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RE: [Axiom-developer] browser front end, statement of plans and progres

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] browser front end, statement of plans and progress
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 23:16:36 -0500

On January 27, 2007 4:13 AM Martin Rubey wrote:
> Dear Tim,
> Although I'm happy that you are working on the documentation 
> issues, I must say that I'm extremely concerned about your
> approach to
> > 2) replace hyperdoc
> and, maybe most importantly, about our (i.e., mine and your) 
> communication with respect to these things. I very much hope
> that I misunderstood you.
> ...
> > By design all of the C code disappears and all work is done 
> > inside the lisp image. 
> I dislike C and like Lisp, too. But I have the feeling that 
> throwing away C code should not be a goal per se.
> I very much hope that I could make my concerns understood.

Martin, I think you should not be overly concerned about Tim's
proposal since it seems to me that there is near zero likelihood
that any of this work will ever be completed. On the other hand
it is highly discouraging to me to see that such a potentially
major contributor to Axiom development as Tim should continue to
so badly miss-direct his efforts. But we have had this sort of
discussion before :-( so let me continue in a more postive manner.

Personally I am very much in favour of Andrey's recommendation to
re-consider the use of TeXmacs as a front-end to Axiom. TeXmacs
has an enormous potential that is mostly unused by the current
Axiom interface. Allowing Axiom to work in a seamless worksheet-
type interface mediated by a mathematically literate document
processor that uses Scheme (a Lisp variant) as it's internal
scripting language seems like an obvious perfect match. And
TeXmacs has a respectable user base, some of whom might well be
motivated to help with improving the Axiom interface.

I should mention here also the Sage interface to Axiom. Sage
shares some of the goals of TeXmacs in as much as it attempts to
provide a uniform interface to a wide range of computer algebra
systems. Sage already supports a browser-based worksheet user
interface (called a Notebook) which allows Axiom (and many other
systems) to be used both "natively" and in Sage's "cooked" mode
which provides a uniform python object-oriented syntax and
programming language. Sage is being very aggressively developed
by it's designer (William Stein) and a small army of volunteers.
I think improving the current Axiom interface to Sage would help
to ensure that Axiom remains well represented in this new world.

Note: Most recently the Sage developers seem to be focusing on
documentation issues that are very close in spirit to the work
done by Ralf Hemmecke in ALLPROSE although with very different

Bill Page.

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