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RE: [Axiom-developer] Tiddly Axiom Wiki

From: Page, Bill
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] Tiddly Axiom Wiki
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 05:55:36 -0400


On Monday, June 27, 2005 7:45 AM you wrote:

> I have gotten a preliminary *local* web-browser interface for
> Axiom working.  It uses pipes for communication.  Get it here:
> Un tar it, change to the moz-axiom directory that will be created,
> and run: ./fifo-axiom

Tres neat! I like it. I like it a lot! It's already starting
to look like my new preferred Axiom user interface, besides
MathAction, that is ...

> This will start axiom and set up communications pipes to talk
> to the web browser, then attempt to run firefox.  (edit this
> script if you want to use mozilla or some other browser -- but
> only mozilla-derived browsers will work) I copied an example
> from hyperdoc on Hilbert Matrices just to test.

It runs fine on Linux but of course not on Windows :(. I tried
several different ways to get it to go but I think in the end
Windows handling of pipes is just too different - even under
MSYS and Cygwin. I had so much trouble that I even began to
wonder how the TeXmacs/Axiom interface that I wrote last year
manages to make this work. It's a small C program written using
native Windows threads and process handling, though it talks to
both Axiom and TeXmacs through pipes. I tried for a while to
duplicate some of this in Python based on the way it works on
MathAction, but again things on Windows where just too different
and I couldn't even get Python to talk reliably to Axiom. Anyway
I know that this is possible, in fact maybe it is even a good
idea to use the TeXmacs/Axiom interface since it includes the
LaTeX line breaking code and a few other TeX to LaTeX tweaks
that were required by TeXmacs. And on Windows at least, native
threads are fast!

I am still planning real soon now to port this threaded TeXmacs
interface program back over to linux and some more portable
threads library.

But really the right and portable way to do this would be via
sockets and HTTP. Now that the AxiomUI project is off to a
running start, I think it would be a good idea to move Axiom
to the new version of GCL (currently Version_2_6_7pre) that
does sockets on Windows properly. Camm asked last week if we
thought he should just commit GCL 2.6.7 to CVS. He had been
waiting to see if more work could be done on the TK graphics
under Windows, but that looks unlikely now, and mostly no
longer relevant (for AxiomUI at least). So I think you should
go ahead and freeze GCL 2.6.7, Camm and we will move Axiom to
GCL 2.6.7 on both Linux and Windows.

Then we can start to use GCL with sockets they way this is
supposed to work.

> Also I implemented lazy re-evaluation the maximally stupid
> way: each new tiddler is fully re-evaluated (e.g. I issue a
> )clear all first).

Surprising how well that works even now!

> Please play with it, I hope it can be a means of discussing
> exactly how (and if) we want to involve a web browser in all
> this.

I think you have just answered the *if* with a very positive
"YES" demonstration.

> The tiddlywiki extensions I made earlier (allowing $x$) are
> still there.
> Axiom commands are included in \begin{axiom}...\end{axiom}
> just like on the MathAction Wiki, and in addition I copied
> some of Kai's work to add an input line to each tiddler.


> While I'm still disappointed with the rendering speed of
> jsMath (we can move to MathML in the future), it's quite a
> bit snappier than texmacs. Make sure to turn animations off
> in the options panel.

Yes, it does seem faster than TexMacs to me. Amazing.

> Undoubtedly there are bugs, but this is more a toy prototype...

It looks to me more like a prototype prototype. I hope that
Kai and others will agree to use this as a model.

As usual, Great Work. And Thanks!

Bill Page.

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