[Maxima] Greek Symbols in Maxima
Mon Oct 9 01:00:56 CDT 2006
> I am very new to Maxima. I was trying to get Maxima output stuff like
> "alpha," "beta," etc in their greek forms.
In the Maxima command line interface, it should be possible to use
Greek characters directly if they are in included in the character set
used by the terminal in which Maxima is running.
For example I find that the incantation
LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8 xterm -fn \
launches an xterm with a Unicode character set.
To use Unicode characters in Maxima, it is required that the
underlying Lisp implementation allows them. I don't know if it's
true for all Lisps. I believe Clisp and SBCL do, and GCL doesn't.
At present it is necessary to declare any new characters as alphabetic
to make the Maxima parser allow them in symbols.
declare("x", alphabetic); (for each new character x) is the way
to do it, although there is a bug which inverts the case for characters
which have upper and lower case. I'll try to fix it.
Maxima's 2-d pretty printer appears to handle multibyte characters
correctly, although the length of a string containing combining
characters is not calculated correctly (I'm guessing) and that
throws off stuff like fractions and exponents. I say this after
playing with Braille and Thai characters a bit.
The advantage of using Unicode is that you can work in an ordinary
command line session (if that's what you like), and Unicode offers
a wide range of characters, e.g. runes, Asian languages, etc.
Dunno if the Maxima GUI's recognize Unicode. I don't know much
about Unicode, maybe someone else can say more about it.
All the best
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