[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Axiom-developer] Axiom Tenth Anniversary on August 11,2010

From: Camm Maguire
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Axiom Tenth Anniversary on August 11,2010
Date: Sun, 08 Aug 2010 23:49:20 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

Greetings!  Tim, this history is simply breathtaking.  Thank you so
much for all you have done and continue to do for this project.
Congratulations, and happy anniversary!

Take care,

Tim Daly <address@hidden> writes:

> Axiom was originally developed at IBM Research under Dr. Richard
> Jenks. The project went through several generations and had many
> contributors. It was the one of the leading research projects at
> the lab. Eventually IBM's fortunes changed and Axiom was sold to
> the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG). For a while it was one of
> "the big three" (along with Mathematica and Maple) commercial
> systems.
> In August of 2000 (August 11th, I believe) I had a conversation
> with my son, Tim Daly Jr., who had called me to tell me that
> Bill Schelter died.
> I had worked with Bill on GCL (then called AKCL). Bill was under
> contract to IBM to develop a lisp that would support Axiom. He
> and I worked closely together on it. Bill not only built a lisp
> to support Axiom but he worked to get a copy of Maxima as open
> source.
> I called Barry Trager, an IBM coworker and one of the fundamental
> contributors to Axiom, to tell him about Bill. Barry told me that
> NAG planned to remove Axiom from the commercial market.
> I called NAG and they confirmed that they were going to stop
> selling Axiom commercially. I asked them to release it as open
> source and said that I would do what was necessary to make it
> into freely available software.
> NAG spent a considerable amount of time and effort to release
> Axiom under the BSD license. They deserve a lot of credit for
> ensuring that Axiom lives on. It took about a year to get the
> CD containing the released sources. For various reasons there
> were "missing parts" of the commercial version including the
> techexplorer front-end, the numerics, and the Aldor compiler.
> During that year there was a lot of debate about the goals
> of Axiom. The open source version of Axiom was intended to be a
> research platform, with no attempt to compete with commercial
> offerings. Axiom's fundamental weakness as open source revolved
> around the lack of deep documentation. The algorithms are hard,
> the whole system internal structure was obscure, and the build
> process was black magic. Some system internals were written in a
> language nobody spoke. In order to correct these flaws the
> focus was on completely rewriting the system, using literate
> programming to provide a basis for integrating documentation
> and code. Since Axiom is nearly a million "things of code" this
> was expected to take a while (and is still ongoing 10 years later).
> Axiom required a running copy of Axiom to build itself. But an
> open source version could not assume the user already had Axiom.
> So the fundamental problem was how to get around this circular issue.
> This represented a major stumbling block that consumed a large portion
> of the time from the CD release until the first open source
> version "went live". The lattice of 1100 objects had to be
> sorted, an inner clique of co-dependent objects had to be found,
> and a method of building this clique and lattice needed to be
> invented. Solving this problem took up most of the time from the
> release. A second issue was that the commercial version ran on a
> byte-coded interpreted lisp which I could not get to build. Axiom
> moved back to AKCL (now GCL) with the help of Camm Maguire. All of
> this work was supported by Dr. Gilbert Baumslag (CCNY).
> Today Axiom consists of 20 books which contain a large portion
> of the literate source code. There is an associated video and
> more are planned. Axiom has been validated against two
> major test suites and a third suite is in process. Axiom has
> more tests, more documentation, a simplified build system, a
> single lisp-based internal langage, new algebra, the beginnings
> of a numerics library, and a firefox front end. It is freely
> available on savannah (GNU), sourceforge, and github. It is
> downloaded thousands of times per month. It is used by researchers
> worldwide. Work still remains and "The 30 Year Horizon" doesn't
> seem to be any closer but the progress is obvious.
> Axiom is the work of these 226 people, over a lifespan of
> nearly 40 years. The people who have contributed to it, as clearly
> as we can determine, are listed here. Some of them have already
> passed away, including Dr. Richard Jenks, the founding father of
> Axiom. This makes it all the more important that we document the
> work so the next generation can carry on to "The 30 Year Horizon".
> An alphabetical listing of contributors to AXIOM:
