Karim BELABAS on Wed, 10 Nov 1999 13:28:19 +0100 (MET)

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Re: new guy wants to help with development

[Gavin McNay:]
> I'm new to this list and would like to make myself available to the
> development effort.

Welcome on board !

> Would updating the documentation be a reasonable thing for me to start with?
> I noticed that there was a defect against this at priority 5.

More precisely, there are two entries:

  5  complete/update the tutorial (esp. section 11 and 12)

  4  add examples for all functions in Chapter 3

Besides correcting typos, and checking general correctness and clarity
(basically, tedious proofreading work), I see three mostly independant tasks:

1) Check the description of every GP function one by one in the reference
manual, adding examples and all kind of possibly helpful information
(mathematical explanation, algorithms used, efficiency remarks, "dirty
tricks", ...). This requires experimenting with the command to check what it
actually does in a variety of situations since, more often than not, the
manual won't tell you.

This doesn't have to be done in order, or by a single person ! In fact, I
believe a cooperative effort would do wonders here. Changes could be posted
and discussed on the list (or pari-users) before being committed. It will
presumably point out a lot of problems in the current implementations,
desirable features, etc.

Starting up things might be the hardest part. It will take a bit of

2) The tutorial still mentions functions which don't exist anymore (e.g
polkaramul), and centers on the old PARI core, skipping most recent functions
(say, less than 5 years old). It also hardly mentions GP programming.

It would be desirable to shorten / update the current tutorial, skipping
algebraic number theory (i.e section 6) altogether, and write a new one
centering on that topic.

[ that's actually two different jobs, the second of which requiring quite a
bit of work, and rather intimate knowledge of PARI ]

3) Library mode programming documentation is very fragmentary. Most _really_
useful functions are in a state of flux hence are not mentionned in there. I
don't think it's the right time to start on this one.

There's another one, I just thought of: clean up and document the TeX
macros. But it's not top priority either.

> what would i need to be able to contribute to the development effort ?

It will be easier if you're able to access the cvs repository (see CVS.DOC).


Karim Belabas                    email: Karim.Belabas@math.u-psud.fr
Dep. de Mathematiques, Bat. 425
Universite Paris-Sud             Tel: (00 33) 1 69 15 57 48
F-91405 Orsay (France)           Fax: (00 33) 1 69 15 60 19
PARI/GP Home Page: http://hasse.mathematik.tu-muenchen.de/ntsw/pari/