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Octave & C++/Octave and symbolic math

From: Steve Hill
Subject: Octave & C++/Octave and symbolic math
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 11:20:06 +0100 (BST)

just thought I'd throw my threpence worth in.

Octave is great & jwe has done a magnificant job, but I think that to
really take it forwards, some major rewriting is eventually going to be
necessary. I think that the two threads that have been appearing lately
(Octave & C++ and Octave & symbolic math) are actually linked.

As far as I understand things, octave is heavily based on the fortran
LINPACK libraries, plus C, plus... The problem (as I see it), is that what
we really lack is a good unified representation scheme (in whatever
language it would be implemented -my personal preference would be as C++
classes) that would allow the representation of various types of
mathematical expression - symbolic, integer, rational, irrational (e.g.
pi, e), real etc. With such a set of classes, many numerical matrix/vector
operations could be rewriten to apply uniformly across the whole gamut of
mathematical expressions. Eventually, such an integrated library could
underly octave. Then , not only would octave handle symbolic math in a
unified fashion with the way it handles numerical math; but also there
would be a transparant C++ library available to handle this sort of stuff,
which would integrate with octave.

Now, I'm well aware that this is a huge task, but Rome wasn't built in a
day. I have a few ideas about how one might go about getting such a class
library together, and some code that might be useful as a starting point.
I'd certainly be willing to work on getting an integrated C++ math library
together. So if anyone is interested, or has some good ideas; let me know.

Once again, respect to jwe.

Steve Hill     

Like a war or a great fire, the effects of a storm go rippling outwards 
through webs of people for years, even generations. It breaches lives 
like coastlines and nothing is ever again the same.

Sebastian Junger

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