- short: Sage [exactly this capitalization]
- full: Sage open-source mathematical software system
William Stein started the Sage project in 2004 and still leads the
project. His frustration with proprietary mathematical software was
his main motivation to create a viable open-source alternative. Just
as Firefox is an alternative to Internet Explorer or OpenOffice.org is
an alternative to Microsoft Office, Sage is a comprehensive open
source alternative to Magma, Maple, Mathematica, and Matlab.
Sage consists of a collection of mathematical software
and a core library bundling the functionality of these components into one consistent experience.
Additionally to that it provides a framework to express mathematical calculations
and a library of mathematical algorithms.
Mathematics is very old and encompasses many very different topics.
It is hard to come up with one unique approach that suites beginners as well as experts.
Sage tries to solve this and
"is doing remarkably well at keeping a balance between ease-of-use for beginners and high-end users."
as David Kohel once said
- Sage aims to provide everything mathematicians, researchers and students need
to do their calculations.
The basic concept is to combine many established software packages under one umbrella.
Even more than that, it provides powerful and unique algorithms in it's own library.
Sage's mission is to "create a viable free open source alternative to Magma, Maple, Mathematica and Matlab".
- Open Source: Sage is built upon open-source software and it is fully open-source by itself.
It is free to use worldwide for private, commercial, governmental, etc. use.
Its license is the well known GPL and everyone is allowed to download it, install it on
an unlimited number of computers and redistribute copies.
- Open Development:
Sage loves curious students and researchers to examine its source code and
it is possible to understand how each calculation is done.
Sage fosters a community of developers and encourages them to
take part in its development.
A vital community of people not only using but also participating in development
is key to a healthy ecosystem in the field of mathematical software.
Additionally, Sage utilizes the scientific method of peer-review to double check
each line of new source code in addition to its strict testing policies to ensure
a certain level of quality.
- Leverages Existing Software: Sage does not reinvent the wheel for every known calculation.
When possible, it uses existing tools to solve the problem and combine all of them in one unique interface.
This concept not only exposes software packages to a wider audience,
but also helps to increase the quality by submitting bugs upstream.
- Sage uses Python as its "glue language" to interface with all its components.
Python is also Sages primary interface language and hence Sage does not invent a new programming language
as other mathematical software systems do.
Python is well
established among research communities and makes
interfacing even less complicated.
- Interface: There are three basic ways how the user can interact with Sage:
a web-interface, accessible through a web-browser while Sage is running on your local machine
or on a server, a rich command-line interface and as a Python library.
Additionally, for example it is possible to embedd Sage in LaTeX documents.
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