Friday, February 29, 2008

This is what I would like in Sage 3.0

    cd SAGE_ROOT/devel/sage/sage/; sage -coverage .

    should output
    Overall weighted coverage score:  x%  [[where x >= 50]]

    Moreover there should be at least one hand written paragraph at the beginning of each file; "sage -coverage" can be adapted to flag whether or not this is there. This will improve the overall quality and maintainability of Sage, and make it easier for users to find examples.

  2. MANIPULATE: Usable "manipulate" functionality standard in Sage. This has very wide applicability.

  3. R: A pexpect interface to R (so, e..g, the notebook can act as a full R notebook using 100% native R syntax). This will matter to a lot of Sage users, and make using R from Sage much easier in some cases (just cut and paste anything from any R examples and it will work). It will also provide something in Sage that one doesn't get with Python + rpy + R.

  4. TIMING/BENCHMARKING: Fully integrate in Sage wjp's code that times all doctests, and start publishing the results on all Sage-supported platforms with every Sage release. This will give people a much better sense about which hardware is best for running Sage, and avoid major performance regressions. Likewise, get the Malb/wjp/my generic benchmarking code into Sage (this provides a doctest like plain text format for creating benchmarks, and is already mostly written).

I've only proposed goals for 3.0 that are wide reaching and will be noticed in some way by most users instead of fairly technical optimizations in a specific area (such as FLINT, Libsingular, or optimized integer allocation). I think changing implementations in specific technical areas to speed things up is more appropriate in week-to-week releases, and is also something we should be very careful about until we have good speed regression testing in place (we should have done step 4
above a long long ago).