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

From: Camm Maguire
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: [Axiom-mail] FW: [Maxima]
Date: 30 Aug 2004 13:20:27 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2


root <address@hidden> writes:

> Bill,
> > 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
> mathematics.
> 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
> maintained.

Hear, hear!

To me one of the clearest strengths of the open model is the
demonstrable ability to maintain very long time horizons.  I could
never tabulate the productivity savings I've reaped from being able to
use the same editor/compiler/debugger as I did in grad school -- what
a return on one's initial investment in learning to use these tools!

Take care,

> Tim
> _______________________________________________
> Axiom-developer mailing list
> address@hidden

Camm Maguire                                            address@hidden
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."  --  Baha'u'llah

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