file. What I was suggesting below was that it
seemed natural to me to treat these chunks as
"folded" into the TeXmacs document. That way,
when the folds are collapsed (closed), the
document would have the appearance of LaTex applied
to the weave output and would print that way. But
one could open a folded code chunk and edit it.
The only new thing would be expanding code chunks
during a "tangle" export. This could be done
easily just by extracting all code chunks and
then calling notangle.

> > Perhaps it would be nicer if TeXmacs was able to
> > expand and collapse folds on demand. It is not
> > really clear to me hold folding is intended to
> > work in TeXmacs. I wasn't able to find any
> > documentation about it and my experiments with
> > it so far have not produced a clear picture. 
> > Perhaps it is still largely in the planning stage?
> Yes, this will be dealt with sometime next year.

Would you be interested in having someone (me) help
to accelerate that schedule? Are there other people
interested in the "fold" concept?
> > ... 
> > Perhaps it would help to be able to look at some
> > existing styles that do something similar to what
> > we want. What would you recommend?
> I think that we first need to know what you already
> have.

There are LaTex "styles" and TeXmacs "styles". These
are different, right? So far I think Tim has only
made use of only relatively standard LaTex style

The reason I mentioned TeXmacs styles is because
that is the only way thing that I could find at
this time that interacts with how folded text is
displayed. Perhaps that is not the way you intend
to go with folds?

> Also: how much documentation does already exist
> in the pamphlet format?

We are only at the beginning of the project. Did
you have in mind some other format?

Bill Page. 

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