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[Axiom-developer] Re: axiom 20091101 in Debian testing (!)

From: Tim Daly
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: axiom 20091101 in Debian testing (!)
Date: Thu, 06 May 2010 03:27:22 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)


Actually Axiom is released every 2 months and I don't expect
Debian to keep up to date. The release notes are on the website:

The main user-visible changes in Axiom have been documentation.
There are new help files, a new describe command, a new browser-based
documentation system, and almost all of the source code is now in
literate PDF format. Individual operations now have examples shown when
operations are displayed. Axiom also has an "internal" option that
give a full decoding of the domain. The website has been restructured
and contains up-to-date binary and sources images. The algebra has
deeper static and hyperlinked documentation. The entire category graph
exists. Some new algebra has been added, such as Ei and E1 computations
and the guess package but nothing significant. There is a new tutorial
book out, which is included with the distribution. An Axiom video
is available on YouTube. There are now 3 "axiom" websites:,,

All of the other changes are internal. The code is completely
restructured. The code is now all common lisp. The build process
is simplified. The regression tests are fully automated and much
larger. The integration and differential equation subsystems have
standardized and verified test suites. All file I/O uses only
lower case names. Axiom is now git-only based. Axiom now understands
pamphlet file format natively and can use lisp to extract (tangle)
documents. Axiom can run in "web-server" mode using Ajax to interact.
The literate regression tests no longer require noweb as they are
pure latex with the new latex chunk syntax.

I'm adding new algebra with this release but it won't be reflected in
Debian. That's ok since it will take me a couple releases to get it
written, tested, and documented. I'm only halfway thru two related
Stamford online courses so I don't feel confident that I can write the
documentation clearly yet.

Thanks for your effort at fixing the Debian version. It has been a
constant source of pain. The trend is to release often (the Sage
project does it every 2 weeks or so) and Debian is not keeping up.
Releasing every 2 months has its upsides and downsides but I've gotten
so used to the schedule that it just "flows" (as well as anything in
this business "flows").


Camm Maguire wrote:
Hi Tim!  Just to let you know, we now have a new axiom in Debian
testing, and likely thence in ubuntu.  First in 5 years. Good things
come to those who wait :-)

I know you are releasing every three months.  I don't know whether the
Debian autobuild infrastructure can handle this.  Perhaps it can --
things are getting better hardware wise and the last delay was a mere
21days or so on the most backlogged platform.  I see the changelog,
but cannot really parse this.  Can you give me any feeling for what
constitutes a "significant" release in terms of what the end user will
Take care,

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