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Date: -- (:)
From: Thomas Fischbacher <tf@f...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] caml and python

Andrej,

> thank you for your reply. I did not realize you actually married python 
> and ocaml so closely.

Well, we sort-of had to.

> My inquiry was actually geared towards getting some sort of 
> Mathematica-like front-end environment that could link to a 
> computational "core" (or cores) running as separate processes. Are there 
> any pooor man's frontends out there? I am aware of Texmacs and Sage. 
> Texmacs strikes me a bit idiosyncratic, while Sage scares me in sheer 
> size. I just want a nice little general-purpose frontend that can do an 
> interactive loop and show pictures and math formulas as results.

I have played around with Texmacs myself a few years ago, but considered
it way too weak for heavy-duty applications. I think that if visualizing
maths in a front-end is your main concern, you may be better off hooking
up the computational core to a webserver and use a web-browser as your
front-end. Then, you can think about MathML rendering and a JavaScript
or even Java-based user interface. (Concerning Java, it is rather
convenient to write Java applets in Per Bothner's Kawa Scheme rather
than in Java.) This can be a very convenient approach provided you have
full continuation support in your computational core.

Here is a prototype for a webbrowser-as-maths-user-interface I wrote
a few years ago (taking mzscheme as a basis, as this provides call/cc):

http://141.84.136.30:8000/

The preprint thaat describes the idea is here:

http://de.arxiv.org/abs/cs/0406002

The original motivation for a pattern-language based term manipulation
tool came from supergravity, where you have to do a lot of nasty
("fierzing") tensor and spinor algebra. However, I never found the
time to evolve this idea into a really useful tool for that particular
job. A more reasonable first goal for a demo application would be the
formalism of partial derivatives used in thermodynamics.

-- 
best regards,
Thomas Fischbacher
tf@functionality.de