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The Book Mode

To get acquainted with the Emacs Book Mode , developed by Bill Schelter  on the Ships cluster, prepend

/afs/ovpit.indiana.edu/@sys/gnu/bin
to your command search path.

Now enter Emacs  and find-file (i.e., use a command C-x C-f to open a file) with an extension .bk.

Assuming that everything has worked, you should find yourself in a general purpose worksheet. In principle you can use the same worksheet to talk to any of the following: Maxima, dfplot, xplot, shells, Octave, elisp, and Maple, but some of those are not likely to work. In particular talking to Maple on the Ships cluster will not work, because Maple installed on that system does not appear to be of the right revision.

On the OVPIT AFS Bill Schelter's book-mode lives in the directory

/afs/ovpit.indiana.edu/common/gnu/share/emacs/site-lisp/maxima
and if you run Emacs from
/afs/ovpit.indiana.edu/@sys/gnu/bin
as I have suggested that you should, it will locate and load Bill Schelter's book-mode automatically whenever you attempt to open a file with the extention .bk.2.1

Once in the book-mode enter a simple Maxima command, for example

1+1;
and mark it as a Maxima command . To do that select the region that contains the command and type C-c m. Now, the book-mode responds by converting
1+1;
into
1+1; returns RESULT

In order to have the command executed by Maxima , position the mouse cursor within the field of the command, and press the third mouse button. At this stage the string

1+1; returns RESULT
should change automatically into:
1+1; returns 2

From this point onwards whenever you see a result like that (in this section only) you should know how it comes about.

The expression

1+1;
would work the same way in Maple. Maple and Maxima are very similar, because both derive from an older system called Macsyma. Maxima is Macsyma rewritten by Bill Schelter in Common Lisp and released under the GNU Copyright . You can download Maxima from any site that distributes GNU software. What you have available on the Ships cluster is a port of Bill Schelter's Maxima to Bruno Haible's  Clisp , which is called punimax  . His Clisp is really nice and very leightweight, but the Maxima port itself is still very raw and needs a lot more work. In particular graphics don't work at all.

Maple has many very nice features, but it is quite expensive. Maxima, on the other hand, comes free and, if you have bought Linux  from Red Hat  or any other Linux reseller, you should have it fully configured on your PC together with other FreeWare.

You can write anything and anywhere within a Bill Schelter's book-mode document. You can select any region as a Maxima input region (or, in principle a Maple input region using C-c p, but, as I said, it won't work, so don't try it) and send it to an appropriate program for processing with the third mouse button.

So, assuming that all glitches will be ironed out one day, from a single worksheet you will be able to communicate with multiple computational engines all at the same time!


next up previous index
Next: Becoming Familiar with Maxima, Up: The Playsome Threesome: Maxima, Previous: The Playsome Threesome: Maxima,
Zdzislaw Meglicki
2001-02-26