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Re: [Axiom-developer] Aldor?

From: Jay Belanger
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Aldor?
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 11:05:42 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Bill Page" <address@hidden> writes:
> I would be very glad if you could write something.

So that any potential signers could get a quick grasp of the
situation, a little history might be useful.  What about
something like:

   Axiom is a sophisticated computer algebra system originally
   developed by the the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG).  After NAG
   discontinued work on Axiom, they generously released the source
   code under a free license.  Axiom is now very usable and is
   currently being actively developed by an enthusiastic community.
   It is expected to be useful in research and education for quite
   some time.

   The language used for writing Axiom programs is called SPAD (short
   for Scratchpad, the original name of Axiom).  While Axiom was still
   being developed by NAG, an improved extension language called Aldor
   was created. While the Aldor compiler was originally part of the
   Axiom system, it soon became a separate project and was not part of
   Axiom when the Axiom sources were relicensed.

   Binaries for Aldor have been made freely available and the sources
   are available under a generous license.  However, the license does
   not qualify as a free or open source license.  While Axiom can
   still be built using Aldor, the lack of a free license for Aldor
   prohibits it from being a standard part of Axiom, and so nothing in
   the base Axiom system can assume that Aldor is included.

   A free license for Aldor would allow it to become a standard part
   of Axiom, which would improve Axiom and make Aldor a more
   widespread language.  A free license available as soon as possible
   would allow current development on Axiom to use Aldor.

   We, the undersigned, respectfully request that the Aldor compiler
   be released under a free license at the earliest opportunity.


> I am not sure whether a formal petition is really necessary (although
> I have it very interesting to learn that websites devoted to the
> purpose actually exist ... :)

Quite a few, too.
A formal petition probably isn't necessary, but something to let
Steven Watt know that a lot of people are interested would be 

> The Axiom website is a wiki (user editable), so it would be very
> easy to add a page consisting of the petition to Free Aldor. We
> could freeze the text and then readers could "sign" it by simply
> adding a comment.

That might not be a bad idea.  We would have to get Steven Watt to
look at it, of course.
>From the letter from Steven Watt that you quoted, it sounds like he's
willing to free Aldor when he gets the chance.  If he's like me, he
just needs a reminder now and then.  Whatever we can do to provide a
nudge would be useful. 


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