[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Axiom-developer] Documentation

From: root
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Documentation
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 07:24:11 -0400

> I believe that the textbook was an interactive version of Bill Jacob's
> "Linear Functions and Matrix Theory" book, and it certainly wasn't ever
> published.  You would need a lot of code (including the stuff from
> TechExplorer that IBM wouldn't let us distribute) to maike it work.  I
> saw it demo'd a few times and while a bit flaky (these were early
> versions) it was pretty nice.  
> Mike.
> On Tue, Jun 24, 2003 at 08:26:56PM -0400, Tim Daly wrote:
> > Bertfried,
> > 
> > The only name I have is Rudiger Gebauer. He apparently was the contact
> > with IBM while they developed the interactive textbook based on Axiom.
> > As far I my IBM contacts are aware it was never published. It would
> > be useful to either open-source the technology or the whole book
> > with the technology. Perhaps we can work with them to make it
> > available again.

I'm trying to think thru the issue involved in making Axiom open source.
The key issue, at least in my mind, is to try to communicate from the
designers (of algebra, of boot code, of system facilities, etc) in this
generation to the users/maintainers/developers of the next generation.
IBM and NAG had the luxury of devoting people to the system over many
years so we tended not to write things down or require extensive docs
on the algebra code. As the complexity rises it gets harder to extend.

On the user documentation issue I've been scratching at ideas for how
to bring the pamphlet file structure to the "next level". Ideally you
could download a pamphlet file, "drag and drop" it onto a running Axiom,
automatically fetch any algebra pamphlets (recursively) from the references
section and have all of the parts updated (e.g. the databases, the docs).

Along the way to this idea comes the struggle with user-level documentation.
I'd like to see new algebra added (say as an additional chapter) to an
Axiom textbook automatically. That way the user could find examples and
explanations in "the textbook".

Well, I know that IBM did a lot of work on the textbook subject and
(a) I'd hate to see it die, (b) I'd hope to steal, ummm, build upon
the work already done, (c) see how much of the ideas and machinery
can be reused, and (d) lead the way to a more dynamic form of
publishing the docs (which perhaps we could convince Springer was
worthwhile to use as an electronic form of books).

If I can get the machinery in place then the whole level of Axiom goes
up a step and it is easier (and harder) to extend, maintain, and change.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]