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Re: Choosing the free CAS Jan 28, 2012 6:55 PM
Posted in group: sci.math.symbolic
On Jan 28, 2:35 pm, Waldek Hebisch <> wrote:
> <> wrote:
> > Hello,
> > I was looking at the descriptions of different CAS and finally decided
> > to narrow it down to Maxima and FRICAS/OpenAxiom. I hope somebody can
> > answer the following questions:
> > 1. What's the nature of the fork between FRICAS/OpenAxiom? Seems like
> > FRICAS points to OpenAxiom documentation, does that mean all their
> > features are essentially the same? Should I give a try to both or just
> > one of them?
> - Fork situation is more complicated that you think, there are three
>   forks: Axiom, Open Axiom and FriCAS.  And there a common precursor,
>   namely commercial Axiom system (released as free software in 2002).
>   Tim Daly, who was angaged in making Axiom free software and lead
>   the project decided to keep Axiom name.  When I forked FriCAS
>   I decided to use quite distint name to avoid confusion.  But
>   shortly ater that another fork happened and decied to use name
>   Open Axiom.
> - Concerning documentation FriCAS points to "Axiom Book"
>   and "Axiom Wiki".  Axiom Book is a text which originally was written
>   to about commercial Axiom system (which is precursor of all of the
>   forks).  It was updated somewhat when Axiom was released as fee
>   software, but it does not describe new additions to FriCAS
>   (but old things work well enough to that it is still very useful).
>   FriCAS bundled more up to date version of Axiom Book for online
>   viewing.  Unfortunaltly, the pdf and MathML versions that FriCAS
>   points to were created mostly by hand and up to date nobody
>   volunteered to re-do the work and regenerate them from bundled
>   version.
>   Axiom Wiki was created when Axiom became fee software.  The
>   name come from project, but nowadays it tries to be neutral
>   and cover all forks.
> - Concerning features: FriCAS tries to preserve backwards
>   compatiblity as long as it does not interfere with
>   new developements.  So old documetation is still useful.
>   But there are entirely new subsystems:
>   * guessing package which is useful when you can compute
>     several terms of a sequents and want to find a formula
>   * large collection of special functions (original Axiom
>     had only a handful)
>   * "jet bundles" framewark, which implements completition
>     procedure to bring system of PDE-s into more manageble
>     form (and can also find symmetries of PDE-s).
>   and several smaller additions and improvements to existing
>   functions.
>   AFAIK Open Axiom made structural improvements and added
>   some routines for logic, but made almost no improvements
>   to mathemetical capabilites. AFAIK Axiom ported several
>   FriCAS improvements, restructured code, made some additions
>   to user interface and documentation but again made almost
>   no own additions to mathemetical capabilites
> --
>                               Waldek Hebisch

Thanks a lot. That's an excellent write-up. I didn't realize there was
three! (not two) of them.