[Maxima] Interested in a Mac OS X (Cocoa) interface?
msarnoff at andrew.cmu.edu
Sun Jul 15 00:22:04 CDT 2007
I realize that a Mac-only application would only benefit users of one
platform, and, if it were written in Objective-C, it would not be
portable. I'd write it using another toolkit, but I'm a Mac user, and
Cocoa is the API that I'm most familiar with. (However, I have
noticed that Macs are getting increasingly popular with university
students, many of whom use a CAS for coursework/research. :-p)
I suggested the idea to the mailing list because I think it's a fun
side project for me to work on, and I wondered if there was a
potential audience. It doesn't need to be an "official" part of
Maxima, or become an "official" GUI, since I'd take care of
maintaining it. And if the project turns out to be a success, I'd be
happy to find some way to merge my work into wxMaxima.
Richard: Distributing Maxima in executable form with the project is
probably what I would do, since I don't want users to require a pre-
installed Lisp installation. Are there any licensing issues related
to distributing/bundling such a binary?
(P.S. On an unrelated note, I can't change my subscription options at
the website; it says "You must supply a valid email address" when I
try to enter my (valid) e-mail address.)
On Jul 14, 2007, at 6:54 PM, Richard Fateman wrote:
> I'm not in a position to have an opinion on a Mac OS X interface,
> since I've
> not spent more than 30 seconds with an OS X system.
> There is usually a way of loading up a bunch of programs into a
> lisp system
> and then dumping it out into some kind of executable form, if that
> is what
> you are asking.
> That executable form generally has in it a lisp compiler, a lisp
> interpreter, and piles of run-time routines, plus whatever you
> added to it.
> E.g. Maxima.
> Probably you misunderstand the role of the lisp interpreter in
> Maxima. Also
> its size.
> Probably the interpreter is needed for at least one function call,
> After that, everything is run as compiled code.
> Removing the interpreter might save, just at a guess, 100k bytes or
> Removing the compiler would save a lot more, but would remove the
> function from Maxima.
> Of the items you mention, a wysiwyg equation editor might be nice,
> but if it
> worked only on Mac, maybe not so interesting. If it allowed input
> from a
> tablet, that might be cool... Easy to make a demo work, so far no
> one has
> one that is ready for prime time.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: maxima-bounces at math.utexas.edu
>> [mailto:maxima-bounces at math.utexas.edu] On Behalf Of Matthew Sarnoff
>> Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2007 6:35 PM
>> To: maxima at math.utexas.edu
>> Subject: [Maxima] Interested in a Mac OS X (Cocoa) interface?
>> You might remember me from a while ago: last summer, I
>> created a comprehensive Web interface for Maxima at
>> math.msarnoff.org. Unfortunately, due to technical issues and
>> lack of a server, I had to take the site down.
>> I'm now interested in writing a Maxima environment in Cocoa
>> for Mac OS X. wxMaxima and the TeXMacs interface are pretty
>> good, but getting either of them up and running on a Mac is
>> no simple task. (I still haven't gotten wxMaxima to work
>> perfectly yet) And while both interfaces have sufficient
>> functionality, they aren't very pretty, and aren't the
>> easiest to use for novices.
>> Maxima is probably the best computer algebra system I've used
>> (I've always hated Mathematica's syntax), and I'd like to
>> make it look great on the Mac. Some of the ideas I had in mind are:
>> - a built-in equation renderer with WYSIWYG editing (similar
>> to the one in the OS X Grapher application)
>> - a palette of commonly-used functions and operators
>> - graphing support (maybe interactive)
>> - everything rolled into one package for easy installation
>> About the last point: Rather than requiring an installed
>> Maxima and Lisp, I'd like to include Maxima with the GUI. Is
>> it possible to build a standalone binary version of Maxima
>> that doesn't require a Lisp interpreter to run? I think this
>> is really a key point and will expand Maxima's audience
>> beyond the command-line techies. The user should just be able
>> to drag the downloaded app into the Applications folder and
>> get right down to business.
>> Do you think this would be a worthwhile project for me to
>> undertake? Other projects have benefited greatly from Mac
>> interfaces/ports (the Mac version of Graphviz won an Apple
>> Design Award), and I think this is an opportunity to make
>> Maxima the best-looking and easiest-to-use CAS on the Mac.
>> Maxima mailing list
>> Maxima at math.utexas.edu
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