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Old 09-12-2012, 11:18 AM
Suvayu Ali
 
Default Symbolic computation on Fedora

Hi,

I need to do symbolic computation from time to time on my Fedora
machine. So far I have tried maxima, which seems quite good for simple
things but often fails to give me any usable results for more
complicated cases. Acquiring Mathematica licenses is not feasible at
the moment; so my question is what other alternatives have people used
and liked?

So far I have come across these:

1. SymPy - this seems a bit lacking in features (what I could gather
from the Wikipedia page as the project page is rather sparse).
2. Sage - this seems to be quite well mature but non-trivial to maintain
an installation.

Anyone has any opinions?

--
Suvayu

Open source is the future. It sets us free.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:59 AM
Michael Hannon
 
Default Symbolic computation on Fedora

Suvayu Ali <fatkasuvayu+linux@gmail.com> wrote:

> I need to do symbolic computation from time to time on my Fedora machine.
> So far I have tried maxima, which seems quite good for simple things but
> often fails to give me any usable results for more complicated cases.
> Acquiring Mathematica licenses is not feasible at the moment; so my question
> is what other alternatives have people used and liked?
*
> So far I have come across these:

> 1. SymPy - this seems a bit lacking in features (what I could gather
>** from the Wikipedia page as the project page is rather sparse).
> 2. Sage - this seems to be quite well mature but non-trivial to maintain
>** an installation.

> Anyone has any opinions?

Hi, Suvayu.* My first inclination was to recommend sage, until I saw your
assessment of it.* I tried it some time ago, mostly out of curiosity, as it
seemed like a REALLY nice idea (and at the time I was doing a fair amount of
Python).

I recall that there was some version of Fedora on which I just couldn't get
sage to work at all, although I've forgotten the details.* At that point, I
lost interest in it.

But prompted by your note, I downloaded the sage source (didn't see a binary
built for Fedora 17).* It took a good long while to download, and it took a
much longer time to build (via a simple "make" command), but it seems to have
built successfully on my system (Fedora 17, x86_64).

I ran a few of the examples in the sage tutorial, including some with the
notebook interface, and everything worked as advertised.

I realize that it's dangerous to draw conclusions from a single data point,
but maybe the sage developers have solved the maintenance issues.

I'd be interested to know what you finally decide to do.

-- Mike
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:01 PM
Richard Shaw
 
Default Symbolic computation on Fedora

On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:59 PM, Michael Hannon <jm_hannon@yahoo.com> wrote:
> But prompted by your note, I downloaded the sage source (didn't see a binary
> built for Fedora 17). It took a good long while to download, and it took a
> much longer time to build (via a simple "make" command), but it seems to have
> built successfully on my system (Fedora 17, x86_64).
>
> I ran a few of the examples in the sage tutorial, including some with the
> notebook interface, and everything worked as advertised.

I have no real interest in sage but I do like packaging things when I
have time so I looked at the sage homepage. I was going to download
the source but I also noticed they have some prebuilt archives:

http://mirrors.xmission.com/sage/linux/64bit/sage-5.0.1-linux-64bit-fedora_release_16_verne_-x86_64-Linux.tar.lzma

Of course this looks to be an older version, but if you search around
a bit you might find a newer release...

Richard
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:59 PM
Richard Shaw
 
Default Symbolic computation on Fedora

Ick... This thing (sage) is a mess of bundled libraries you'll
definitely need to manage your own install. This looks to be a ton of
work to unbundle all the libraries if someone wanted to package it
officially.

Richard
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:14 PM
Matthew Miller
 
Default Symbolic computation on Fedora

On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 09:59:40AM -0500, Richard Shaw wrote:
> Ick... This thing (sage) is a mess of bundled libraries you'll
> definitely need to manage your own install. This looks to be a ton of
> work to unbundle all the libraries if someone wanted to package it
> officially.

There was some work on packaging it for Fedora a few years ago; not sure
offhand where that went. A fundamental issue, as you've noticed, is that
Sage is more a software *distribution* itself than it is an appliction.
This doesn't lend itself well to packaging.

--
Matthew Miller <mattdm@mattdm.org>
Senior Systems Architect -- SEAS Computing
Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:13 PM
Suvayu Ali
 
Default Symbolic computation on Fedora

Hello everyone,

First, thank you for your thoughts and suggestions.

