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[Axiom-developer] RE: [Gcl-devel] Axiom for Windows and TeXmacs

From: Page, Bill
Subject: [Axiom-developer] RE: [Gcl-devel] Axiom for Windows and TeXmacs
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 06:29:52 -0500

On Monday, December 06, 2004 9:17 PM Mike Thomas wrote:
> | > I just wish we had saveable worksheets for both CAS
> | > systems - TeXmacs seems not to be able to do that yet.
> |
> | I am not sure I understand your comment. It is already
> | possible now to save a TeXmacs document that includes any
> | kind of session output (including Axiom) as if it was a
> | "worksheet". My only quibble with TeXmacs is that it currently
> | has no easy way to re-execute all of the session commands
> | embedded in a document with one click. One must visit each
> | command in the document and press Enter to cause it to be
> | re-executed.
> Yes, this last; although I hadn't realised it was even possible
> by the method you mention (What do I click on to do so?).

Just open an existing worksheet containing some session
(such as Axiom) and then click at the end of the line
containing the first Axiom command and press Enter. The
old output will be replaced with the new output. TeXmacs
(usually) places the cursor at the end of the next line.
So all you have to do is press Enter again. Except at
the end of a sequence of commands broken by some non-
executable text. In that case it opens a new prompt. To
skip to the next command you can press down-arrow.

> A worksheet to me is a live document where the state of
> the (in this case Axiom, but also any other) system is
> accurately saved and restored and separately saveable in
> a word processing format native to the particular system.

Yes I agree completely. It should be essentially like
an OpenOffice calc spreadsheet. But most people settle
for something less. This brings back an arguement that
I had long ago with the Maple designers. I told them
that there user interface as "not really a worksheet"
and I compared it to visicalc (at least I think that as
the paradigm at the time). I explained that it should not
be possible for the contents of the worksheet to be
inconsistent with the state of the "calculation engine".
A little while later Maple came out with a new "feature"
which was symbolic formulas arranged in a tabular format
and they called that a spreadsheet interface. As far as
I know it is little used in Maple and from my point of
view it still completely misses the point.

Anyway everyone is used by now to having to re-execute
the entire document after inserting and editing formulas
within the a document in order to ensure the consistency
of the content of the document with the calculation being
performed in the order implied by the physical organization
of the document. Maple even has a single button now that
does this re-execution in one step. That is, I guess what
I would like to have in TeXmacs. Joris has told me that if
I knew enough about writing scheme code for TeXmacs that
this would be easy. :)

Bill Page.

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