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Re: [Axiom-developer] Documentation

From: root
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Documentation
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2003 07:20:24 -0400


>for a start up the link which was posted in this mailing list

I can't get to this site. It gives me a "403 Forbidden" error.
Also, I have to get permission to redistribute the documentation
as I didn't write it.

>helped at least me to come up with my first working AXIOM function. Having
>the book online available would be great, even if I odered it just a few
>minutes ago. And, there are no so many such books available for an
>affordable price, ....

Both paper and electronic versions have their uses. I've been unable to
Tex the user's guide that came from NAG due to missing files so it is
going to take a while to reverse-engineer what is missing.

>The documentation of Aldor may help a little bit further, especially
>concerning what types. For a new user the greatest problem seems to be to
>detect which functions are available doing routine jobs. I am thinking
>about compiling a sort of a command chart, perhaps with maple quivalent
>and may put it on my web page, if time allows.

I wrote one of the tutorial chapters for the Aldor compiler. 
Unfortunately it is slanted toward the issues of building a stand
alone domain. Since Aldor doesn't have Axiom's algebra pile you
basically have to start from scratch if you want to work only in
Aldor (Aldor can compile code that runs in Axiom also). So the
tutorial was focused on the issues that arise if you try to create
a simple polynomial domain from scratch.

Coding in Axiom usually starts at a much higher level. Almost every
primitive thing you can think of is hiding in the algebra somewhere. 
Finding it is not easy although there are some command-line
queries, such as the ")what operation" command, that can help.

There is also a stand-alone C program in the distribution called "asq"
(in English this sounds like "ask") which knows the format of the
databases and can answer questions without starting Axiom. For example, 
"asq -so DHMATRIX" will tell you the source file that contains the domain

Ideally we need something like Java's JavaDoc facility. Perhaps JavaDoc
can be made to work on the algebra files. I'll put it on the "todo" list
to try. Of course, somebody would have to WRITE the javadoc descriptions
but at least the support machinery would be there. (I believe there is
a DOC++ function for C++ that does something similer).

Tim Daly

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