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Re: [Axiom-developer] [fricas-devel] documentation standards

From: Raymond Rogers
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] [fricas-devel] documentation standards
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2014 13:23:00 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.3.0

On 12/29/2014 04:05 PM, Bill Page wrote:
Axiom     - One developer - when he goes Axiom goes.

I think that you are probably right here that "when he goes the
[original] Axiom project goes". I am not aware of anyone motivated to
continue the work in the direction that Tim Daly has taken it.
I'm afraid you are right.  I think Tim's goal is absolutely the  correct thing
(I hate to see knowledge evaporate) but he is trying a "bottom up" approach
to reverse engineer it. 
Every time I read about his progress; the picture of Atlas holding up the world comes
to mind.  An impossible goal for a mere human like me.
Remember Principia Mathematica by Whitehead and Russle; not only did they not
finish but I believe Whitehead said he was never as sharp afterwards;
he had burnt something out.  Have you tried reading it?  I think I got to page 100
 before getting completely submerged.  We must realize that that was a early
form of mathematical proof generation from fundamentals.
I really like that "literate program" form on Differential
Forms!  But that was top-down.  But I think doing bottom up is virtually impossible.
I think an alternative is to try to build _automatic_ translators that convert the
base code to mathematical formulation recognizable as mathematics.  I realize
that present mathematical notation is not perfect; but is usable because of
3,000 years of development.  Though, in all honesty, I am speaking from
No, I think the days when we could usefully and optimistically speak of "PanAxiom" are gone. There are now clearly three separate projects with a life (or death) or their own (four if you want to count Aldor). I also disagree that any of these projects are fundamentally "software engineering projects" except maybe Aldor. As I see it Axiom as a concept is still fundamentally a research project - as is the entire field of computer algebra as a whole. The most that software engineering can offer is minor improvements in technique.
Are you thinking of mathematics or programming?  I would think a mathematical basis is definitely
not passé and should be the real goal.
  I really look forward to the day that "programming" is
automated and people will no longer be stuck digging in the mines trying to create or find a few gems.

Do you mean some kind of "reverse engineering"? I think you are right that literate programming methodologies do not make this any easier. Once I thought that a user supported and maintained web site (wiki) might be an answer to this. Although the FriCAS project still supports the wiki that started in the early days of the original Axiom project, I would say that it also counts as a (mostly) failed experiment.
Please don't!  The results apparently haven't been extensive but I would think that that is some
form of "marketing" :)  People sometime make fun of marketing and merchants; but the truth is they play
an essential role in the distribution of goods, knowledge, services and human advancement.
I don't have an "answer"  but what comes to mind is direct linkages to and from sites like Wikipedia, PlanetMath, or


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