Thursday, January 3, 2008

My first year with Sage and an outlook for 2008

To my own surprise I have been involved with Sage for a little over a year now. I thought initially that my first message to sage-devel was in March or April of 2007, but by checking today I saw that it was in December 2006. The first couple months were mostly about fixes to the Cygwin build and general discussion. Only later I started to work on the build system and spkgs portability and eventually I started to manage releases toward the end of the year. I am also maintaining various ports like the Linux/PPC port and am actively working on the Solaris, FreeBSD ports and Cygwin re-port.

So what will the future bring for Sage in 2008? While predictions are notoriously hard and often hilariously wrong I will venture some guesses. I will limit myself to the areas I plan to work on:
  • Full Solaris support within three months: We are very close on this and in the next week I will hopefully have time to push all the changes I have accumulated into the official spkgs. There are still some known bugs that seem to be triggered only on Solaris (some libSingular issues), but I am confident we will fix those and by we in this case I mean hopefully Martin Albrecht.
  • Full FreeBSD support in one month: This one seems like a no brainer. The port went fairly smooth and aside from the odd issue with Singular and C++ headers it all seems easily mergable. Note that even now you can run the Linux binary on FreeBSD via the Linux emulation.
  • Full resurrection of the Cygwin port: I will not give any estimate on this, but I don't think it will take too long to get it to compile. Passing doctests will be another issue.
  • Massive progress toward a native MSVC port: This one will be the big question mark. There is certainly a lot of potential interest, but so far few people have committed to do any of the work. There is also no funding in sight that would help to get the massive undertaking on the way. But I still maintain that this is certainly doable.
  • Sage will be part of distributions: It looks like Pardus might be the first to integrate Sage, but now it looks like Debian might still beat it. There was a lot if activity today in the Google group debian-sage, so I am bullish on that, especially since I will be part of the effort.
So, I will be curious to look back toward the end of 2008 to see what did happen and where I was totally off.



No comments: