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Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: Project

From: Ted Kosan
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: Project
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2008 21:52:58 -0400

Alfredo Portes wrote:

>  It seems that Sage is going to connect with OLPC.  If all those kids do their
>  math using Sage, I think there is no way around Sage anymore.  Sage can 
> already
>  do many many things better than Axiom, I suppose, so we need really good
>  reasons to continue with Axiom, I think.  Maybe I should just redo the 
> guessing
>  package in Python and be done with it?  Some time ago I said that I'll quit
>  Axiom if there are less than twenty contributors by the end of 2008.  
> However,
>  it seems to me that the number of algebra contributors actually went down!
>  I'd really like to hear some comments on the general plan.  Do you think it's
>  feasible to
>  a) attract other people, not working on Sage
>  b) merge our community into the Sage community

I recently spent 11 months with the Sage project working on marketing
ideas in general for Sage and specifically working on ways to make
Sage suitable for CAS beginners (like high school students and
university freshman and sophomores).  I identified many hurdles which
were blocking these goals and I also developed solutions for some of
them.  When the Sage project decided to focus its efforts on research
instead of eduction a couple of months ago, I stopped working on Sage
specifically but I continued to work on developing these solutions.
Sage and Axiom are similar enough that they have common hurdles so the
solutions I developed for Sage should also work for Axiom.

I very much like the Axiom project's strategic 30 year planning
horizon and I personally think that a large and active user base is an
important part of this strategy.  If the Axiom project desires to
significantly increase its user base, I think I know ways to do this.

Tim Daly wrote:

> >  A good unifying graphical interface is extremely important to creating
> >  something that is a viable alternative to
> >  Maple/Mathematica/Magma/Matlab.  In some sense it is perhaps it
> >  is *the* most important thing.
>I fully agree that a unifying graphical interface is extremely
>important. But I find that Sage is again not thinking "long term".
>What causes me pause about the Sage notebook is that it is not
>very innovative.

One of my solutions for making Sage easier to use for CAS beginners
was the development of a "notebook" which was based on a different
approach than the Sage notebook uses.  Instead of calling it a
"notebook", however, I call this system a Mathematics Computing
Environment and its name is MathRider.

MathRider currently uses Yacas as its core computer algebra system but
I do not think it would take too much effort to also allow MathRider
to support Axiom.

>Axiom is working on a user interface based around a simple idea
called "the crystal".

MathRider is based on powerful enough technology to support almost any
vision you have for "the crystal".

Anyway, if anyone is interested in looking at some screen shots and a
flash demo of MathRider to see if it might be suitable for use with
Axiom, here is a link to its project website:


Ted Kosan

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