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Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:43:17 -0500
I'm not sure what you mean by a "minimalist TeX executable". Are
you thinking of producing a TeX in lisp? That would be amazing!
What shell scripts are you having trouble with? I don't recall
writing shell scripts for anything but I write a lot of code so
it wouldn't surprise me. We can certainly eliminate existing ones.
Latex runs on Windows, or used to centuries ago. It was called MikTeX
GCL also runs on Windows.
I don't recall using anything fancy in 'make' that would not work
everywhere but I haven't tried a cygwin build in years so I don't know
if it works.
I have Xming installed and it runs X11 windows on Windows. I use
VirtualBox to run Axiom and Xming when I want something native (really
Axiom used to run on Windows. The instructions are on
The last time I tried to make a native version I spent a week
uncovering a bug in the MinGW compiler. Compiler bugs are painful.
VirtualBox is by far the easiest and fastest way to get something
portable running. In fact, we could probably make a Docker image
that would just drop in place.
Axiom does, and will always, depend on TeX/LaTeX. As I learn more I
add features, both in axiom.sty (where I added a command today to add
axiom-like signatures to lisp code) and in the bibliography document
where, at Ralf's prodding, I am actively rewriting to use bibtex as we
The 'make' machinery will go away at some point. Axiom doesn't
really need any of the features. We need to create a build
function in lisp that knows how to build Axiom. Small portions
are already in books/tangle.lisp to automatically extract the
help files and the input files.
Camm has done work to make Axiom run without including GCL. Once
I get some time I will insert his changes. After that, we need a
lisp (build) function to replace 'make'. It is really trivial to
create since all it does is the same sequence make currently uses
(which is printed on the console). At that point, 'make' machinery
is gone. This might happen before the next release but I wouldn't
count on it.
X11 replacement is under development to be replaced by a browser (see
Volume 11). This involves moving hyperdoc and moving the graphics.
The browser front end currently allows Axiom notebook-like interaction
(you type an expression and see the result) as well as hyperdoc-style
browsing (only some of the pages have been converted so far).
The graphics port to the browser will require using a canvas. (Scott
Morrison's command of graphics has me cracking open my Foley and Van
examples. I'd like to use the new websocket interface so the canvas
can do interactive commands back to axiom (my attempt to use it
failed, probably due to a misconfiguration somewhere).
I've also been working on a Neural Net package. I recently added
graphviz support to enable drawing the network defined by the
equations and weights. The ultimate goal is to show the images
learned at each layer as it learns so the deep learning people
can use Axiom to play with the underlying equations.
Now that noweb is gone, GCL is becoming external, make will disappear,
the console, hyperdoc, and graphics will be in a web browser.
Axiom will eventually only depend on a C compiler, latex, and lisp,
assuming your browser is up to date.
It is all "in motion"... it just takes time....