Dear Folks,


I want to know what the true status of REDUCE is today.

This I must ask as I see little suggesting full-time, properly paid and supervised
(by a dedicated REDUCE development director) employment of a group of people
on this package.
Neither is their any real information contact point and the only help that I see is
a scantly used mailing list.

The most recent version of your package that I may download is version 3.8
which dates from 2004, according to its manual.
While your package does so many things well and others adequately, I think
that you'll agree that it needs a good makeover both in its content and user interface.
There is also the matter of limitations to its capabilities, an aspect we observe in
several of its user-contributed packages.

I think that if a serious upgrade is not begun soon REDUCE will be superseded
by its own 'satellites' : Maple, MuPad and (Heaven help us!) Mathematica for
symbolic manipulation.
It need hardly be said that the objectives of these organizations are quite different
from those of the core REDUCE team, especially in relation to approaches to
mathematics education and global accessibility to educational resources.

Obviously, such an initiative will take funding.
But considering that so many educational institutions, state bodies and commercial
organizations are availing of REDUCE at present, it ought not be too difficult to
persuade these users to make a modest annual contribution to its development.
As I see it, even if each user organization contributed as little as $100 each, it
would provide a reasonable amount of development funding.

I do not see any problem finding development staff, especially on a secondment
basis from large organizations, as long as their reasonable salaries can be met for
the duration of the programme.

Our world - and particularly the world of research - is becoming more and more
computational. Mathematical analysis and modelling is deployed in practically
every field of science and technology today. And it is good that this is so.
Algebraic manipulation is still as important (in some cases more so)  as computational
power in the study of many phenomena.
REDUCE has led the way in providing a tool for algebra simplification in particle physics.
It would be no less than right were REDUCE to be now developed and upgraded so
that it reemerges as a reliable set of tools for both algebra and other related tasks
by researchers in many other areas.

Kind Regards,

zenith61.