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[Axiom-developer] Re: [Axiom-mail] FW: [Maxima]

From: root
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: [Axiom-mail] FW: [Maxima]
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 20:03:17 -0400


> Finally, about Reduce and licensing. Yes, it is "non-free".
> Pity. But it is "almost free"... and I hope that we can
> continue to put pressure on the current developers and
> those marketing it, to fully release it as open source.
> I have also repeatedly made the same argument to the Maple
> developers. So far they do not "see the light" but they
> have continued to move in the right direction.

(Clearly this reply is biased by the fact that I maintain Axiom but...)

Well, at least Reduce includes source code so all is not lost if the
team leaves the field. I worry about MMA or Maple.  It is fine with me
if they are commercial but I do worry about what would happen if they
disappeared. Macsyma fell off the face of the earth (although Schelter
rescued a DOE version). Axiom nearly did. Both were major commercial
systems.  I wish Wolfram and Maple would put their code in a dead
man's escrow so at least the work is not lost if the company folds.
How many companies can you name that are 100 years old?

This is a major concern regarding the 30 year horizon. The loss of
another commercial system, given the high concentration of effort,
would leave a smoking crater in the middle of computational

A lot of computational mathematics is invested in commercial efforts
and because these exist and are currently successful there is no
incentive to invest work in open systems. This seems unwise.
Mathematics may be eternal but programs, like bridges, need to be


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