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RE: [Axiom-developer] letting my mud settle

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] letting my mud settle
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 09:50:51 -0500

On November 9, 2005 5:40 AM Mike Dewar wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 08, 2005 at 12:09:23PM -0500, Bill Page wrote:
> ...
> > Building Axiom from sources only, which was apparently a
> > requirement imposed by restrictive licensing conditions which
> > apparently prevented any of the previously commercial binary
> > versions of Axiom to be distributed along with the Axiom source
> > code, was certainly a challenge because of the way that Axiom
> > had been designed to be "bootstrapped" from an existing running
> > copy. But this is no different than the situation with most
> > compilers and in particular GNU C (gcc).
> Just for the record this is not true.  Arthur Norman offered to
> provide an open-source version of CCL to the project which would
> have allowed you to build and distribute a Unix version of Axiom
> from the original NAG sources without any modifications.

Thank you for the correction, Mike. My quip about "restrictive
licensing conditions" was not intended in any way to be a criticism
of NAG's agreement to make Axiom open source. I think it was the
right thing to do and was done in an open and professional manner.

In fact I was aware through discussions with Arthur that building
Axiom based on CCL was possible. There is indeed an open source
version of CCL available through the web. At one point before we
had an operational version of Axiom on Windows, I was very seriously
considering this path to a Windows executable.

I think it is a pity that Tim did not follow-through with an initial
release of Axiom based on CCL. But that was up to him, I guess. His
priorities were obviously different - wanting to introduce some
kind of documentation/literate programming system first before making
Axiom widely available. I think the CCL code is still contained
in the Axiom source archive but is not in a runable state because
the complete original make scripts are not included and of course
none of it was converted to literate programming form.

> I provided copies of the Axiom product to several people on the
> list so you would have had no problem bootstrapping the first
> open-source versions from the NAG code.

Do you mean that this original "Axiom product" binary - as distinct
from the commercial binary version - could have been distributed
as part of the original open source distribution? If that is true,
it makes me sad that Tim went to all the trouble to embed bootstrap
lisp code into the build process.

> Eliminating the need for a running Axiom was a good thing to 
> do, but if anything forced you to do it it was probably the
> decision to develop on GCL rather than CCL.

Thanks. I really appreciate your input on this.

Bill Page.

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