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[Axiom-developer] Re: Meta Prag-Parse

From: Tim Daly
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: Meta Prag-Parse
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 11:11:42 -0400

Thanks for the quick response. I have a version of the Meta lisp
code that was included with the parse documentation. Is there some
way to decide whether this code is the latest? (If you put the code
someplace I can download and diff).

Bill Burge wrote an Axiom parser in Meta in the 60s. Bill is the author
of a book on parsing techniques.

Axiom is a large computer algebra system (originally one of the big
commercial systems like Mathematica and Maple). It's been developed
over the last 30 years and represents about 300 man-years of research
at last count.

NAG (The Numerical Algorithms Group) withdrew it from the market and
gave it to me to open source. I was one of the original developers
while it was a research project at IBM Research.

There is a web page ( that is
the project home page. It will be in use shortly. Currently the
code is on and can be downloaded using anonymous CVS.

The home page is at and I've described some
ideas for future directions there.

There is a (alpha) runnable version of Axiom for Linux at:  

The current state of the project is that the algebra portion of
the system is mostly buildable from source code. I'm working to
document the sources as well as chase known bugs. There are large
portions of the system (e.g. hypertex, graphics) which are still
on the list of things to do. 

As for other formats, all of Axiom (lisp, c, meta, boot, makefiles, etc)
is now in a common file format called pamphlets which is a literate
programming language based on Tex. I'll grind the Meta stuff into the
same format so it integrates with the rest of the developing documenation.

I originally had an Axiom that ran on DOS many centuries ago in less
than a meg of memory. I hope to port it to run on a Zaurus 5600 (that
is assuming I can get funding for it). Since the 5600 is an intel
chip running linux the port may even amount to a straight copy but
I doubt it. There is no such thing as a simple job.

Tim Daly

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