[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Axiom-developer] Release?

From: Bob McElrath
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Release?
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 11:22:34 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6+20040523i

William Sit address@hidden wrote:
> At CAISS, we believe that if we can get Axiom into the courses, we can get a
> huge user base. But a prerequisite for that is a Windows version with easy 
> user
> interface. I think the user interface of Mathematica is way ahead, not just
> because of the fancy fonts or layout or palettes, but also the style sheets 
> and
> PROGRAMMABLE Frontend. I used a lot of these features in my DiffEqn package.
> There are of course many weaknesses (and strengths) in the design of
> Mathematica.

I strongly, strongly disagree.  The programmability of the front-end is
one of the biggest drawbacks of Mathematica.  They have a programming
language with: list-based, object oriented, functional programming, and
user-interface programming, not to mention thousands of mathematical
objects and operations.  Thus they have the most complicated programming
language in existance, and with it the inherent complexity, bugs, and
learning curve.  This also forces them into a backwards-compatability
nightmare forced by early design decisions.

If a programmable user interface is desired (e.g. writing worksheets for
students) it should be decoupled from axiom itself so that bugs can be
isolated, complexity controlled, and interaction of various parts
understood.  I think texmacs + command-line math plugins, emacs +
command-line plug-ins, and the latexwiki/web interface we're developing
are all good examples of this.  Programmability of the user interface
should be targetted to these separate, external applications.

Eventually I would also like to see a Mozilla/Gecko interface, with
Axiom emitting MathML that is rendered by Mozilla.  Scripting of the
interface can be acheived by DHTML, CSS, and javascript, in ways that
are quickly becoming familiar to a wide array of web-developers and

Bob McElrath [Univ. of California at Davis, Department of Physics]

    "It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the
    votes." -- Joseph Stalin

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]