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

From: Andrey G. Grozin
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] browser front end, statement of plans and progress
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 17:35:28 +0600 (NOVT)

On Sun, 28 Jan 2007, address@hidden wrote:
"...TeXmacs can do everything hyperdoc does"? Really? Not that
I'm aware of. Hyperdoc embeds images and can communicate commands
to Axiom and then display the resulting images inline (and start
up a separate process if you click on the image). I have no doubt
that TeXmacs COULD do this but I do doubt that it is on anyone's
desk to make this happen in the next year.
There is some mis-understanding here. TeXmacs can display inline graphics for quite some time, and interfaces to many computer algebra systems do exactly this. TeXmacs can send commands to external programs. No need to wait, all of this is available. So, I think, TeXmacs is just a better hyperdoc than hyperdoc.

"...It is easy to output Axiom expressions as s-expressions, and to
send them to TeXmacs, without losing any information about their
internal structure and semantics...". This can't be done. The
semantics of the parts of the expressions have machine-level
pointers to domain data structures which point to other domain
data structure which index into other domain data structures, etc.
Once the pointer leaves the Axiom image it is meaningless and all
of Axiom's meaning comes from the domain where the expression lives.
Thus it is not possible to export an s-expression with all of its
semantics intact.
Well, of course, the *full* semantics of an expression only exists within Axiom. But a straightforward s-expression can easily contain more semantics than LaTeX of display mathml. What is "a(b+c)", for example - a function with an argument or a product? These 2 cases should be typesetted slightly differently (and TeXmacs knows that).

I don't say that the current TeXmacs-Axiom interface is good, because it is not. Therefore, few people use it. On the other hand, the TeXmacs-maxima interface is much better, and the number of users is quite large (I know, because I get a lot of emails when a new version od maxima breaks this interface; this happens regularly :-( I think that a new and much better TeXmacs-Axiom interface can be produced by a fraction of efforts needed for other kinds of interfaces, which re-invent more weels. I started to do it some time ago (not recently, don't remember exactly when). I only needed a little help. I posted some questions to this list, and received 0 replies. Exactly 0. So I could not proceed :-(

An idea about graphics: why not use an existing powerful data visualisation system instead of the current graphics viewer? Something like ParaView, VisIt, or OpenDX. These systems are highly non-trivial, and it would be a shame to re-implement a small fraction of their functionality instead of just using them. And Axiom will just prepare data files for them. They are all free, and available on many platforms.


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