> Cyril Alberga          Roy Adler              Christian Aistleitner
> Richard Anderson       George Andrews         S.J. Atkins
> Henry Baker            Martin Baker           Stephen Balzac
> Yurij Baransky         David R. Barton        Gerald Baumgartner
> Gilbert Baumslag       Michael Becker         Nelson H. F. Beebe
> Jay Belanger           David Bindel           Fred Blair
> Vladimir Bondarenko    Mark Botch             Alexandre Bouyer
> Peter A. Broadbery     Martin Brock           Manuel Bronstein
> Stephen Buchwald       Florian Bundschuh      Luanne Burns
> William Burge
> Quentin Carpent        Robert Caviness        Bruce Char
> Ondrej Certik          Cheekai Chin           David V. Chudnovsky
> Gregory V. Chudnovsky  Josh Cohen             Christophe Conil
> Don Coppersmith        George Corliss         Robert Corless
> Gary Cornell           Meino Cramer           Claire Di Crescenzo
> David Cyganski
> Nathaniel Daly         Timothy Daly Sr.       Timothy Daly Jr.
> James H. Davenport     Didier Deshommes       Michael Dewar
> Jean Della Dora        Gabriel Dos Reis       Claire DiCrescendo
> Sam Dooley             Lionel Ducos           Lee Duhem
> Martin Dunstan         Brian Dupee            Dominique Duval
> Robert Edwards         Heow Eide-Goodman      Lars Erickson
> Richard Fateman        Bertfried Fauser       Stuart Feldman
> John Fletcher          Brian Ford             Albrecht Fortenbacher
> George Frances         Constantine Frangos    Timothy Freeman
> Korrinn Fu
> Marc Gaetano           Rudiger Gebauer        Kathy Gerber
> Patricia Gianni        Samantha Goldrich      Holger Gollan
> Teresa Gomez-Diaz      Laureano Gonzalez-Vega Stephen Gortler
> Johannes Grabmeier     Matt Grayson           Klaus Ebbe Grue
> James Griesmer         Vladimir Grinberg      Oswald Gschnitzer
> Jocelyn Guidry
> Gaetan Hache           Steve Hague            Satoshi Hamaguchi
> Mike Hansen            Richard Harke          Bill Hart
> Vilya Harvey           Martin Hassner         Arthur S. Hathaway
> Dan Hatton             Waldek Hebisch         Karl Hegbloom
> Ralf Hemmecke          Henderson              Antoine Hersen
> Gernot Hueber
> Pietro Iglio
> Alejandro Jakubi       Richard Jenks
> Kai Kaminski           Grant Keady            Tony Kennedy
> Ted Kosan              Paul Kosinski          Klaus Kusche
> Bernhard Kutzler
> Tim Lahey              Larry Lambe            Kaj Laurson
> Franz Lehner           Frederic Lehobey       Michel Levaud
> Howard Levy            Liu Xiaojun            Rudiger Loos
> Michael Lucks          Richard Luczak
> Camm Maguire           Francois Maltey        Alasdair McAndrew
> Bob McElrath           Michael McGettrick     Ian Meikle
> David Mentre           Victor S. Miller       Gerard Milmeister
> Mohammed Mobarak       H. Michael Moeller     Michael Monagan
> Marc Moreno-Maza       Scott Morrison         Joel Moses
> Mark Murray
> William Naylor         Patrice Naudin         C. Andrew Neff
> John Nelder            Godfrey Nolan          Arthur Norman
> Jinzhong Niu
> Michael O'Connor       Summat Oemrawsingh     Kostas Oikonomou
> Humberto Ortiz-Zuazaga
> Julian A. Padget       Bill Page              David Parnas
> Susan Pelzel           Michel Petitot         Didier Pinchon
> Ayal Pinkus            Jose Alfredo Portes
> Claude Quitte
> Arthur C. Ralfs        Norman Ramsey          Anatoly Raportirenko
> Albert D. Rich         Michael Richardson     Renaud Rioboo
> Jean Rivlin            Nicolas Robidoux       Simon Robinson
> Raymond Rogers         Michael Rothstein      Martin Rubey
> Philip Santas          Alfred Scheerhorn      William Schelter
> Gerhard Schneider      Martin Schoenert       Marshall Schor
> Frithjof Schulze       Fritz Schwarz          Steven Segletes
> Nick Simicich          William Sit            Elena Smirnova
> Jonathan Steinbach     Fabio Stumbo           Christine Sundaresan
> Robert Sutor           Moss E. Sweedler       Eugene Surowitz
> Max Tegmark            James Thatcher         Balbir Thomas
> Mike Thomas            Dylan Thurston         Steve Toleque
> Barry Trager           Themos T. Tsikas
> Gregory Vanuxem
> Bernhard Wall          Stephen Watt           Jaap Weel
> Juergen Weiss          M. Weller              Mark Wegman
> James Wen              Thorsten Werther       Michael Wester
> John M. Wiley          Berhard Will           Clifton J. Williamson
> Stephen Wilson         Shmuel Winograd        Robert Wisbauer
> Sandra Wityak          Waldemar Wiwianka      Knut Wolf
> Clifford Yapp          David Yun
> Vadim Zhytnikov        Richard Zippel         Evelyn Zoernack
> Bruno Zuercher         Dan Zwillinger
> _______________________________________________
> Axiom-developer mailing list
> address@hidden

Camm Maguire                                        address@hidden
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."  --  Baha'u'llah

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]