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To: bj48@...
From: "Marijn Schouten (hkBst)" <hkBst@g.o>
Subject: Re: gcl and maxima
Date: Sun, 09 Aug 2009 13:39:04 +0200
Hash: SHA1

Hi Bohumir,

CC'ing our low-volume project mailing list

Bohumir Jelinek wrote:
> Dear Marijn,
> I found that "gcl" use flags was removed for the package
> "maxima-5.18.1" on Gentoo recently. I have
> sci-mathematics/maxima-5.18.1 installed and running on Gentoo amd64
> and also x86 architecture with dev-lisp/gcl-2.6.8_pre20090419-r1.
> I really like to have "maxima" with "gcl" since maxima with gcl was
> much faster than with any other lisp that I tried about a half a year
> ago.  I was running a maxima code that took about 15-30 minutes to
> finish and the speedup using gcl versus any other lisps was really
> significant.

- From the Maxima website I understand that CMUCL is the fastest option for
Maxima. SBCL is a fork of CMUCL and is currently the most popular, best
supported and has the fastest development of all free Common Lisp implementation
that I know of. I say that mostly to contrast SBCL with GCL which at times
appears completely dead upstream. Due to GCL's inactivity and lack of use and
development it has a lot of problems which I have no time to solve. Masking and
possible removal of GCL has been something which has been on the table for a
long time[1] but which I have been reluctant to actually do. I would prefer not
to get rid of GCL but for now to discourage its use and prepare for a possible
removal I have masked it. Upstream seems to be working on a release at a snail's
pace and looks to be in the final phases of preparing for a release but still it
might take them many months. Depending on what actually happens GCL may be
removed (possibly temporarily).

Anyway, you have two options:

1) Try SBCL.
2) Unmask GCL.

> Since maxima-5.18.1 compiled and runs for me (although it was some
> time ago, using gcl from some overlay in Czech republic I believe),
> and it still runs, can you please tell me what needs to be done for
> the gcl to be unmasked?

You need to put "dev-lisp/gcl" in /etc/portage/package.unmask and also
"dev-lisp/maxima -gcl" in /etc/portage/package.use.mask to undo my recent masks.

> Please also let me know if I should post a bug on or
> e-mail someone else - or maybe if I should rather try to resolve some
> gcl bugs:)

Well, as I explained gcl upstream could really use your help. I am happy to keep
experimental gcl ebuilds in the lisp overlay.

> Thanks for doing a good work,
> -Bohumir
>  (an advocate of the "gcl" flag for "maxima")

Thanks for speaking up. It is always good to hear from users.



- --
If you cannot read my mind, then listen to what I say.

Marijn Schouten (hkBst), Gentoo Lisp project, Gentoo ML
<>, #gentoo-{lisp,ml} on FreeNode
Version: GnuPG v2.0.11 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla -


Re: Re: gcl and maxima
-- James Cloos
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