[seqfan] Re: Program syntax and the OEIS

Robert Israel israel at math.ubc.ca
Fri Jun 24 19:28:54 CEST 2011

In the case of Maple, the current version is 15.  There is approximately 
one new varsion per year, but major changes that break backwards 
compatibility are quite rare.  I suspect that the number of people still
using Maple V is rather small.

Robert Israel                                israel at math.ubc.ca
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel 
University of British Columbia            Vancouver, BC, Canada

On Fri, 24 Jun 2011, Marc LeBrun wrote:

>> ="Alonso Del Arte" <alonso.delarte at gmail.com>
>> a comment like (* Version 6.0+ *) might be sufficient
> Documentation seems the only really viable approach. The OEIS can't be in
> the code-snippet maintenance business.
> Automatic machine translation of programs is an interesting research topic,
> but relying on it is dicey in the forward direction.  How can you be *sure*
> that all important semantics are correctly preserved?
> In the backwards-compatibility direction, sometimes users like to stick to
> their earlier versions for good reasons--they don't want to pay upgrade
> costs, they have other irresolvable functionality issues, and so on.
> It's kind of like respecting folks who want to stick with ASCII-only eMail.
> Recoding already-submitted programs for a different version isn't quite the
> same thing as a "correction" (as an actual bugfix would be), and may merely
> shift the burden from one user community to another.
> Instead, the instructions for submitting code should at least strongly
> encourage adding a comment giving version info, as a "best practice".
> Perhaps this could even be supported somehow as an extension when entering
> the "name" of the CAS, language or other framework?
> It's essentially the same as what the "++" in the name "C++" conveys.  It's
> just that some of these systems change more frequently, and choose different
> syntax (there's now also "C++0x").  It sounds to me like Maple5 and Maple6
> are closely related but different languages (as are C and C++).
> Instead of recoding the Maple5, why not leave the earlier version in place,
> but supplement it with a new Maple6 version, just as we would add a version
> for C++ or any other additional language?
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