[GAP Forum] The new GAP web site

Joachim Neubueser joachim.neubueser at math.rwth-aachen.de
Mon Jul 19 11:33:26 BST 2004

Dear GAP Forum members,

Last  Friday Edmund  Robertson, as  chairman of  the GAP  Council, has
officially announced that a new GAP  web site has now replaced the old
one and that  at least for some  initial period, I will try  to act as
its maintainer.  In  this letter I will point to  some new features of
this new web site.  First of all I want to emphasize  that we, that is
Volkmar Felsch  and I, have tried  to save all the  lot of information
that had been  compiled over the years in the old  one.  But also this
letter is meant as a  call for suggestions for further improvements of
the web site.

  The first you  will notice when you visit the site  at the old place
of GAP web sites:


is a new outlook, but this is not the main change. More important are
a new structure and several new pages with dedicated purpose.
1. The start page.

The start page is meant to serve different groups of people:

- Newcomers who want to  see what GAP is about. For these  we say in a
few lines of  the main text what the GAP system  provides, but we also
give a  brief indication of the  'philosophy' of the GAP  project as a
cooperative effort.

- People who have found  the general information interesting enough to
have a closer look. For these we provide (on the left side bar) at the
top  of the 'Quicklinks'  a link  to 'site  structure', linking  to an
answer to the  FAQ 'How is the  GAP site organised?', and a  link to a
'site map'  which depicts the beginnings  of the main  branches of the
navigation tree (I hope you  will find this site map generally useful,

- Experienced users of  GAP who just want to go  to a particular page.
For these we provide among the 'Quicklinks' on the left side bar a few
ones that we guess  will be often used such as a  link to the 'Manual'
page  giving  access  to  all  available manuals  including  those  of

2. The structure of the site.

For technical information  link to 'site structure'. All  pages of the
new site have  a uniform design with a part of  the navigation tree on
the left bar  and the main branches of the navigation  tree in the top
bar.  Only if you get down to  manual pages or the like, these show up
without such 'margins'.

All references to the old version GAP3 are now collected in a separate
branch and all pages of that branch have a (yellow) warning on the top
that these refer to GAP3, which for some time now has not been further

3. New features.

The main branches of the 'navigation tree' each collect information on
particular aspects  of the GAP  project., e.g. 'Documentation'  on all
textual material, 'Contacts' on all aspects of contacts between the GAP
Group and the users of GAP. 

In detail:

- The page 'Capabilities' and those  available through it are meant to
help  finding quickly  if GAP  may provide  functionality  for various
areas of  discrete mathematics  by giving many  links to parts  of the
reference manual as well as to packages.  I would be most grateful for
suggestions  of  further helpful  links  of  this  kind by  colleagues
particularly familiar with certain areas.

- The  branch  'Data  libraries'   unifies  information  on  the  many
collections of group theoretical  data that are available through GAP.
If you  have or know  of further such  collections that might  be made
available through GAP, please inform us.

- Thanks to Frank Luebeck's efforts  the pages on all packages are now
in a uniform format and give up to date information.

- There is  a new  page 'References' which  points to some  basic text
books on the methods of  Computational Group Theory, for which we have
often been asked.

- There  is a  page 'Learning'  on which  we have  collected  links to
material that  may help learning GAP.  If you have or  know of further
such  material, I  would be  grateful for  suggestions to  extend this

- There is a page 'Teaching' with some links to material on the use of
GAP in teaching courses on algebra etc. Here in particular I am pretty
certain that more  such material (course texts as  well as collections
of exercises) ought to exist  and would be grateful for suggestions to
include further links.

- There  are now  uniform  search  facilities for  the  web site,  the
manuals, the Forum Archive and the Bibliography of papers quoting GAP.

- The collection of worked-out  'Examples' has been extended and links
to  private  collections  of  examples,  e.g.  by  Thomas  Breuer  and
Alexander Hulpke have been provided.

- Also the collection of material  from 'Talks and Preprints' has been
extended and reorganised.

- A  page  'History'  that   had  been  promised  in  several  release
announcements  now  collects manual  prefaces  etc  that document  the
growth of GAP.

- Of  course we have  tried to  update all  information and  to remove
obsolete one. If you note  remaining outdated statements or any errors,
I would be grateful for being alerted to it.

While  Ed Robertson  has already  acknowledged the  help  that several
colleagues have  given to the  making of the  new web site, I  want to
emphasize that also its further  maintenance and development will be a
cooperative effort: Frank Luebeck  will provide the information on the
status of  packages which from now  on by his  organisation of package
loading etc  should be kept  much more up  to date, Ed  Robertson will
look  after  the  'Teaching'  and  'Learning'  material,  and  further
colleagues from St Andrews, in particular John McDermott and Alan Cain
will look after  'Forum Archive' and 'Bibliography'. Last  not least I
hope for further  help by Max Neunhoeffer when  needed. He has already
provided me  with so nice  tools for maintaining  the web site  that I
have dared to accept starting  the maintenance even though I have five
left thumbs on each hand when it comes to work on a terminal.

Hoping that  you will  like the  new web site  and looking  forward to
suggestions and constructive criticism,

With kind regards        Joachim Neubueser

Prof. em. J. Neubueser
LDfM RWTH Aachen

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