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Re: Hello

On 8/10/05, Matthew Nobes <drnobes@gmail.com> wrote:

> One particular question I had was wether anybody here had experiance
> with maxima as a replacement for maple/mathmatica?

As a symbolic algebra environment, Maxima is quite powerful, and
pretty much anything can be implemented within it. It also implements
differentiation, integration, ode solvers, linear and algebraic
equation solvers, matrix operations, tensors, polynomial algebra,
number theory, special functions, and some numerical tools. In almost
every case, the commercial systems like Maple or Mathematica implement
more features in each of these areas. For rudimentary tasks (module
some bugs), however, Maxima is fairly sufficient once the user gets
past the learning curve.

However, Maxima (which used to be called MACSYMA) is a very old
system. As a consequence it's somewhat crufty and parts of the code
have not been touched in decades.

Recently, a more modern computer algebra system has entered Debian,
Axiom. I have not used it only briefly. From what I've seen, it still
looses to commercial systems in the amount of implemented features
available, but in principle is just as powerful. There is also a
learning curve. Perhaps I've not completely climbed it yet, but the
strong type system of Axiom makes it somewhat hard to use for
elementary tasks. Perhaps someone more familiar with Axiom can comment
in more detail.

And of course, using TeXmacs for Maxima or Axiom provides beautiful
typesetting. Unfortunately, the communication between the frontend and
backend is sometimes buggy.


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