Since no single way of printing things can be correct for all
applications, I suggest that different ways of printing objects be
implemented in GAP. This could for instance be done by means of a
global variable PrintLevel that controls the "exactness" of the
yes, however this is (unfortunately) a more general problem, which
occurs for various objects, some of which are internal. For instance,
for finite field elements in a prime field some people prefer n*Z(p)^0
or just n, for abstract words one might consider "*" superfluous,
there are various ways to print a matrix, etc. At the moment there are
some ad hoc solutions, but we are looking for a unified one.
Maybe the designers of GAP can think of a more elegant way for
selecting the desired type of output (instead of a global variable).
We are discussing ways to print/display/show/save objects, one idea is
that there might be a print function to get a representation which can
be read back, display and show functions for the user (whatever the
distinction between display and show is), and save functions to save
an object in a compact form. There is no finished concept at the
moment, and even if we agree on one it might take a while (GAP 4.x)
before it is implemented.
suggestions, ideas, comments welcome,