
Re: cost to write a system / SAGE
Posted:
Dec 6, 2005 11:00 PM


Jaap Spies wrote:
> > But maybe there is some light in the darkness. A few weeks ago I learned > about SAGE: > http://modular.ucsd.edu/sage/index.html > > An initiative of William Stein (with others, David Joyner, John Cremona > and many more). Not a general CAS, but in potention it could grow. > Shall we join the party? > > Jaap
<controversial statements> From a quick view of their web page, it seems that the view taken by SAGE is that activities in "computer algebra systems" are a subset of activities in "pure mathematics".
Some distinguished academics in the CAS community have a similar view, though they add into the mix "asymptotic complexity."
By avoiding applications (say, to engineering design, finance, education, scientific visualization, etc etc) the activity is essentially doomed. Why? Government funding for people or projects will be a small percentage of the funding for pure mathematics. That's not much. And the future is pretty grim. I doubt that CAS funding has ever happened because of some connection to cryptography, as much as mathematicians might raise that point.
Maybe the SAGE structure has some organizational benefit (e.g. using Python for scripting), but compared to what? Tcl? Lisp? Scheme? Guile? Ruby? Jscript? PARI?
Why not hook SAGE to Maxima, or the reverse? Can you convince an engineer to use it? For what? I spotted some statement that it could link to Mathematica or Matlab; these aren't free, though.
Elephants are interesting and useful. Feathers are interesting and useful. Elephants with feathers are a curiosity. Is SAGE an elephant with feathers?
If SAGE weren't free, would anyone pay for it?
</controversial statements>
RJF

