Last week I took part in the Collaborations Workshop 2015, organised in Oxford by the Software Sustainability Institute. It was an exciting event, with lots of productive discussions, interesting meetings and sharing best practices. Traditionally, the workshop is followed by the Hackday, and I’ve suggested to look at establishing an alternative Docker-based GAP distribution. Our team for the Hackday had three members: Devasena Inupakutika (Software Sustainability Institute), Sarah Mount (University of Wolverhampton), and myself. We created two repositories on GitHub: https://github.com/gap-system/gap-container with the script to build the GAP Docker container, and https://travis-ci.org/gap-system/gap-container-travis to test this container using Travis CI with the example of using GAP to calculate the number of possible states of the Rubik’s cube.
Continuing this work after the workshop, I’ve changed the example script to make reproducible the experiment from my earlier post here. It verifies the calculation from this paper by Jean-François Mestre, René Schoof, Lawrence Washington and Don Zagier (1993), which, as the authors mention in the conclusions, may potentially connect group theory with the P=NP conjecture. You may see the log file of this reproducible experiment at the Travis job here.
From now on, this should be the official GAP development repository, and the beta release of GAP 4.8 and all future versions of GAP will be made from this repository. It has an issue tracker to report on problems and suggest enhancements, and is accompanied by the new open GAP development mailing list (see the full announcement here).
Of course, GAP Forum and GAP Support are at your service as before, and there is a growing number of GAP questions at Mathematics Q&A site on StackExchange, and there is a GAP Twitter feed, extending our traditional email-based communication channels. A lot of development is happening in GAP packages, and some of them also host their development versions on GitHub and Bitbucket.
Let’s build a better GAP all together!!!