Updates, September 2014 - Mathos Project

Hi,

It was a while ago since the last update was composed. In this letter I would like to summarize some of the highlights of this month, answer some potential questions you might have, and finally explain why it took so long for this message to be sent.

Summary of updates

The web-interface has received many updates, both graphical and technical. The graphical interface is designed entirely from scratch by Diego Belli. It is now much easier to navigate and the interface is more user-friendly. From the technical perspective, we have:

A relatively new project lead by Ethan Dagner, Iron Ruby Interpreter of the core library has also received some improvements.

Our parser, Mathos Parser, was changed to allow optimizations when the same expression is executed many times (see here). Because of the few dependencies and thanks to the suggestion by Anders (@cureos), Mathos Parser is now PCL compatible. Apart from that, there is now a new parser based on Mathos Parser that can compile expressions into IL code (see here).

All the functionality that was described above can be accessed through the new version of Mathos Core Library (1.0.8.1).

Mathos Project does matter

It might seem as if the project isn't active, partly because of the few updates on our blog and maybe the download count on CodePlex. However, this is obviously not the case. First of all, please keep in mind that our projects use NuGet as well, and as it is nowadays, letting NuGet keep track of all dependencies and updates is very common(see Core Library and Parser on NuGet). Secondly, even if the core library is not used by many users at the moment, the web-interface of the library is. In my mind, effort should be put into the web-interface or the Iron Ruby interpreter, because a larger audience will be able to interact with them. A particularly good aspect of the web-interface is that it's platform independent, and therefore can be used in any web browser on any platform. I will cover updates in the next section.

Miscellaneous 

You might wonder why it took some time before a new summary of the project was sent. As I am usually the one who composes these letters, I've decided to prioritize my time on the individual modules in the core library, parser, web-interface, iron ruby interpreter. So, for the time being, I would recommend you to subscribe to our Facebook page to stay in touch.

Conclusion

The point of this letter is to portray an objective picture of the project. Some might argue that we are not the only mathematics library that exists for the .NET platform. That's partly true though. Mathos Project started out as a library but since then we've kept expanding. Right now, it would be wrong to associate Mathos Project with the core library only, because it is so much more. Mathos Project consists of a simple yet powerful parser (it has been used in apps and other projects), a web user interface (primarily used by students), iron ruby interpreter (not officially published yet), and of people with great ideas and knowledge. Mathos Project is not only code, it is people writing that code.

I am quite convinced that by writing the code, we both learn and allow other people to learn from it. Thanks to the visualizations that we are focusing on (i.e. the web-interface and iron ruby interpreter), we allow an even greater audience to learn from our code. And, many more people can benefit from it. Therefore, I would encourage everyone to take a module that sounds interesting, read through the code, understand and learn from it, and make a visualization that non-programmers can use also.

I hope that I don't sound too pessimistic; the point of this letter is not to display what we've achieved only, but also what we still can achieve!

Happy coding!

All the best,

Artem Los

P.S. If you want to unsubscribe, please reply to info(at)mathosproject.com