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The Rosetta CD for Windows

Michel Lavaud,

GREMI Laboratory (Groupe de Recherches sur l'Energetique des Milieux Ionises)
CNRS and Orleans University (France)


The Rosetta CDs regroup free Computer Algebra Systems, and are intended to ease the comparison and use of these CAS. There is one version for Linux (by T. Daly) and one for Windows. For both versions, the programs can be run directly from the CD without having to install them beforehand on the hard disk. A dictionary (the Rosetta document, initiated by M. Wester and extended by T. Daly et al.) is provided, to help translating user programs from one CAS to another. For the Windows version, the Rosetta assistant provides a common interface for certain important functions of CAS, so that once the user knows how to use these functions for one CAS, he knows how to use them for all CAS. The aim is to eliminate the practical barriers that can prevent from using a CAS when one is not accustomed to it, so that one can concentrate on solving the mathematical problems, rather than fumbling with beginner's problems (how to run the CAS, how to quit, how to be sure it is correctly installed, how to perform computations, get documentation and tutorial, etc.).

The Rosetta assistant is easily expandable (buttons can be added by the user) and customizable (all texts of buttons and help bubbles can be modified by the user, or translated into another language), either with its built-in dialog box or with any text editor (there is one plain text file per CAS).

The Rosetta CDs can be used as complements to editors such as Emacs, Xemacs, TeXmacs, Scientific Word, etc., since all these assume that the CAS are installed and fully functional.

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