[GAP Forum] The new GAP web site
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
- 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.
- 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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