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RE: [Axiom-developer] B#

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] B#
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 21:46:05 -0500

On November 20, 2005 8:28 PM Gaby wrote:

> "M. Edward (Ed) Borasky" writes:
> ... 
> | On the other hand, if you're looking to do symbolic math, 
> | is there any reason not to use Lisp?
> Not a significant reason -- but Lisp's type system is not
> what I would consider "strong" :-)

We have mentioned before on this lisp the very good article

about type systems in programming languages. "strong type
checking" has several different definitions but I think most
people would agree that Lisp is a strong dynamically typed
language by most of these definitions.

I can think of several reasons not to use Lisp to do symbolic
math but most of these do not have to do with the technical
details of the language itself, both rather what one might call
"cultural" issues. I think one should not ignore such broader
in the context of a project like this one that aims to maintain
software like Axiom over a 30 year time horizon.

> | There must be some reason nearly every successful symbolic
> | mathematics package was at least bootstrapped from some Lisp
> | variant!

I wonder if that is true. Was Maple bootstrapped from Lisp?
Was Mathematica bootstrapped from Lisp? Was MuPad bootstrapped
from Lisp?

I know for sure that that answer for Maple is "no"? See

I am quite sure that the answer for MuPad is also "no". But
I cannot find a specific reference.

I also think the answer is no for Mathematica. See:

Of course it is true for Reduce, Maxima and Axiom but these
seem significantly less "successful" to me. :(

> But in 2005, would you want to start with BOOT? 
> [Bill, Tim, that was a joke :-)]

Gaby, you have a strange sense of humour!

Bill Page.

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