On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 01:14:42PM -0400, Matthew Miller wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 09:59:40AM -0500, Richard Shaw wrote:
> > Ick... This thing (sage) is a mess of bundled libraries you'll
> > definitely need to manage your own install. This looks to be a ton of
> > work to unbundle all the libraries if someone wanted to package it
> > officially.
>
> There was some work on packaging it for Fedora a few years ago; not sure
> offhand where that went. A fundamental issue, as you've noticed, is that
> Sage is more a software *distribution* itself than it is an appliction.
> This doesn't lend itself well to packaging.
>

At the moment I am short on time, so cannot experiment with sage. That
said, Fedora has a long standing packaging effort for SAGE[1]. It seems
to me sage needs a TeXLive-like distribution model to be not so
intimidating for new users. This however does not make the effort
required to include it in Linux distribution respositories any simpler.

I'll try compiling my own in a few weeks when I have some more time and
report back.

Cheers,


Footnotes:

[1] <https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/SciTech/SAGE>


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Old 09-16-2012, 10:37 PM
Michael Hannon
 
Default Symbolic computation on Fedora

>At the moment I am short on time, so cannot experiment with sage.* That
>said, Fedora has a long standing packaging effort for SAGE[1].* It seems
>to me sage needs a TeXLive-like distribution model to be not so
>intimidating for new users.* This however does not make the effort
>required to include it in Linux distribution respositories any simpler.
>
>I'll try compiling my own in a few weeks when I have some more time and
>report back.


Hi, Suvayu.* It's possible I was just lucky enough to have all the required dependencies already installed, but in my case it took less than a minute of my own time to download and build sage (e.g., "wget ...; make").* It did take a lot of time for the file to download and the build to complete, but I didn't have to do anything while these were ongoing.

-- Mike

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Old 09-16-2012, 11:56 PM
Matthew Saltzman
 
Default Symbolic computation on Fedora

On Sun, 2012-09-16 at 09:13 -0400, Suvayu Ali wrote:
> Hello everyone,
>
> First, thank you for your thoughts and suggestions.
>
> On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 01:14:42PM -0400, Matthew Miller wrote:
> > On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 09:59:40AM -0500, Richard Shaw wrote:
> > > Ick... This thing (sage) is a mess of bundled libraries you'll
> > > definitely need to manage your own install. This looks to be a ton of
> > > work to unbundle all the libraries if someone wanted to package it
> > > officially.
> >
> > There was some work on packaging it for Fedora a few years ago; not sure
> > offhand where that went. A fundamental issue, as you've noticed, is that
> > Sage is more a software *distribution* itself than it is an appliction.
> > This doesn't lend itself well to packaging.
> >
>
> At the moment I am short on time, so cannot experiment with sage. That
> said, Fedora has a long standing packaging effort for SAGE[1]. It seems
> to me sage needs a TeXLive-like distribution model to be not so
> intimidating for new users. This however does not make the effort
> required to include it in Linux distribution respositories any simpler.
>
> I'll try compiling my own in a few weeks when I have some more time and
> report back.

I have built Sage on Fedora 17 and RHEL 6 with no difficulty. It is a
big ugly package, but it is self contained. It would be nice to have a
package setup like TeXLive, but I have seen the discussions about the
challenges involved.

>
> Cheers,
>
>
> Footnotes:
>
> [1] <https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/SciTech/SAGE>
>
>

--
Matthew Saltzman
Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu

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Old 09-17-2012, 09:29 AM
Jussi Lehtola
 
Default Symbolic computation on Fedora

On Wed, 12 Sep 2012 13:18:33 +0200
Suvayu Ali <fatkasuvayu+linux@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I need to do symbolic computation from time to time on my Fedora
> machine. So far I have tried maxima, which seems quite good for
> simple things but often fails to give me any usable results for more
> complicated cases. Acquiring Mathematica licenses is not feasible at
> the moment; so my question is what other alternatives have people used
> and liked?
>
> So far I have come across these:
>
> 1. SymPy - this seems a bit lacking in features (what I could gather
> from the Wikipedia page as the project page is rather sparse).
> 2. Sage - this seems to be quite well mature but non-trivial to
> maintain an installation.
>
> Anyone has any opinions?

There seems to be a big bunch of free Computer Algebra Systems, see e.g.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_computer_algebra_systems

I've mainly used Maple (proprietary) and Maxima (GPL) for my work.
--
Jussi Lehtola
Fedora Project Contributor
jussilehtola@fedoraproject.org
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