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Re: [Axiom-developer] Release?

From: C Y
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Release?
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 17:05:48 -0800 (PST)

--- root <address@hidden> wrote:

> I'm not sure what "announcing" it really means. Clearly I've made no
> effort to build up a "marketing and sales" channel for axiom so there
> is no obvious place to "announce". You're welcome to take the lead in
> this (aka "director of marketing" :-) ) and figure out a way to
> market axiom. I'll provide what help I can but I'm a complete novice
> at this.

Well, in the case of Maxima at least we announce on Freshmeat and
sci.math.symbolic.  I think perhaps also on comp.lang.lisp.  

I know these questions aren't directed at me, but in case any of this
is useful...

> Will the axiom--windows--1 branch build cleanly on windows?
>   by this I mean that I can download the tla file to a freshly
>   installed windows box and build it.

Uh - at best I think you will need a fresh windows install + free
compile tools.  To the best of my knowledge default windows doesn't
include any tools for development of software, although perhaps that
has changed.
>   is there a tla for windows?
>   what software must the user install on the box? 
>   clearly some form of gcc and latex plus awk, grep, rm, etc.

Which gets back to my earlier point - ideally we should at least give
the user the option of one massive, self contained install.exe file
that will install everything needed on a clean windows box.  Maybe the
"default" way will be to have people install some supporting software
themselves, but I still think a TOTALLY self contained install.exe will
give the best impression.
>   what is MSYS and where can I get it? should we package it in zips?

Typically I think msys is installable, and people download tar.gz of
other components they want and decompress them in the msys shell.  I
would say a big axiom_development_environment.exe file with all the
right versions of everything already set up would be an act of mercy,
based on my earlier experiences trying to build Maxima on windows, but
perhaps it is appropriate that the barrior of entry be at least that
high on the developer side.

>   what does Windows use to read dvi files? should we cross-compile
>   and package advi (which is already in zips?) or should the windows
>   build automatically create pdf files?

My recommendation would be to create pdf files - dvi is fairly foreign
to a normal windows environment.  Is there an advantage to using dvi?
> and the question of X compatibility
>   does the graphics code compile?
>   does it run?
> on linux the graphics exists, sman exists, and hypertex is nearing
> completion (it segfaults but I'll find it eventually). have we looked
> at getting these branches to compile?

The default answer is that graphics programs written for X will not
work on windows unless an X server is present.  Normally the way I run
X graphical software on windows is to use the cygwin environment - I
would NOT recommend that as a general solution for normal windows
users.  cygwin is an amazing piece of work, but X programs under
windows will feel and act differently than normal programs, and in my
experience this doesn't go over well.

If I recall, the moral equilavent to X on windows is GDI.  Really, the
only options I can think of off the top of my head is to either provide
a GDI/Windows version of the graphics, or port them to some common
graphics toolkit.

FWIW, the long term solution I envision for Maxima in this respect is
to port McCLIM to windows, build off of scigraph to create whatever
graphical abilities were needed, impliment 3D graphing in McCLIM, and
live happily ever after with native interfaces and graphics everywhere.

Advantages:  Write once in lisp, run anywhere McCLIM has been
implimented.  Usual benefits of lisp programming.  Front end could
probably be used to interface with different CASs, if anyone wanted to
impliment the protocals.

Disadvantages:  A truly staggering amount of work, with n+1 learning
curves I don't even know about yet to climb.

> The savannah code needs to be as clean as we can make it so new 
> developers aren't struggling with poor code. It's a quality issue.


Thanks again for all your hard work everybody, and especially Tim.


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