In episode 22, we interviewed Robert Dodier from the Maxima project. After a brief introduction and a presentation of Robert's current uses for Maxima he introduced what is Maxima and what can be achieved with it. We discussed some core concepts of Maxima's language as well as how to access the documentation within the software to help users. Then discussion went on about the interesting origin story of Maxima and its origin as a tool for AI. We then talked about the current state of the project and how can someone provide help. As well as our usual quick questions, we had an interesting discussion about the social aspects within FLOSS and other self-organized projects.
00:00:26 Presentation of Robert Dodier
00:02:01 The scope of Maxima and its application for Bayesian inferences
00:02:57 Why not use R or another programming language for Bayesian inferences?
00:05:03 When did he discover Maxima?
00:05:29 Maxima's core features stability since 2003
00:06:04 His 30 seconds elevator pitchfor Maxima
00:06:43 Reference manual and Maxima's documentation
00:07:52 Accessing Maxima's documentation
00:08:41 Comparison with Maple and Mathematica
00:10:50 The concept of "code equal data"?
00:12:54 Maxima's language complexity/simplicity
00:15:13 User interfaces for Maxima
00:16:24 Console interface for Maxima
00:17:12 Presentation of the resulting equations or results
00:17:46 Integrating Maxima and LaTeX
00:19:08 The origin story of Maxima
00:25:17 Licensing status before the relicensing to GPL
00:26:00 Maxima for undergrad students and researchers
00:28:33 Robert's contributions to the project and its self-organized structure
00:31:39 How many people are involved in the project
00:32:13 Communication channels for the project
00:32:52 Underlying technologies in Maxima
00:34:27 Ressources for newcomers
00:35:47 Robert's vision about FLOSS in science
00:36:26 Negative impacts of FLOSS on science
00:37:25 The most notable scientific discovery in recent years
00:39:22 Robert's favourite text processing tool
00:40:04 The social aspect of FLOSS
00:42:34 Anything else he wanted to share with us?
00:43:39 How to contact Robert