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I just tried to get a binary to install it on Windows. Instead they are handing out only OVM files (VirtualBox images.) As much as they might despise closed-source, there are simple things that businesses necessitate - like not being hostile to your audience. I am a fucking programmer, I don't have a problem using VirtualBox. At the same time, it infuriates me that they did not bundle up an MSI or EXE for their windows audience. Now I feel less inclined to even try it, because I already use Mathematica. This basic understanding of "energy to demo something" is the ethos of HN. I am super surprised after reading that PDF to find these simple energy laws of consumerism violated. Aye...I digress...

I'm sorry. The point of my talk is that Sage is not a viable alternative to Mathematica, etc., for many reasons, e.g., not having a native Windows version. Porting a huge amount of deep technical software from Linux to Windows is the sort of difficult and thankless work that will not get somebody tenure in academia. I tried hard to get funding to get help on a Windows port, and Microsoft donated $30K for this effort back in 2008. However, $30K is not enough to fund such a huge project. In fact, I once met with a bunch of the revolution analytics devs, and learned they were getting millions from Microsoft just to port R to run natively on Windows. This was disturbing, because R is just one of the 100 components of Sage. In my talk, I mentioned the new grant in Europe that is funding the first ever fulltime Sage employee, and it turns out his main job so far is working on a native Windows port of Sage. Unfortunately, though he is incredibly good, he'll probably discover how daunting this project really is. (It's not a one guy for a few months sort of project... And yes, I tried very hard once to port Sage to Windows and failed.)

The good news on that front is most of the problem is not Sage itself but some of its dependencies. Of course some of the problem children are core dependencies and can't just be made optional. But fast progress is being made. I have most of Sage running on Windows, currently with an unfortunate Cygwin dependency. However I have hopes to work on native Windows ports of some of the trickier dependencies, notably GAP and Cysignals.

Sage should run fine in the new Microsoft's Bash on Windows


It doesn't quite work so easily because of some parts of sage use pseudotty's.

Thanks for your reply William. I was just frustrated, sorry that I disrespected the work, effort, and time you have put into Sage to get it to where it is today. I will be giving the web version of Sage a try and perhaps contribute to it on an open-source basis eventually.


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