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[Axiom-developer] RE: mathaction

From: Bill Page
Subject: [Axiom-developer] RE: mathaction
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 23:19:23 -0400


I think the new content of

is "lookin' good". Thanks for all your work.

On Friday, September 10, 2004 1:47 PM you wrote:

> ...
> One new request: please remove all subpages of SandBox.
> It seems that I do not have permission to do so.

I looked at some of these pages and I think some of these are
still needed. Any page that contains


is involved in the weird way in which links outside the local
wiki are handled by ZWiki. If I recall correctly, some of these
(lib, cat, dom, etc.) I set up specifically to deal with the links
automatically generated when Axiom library code is compiled.
I will have to take another look at this and see which of these
are still necessary.

For now, I left the "delete page" permission dependent on first
being logged in at the Zope level of the system - something that
only I can do at the moment. Although my intention was to make
MathAction as open as possible, I thought that allowing simple
page deletions would be too much ... But depending just how
active you want to become (and how much responsibility you want
to take :), I would certainly be willing to give you these same
access rights. But let's take it slowly conservatively for now
until more than one of us knows where everything fits.

Continuing to exchange emails such as this is a good way for me
to write some of this down and I will do my best to move these
sort of design and documentation issues on to MathAction itself.
Which brings up another issue that concerns me a little - the
use of email and the email lists versus the "subscribe" option
on MathAction and Plone. Greater integration is possible but is
it really desirable?
Ok, back the issues at hand...

> I think we should now ask for permission to let
> replace

Do you mean the "homepage" link on Savannah? Since I have admin
rights for Axiom there, perhaps I can make this change? But
I don't know much (yet) about configuring things on Savannah...
Looking at several different projects on Savannah though, I see
that some of these do not use the link
for there homepages, so I guess what you suggest is possible.

> Most of the content is already in MathAction, I think that only
> obsolete things are missing, like the tutorial, which can be
> accessed only every second day, if at all.

I don't understand what you mean. Which tutorial? What problems
do you have accessing it?

> Also, I did not move the screenshots. I think that the only one
> which is still interesting is the one with TeXmacs, which would
> fit well into a section "Axiom IDE's". I'm using (Gnu) Emacs...

I like the idea of including some helpful information for stand
alone "Axiom Integrated Development Environments" like TeXmacs
users and Gnu Emacs, and I suppose also just the old native

Tim and I (see 'doyen' on MathAction) have also been talking
about the possibility of setting up a single-user MathAction-
like environment for Axiom. The idea would be to allow an easy
transition from a private stand alone environment to and online
collaborative one like MathAction. For example, moving from TeXmacs
to MathAction could be quite traumatic for a user. In principle
making MathAction into a stripped down stand alone single user
environment is quite easy to do, but I just haven't had enough
time yet to do any serious work on this.

> I think it should really *replace* the old homepage. I think we
> should concentrate on *one* page, and I think that the MathAction
> wiki is the perfect tool for it.

The pages on were originally
developed by David Mentre (and/or a colleague of his). I think they
established a "nice look" for Axiom - one that I wasn't really
able to reproduce in the wiki environment. (It is possible to do
more under Plone, but I didn't spend much time at that either.)
The source for these pages is managed by CVS on Savannah as part
of the standard Savannah package. David (more or less) suggested
a few days ago that we do the same thing that you are suggesting
now - consolidate what we have now into a single "reference site"
for Axiom. But I would be happy if he first had a chance to review
the contents of your new pages to make sure that nothing of the
original intent gets lost before we complete this.


I am also a little concerned about how we can (or if we should)
separate the purpose of MathAction itself, as a particular type
of interface to Axiom and Reduce and possibly others in the
future, versus it's role as the "home for Axiom". Do we really
want this "mix" of systems to be so prominent? Are there really
two *separate* goals here: 1) support Axiom, 2) promote the
"Rosetta" ideal of many different systems co-existing and growing
and working together?

The connection with Reduce through Tony Hearn is still very
tentative, although he does have a link to the Plone/ReduceWiki
page on the Reduce web site.

I setup the
page after a few brief emails with Tony. He wanted to put a
link to the work that I was doing with Reduce on his web site,
so I setup that page on Plone since it was more permanent that
anything I was doing on MathAction itself. Originally it only
pointed to the stuff on But notice that
I changed it a couple of weeks ago when I moved the support for
Reduce to MathAction. Currently it contains links back to MathAction
and also to the site (for GNUplot).

The support for the GNUplot/Reduce interface is still a little
incomplete because it requires the user to invent a file name
and choose some device options that really should be fixed and
transparent in the ReduceWiki environment. Since this is still
under development, I didn't move the GNUplot stuff to MathAction

Anyway, perhaps making the distinction between Axiom support
and the broader Rosetta goals and support for Reduce, etc. is
just a matter of the right web site design for MathAction and/or
Plone? But MathAction is a wiki and kind of "fluid" by nature...

What do you think?

I am thinking (out loud) that maybe there is still a role for ??

Bill Page.

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