> < ^ Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 14:57:24 +0100
> < ^ From: Alexander Hulpke <hulpke@math.colostate.edu >
^ Subject: Announcement: GAP-3.4.4

Dear GAP-Forum!

This is to announce the release of the fourth upgrade for GAP 3.4:
Patchlevel 4 (GAP-3.4.4 for short). The priority of this upgrade is high.

This is the first release of GAP from St Andrews. In the two years since the
release of GAP V3R4P3, most of the efforts of the GAP team in Aachen have been
devoted to the forth-coming major release, GAP 4.1, which will feature a
re-engineered kernel with many extra facilities, a completely new scheme for
structuring the library, many new and enhanced algorithms and algorithms for
new structures such as algebras and semigroups.

While this was going on, however, our users were not idle, and a number of bugs
and blemishes in the system were found, while a substantial number of new or
improved share packages have been submitted and accepted. Once it was decided
that the computational algebra group at St Andrews would take over GAP
development, we agreed, as a learning exercise, to release a new upgrade of GAP
3.4, incorporating the bug fixes and new packages.

Assembling the release has indeed been a learning experience, and has, of
course, taken much longer than we hoped. The release incorporates fixes to all
known bugs in the library and kernel.
We append a list describing all the changes in detail.

You will find the new version on the GAP Web site and its mirrors:


in the file: Info/distrib.html

You can also find it via ftp from one of the following servers:

School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences,
University of St Andrews, Scotland
directory '/pub/gap/gap/'.

Lehrstuhl D fur Mathematik, RWTH Aachen, Germany,
directory '/pub/gap/'.

Math. Dept., Univ. of California at Los Angeles,
directory '/pub/gap/'.

Math. Archives, Washington Univ. at St. Louis,
directory '/edu/math/software/multi-platform/gap'.

PSU Mathematics Department, Portland State Univ.,
directory '/mirror/gap/'

School of Mathematical Sciences, Australian National Univ.,
directory '/pub/algebra/gap/'.

Note that some of the mirrors may take a few days to pick up the full
distribution as it is very large.

Despite the tribulations of this release, we are looking forward to taking over
a central role in GAP development in the future, and to working with the users
and contributors who are so essential a part of making GAP what it is.

St. Andrews, April 22.,  1997

Alexander Hulpke
Steve Linton
Werner Nickel


What's new in GAP 3.4.4 ?

-- and what is still the same?

Compared to GAP 3.4.3 the size of GAP 3.4.4 has more than doubled. This sounds
impressive but is also a bit frightening. This document lists the changes
from version 3.4 patchlevel 3 to 3.4 patchlevel 4 and explains which parts of
GAP 3.43 have hardly (or not) changed at all.

The first fact about GAP 3.4.4 and perhaps the most important one is that the
kernel has remained almost untouched. Two bugs have been fixed. Both bugs
are not dangerous in the sense that they could not produce wrong results
without warning. Therefore, it is not strictly necessary to recompile the GAP
kernel when you upgrade your GAP installation from 3.4.3 to 3.4.4. The first
bug affects the break loop -- it was possible in 3.4.3 to access incomplete
GAP data structures from within the break loop. In most cases this causes GAP
to crash. The second bug affected the order of evaluation of arguments to
internal list functions and could also lead to a crash of GAP.

The following lists the subdirectories in GAP 3.4.3 and GAP 3.4.4 together
with their sizes to give some impression of why GAP 3.4.4 is so much bigger
than GAP 3.4.3. Note that there are some directories which are new in GAP

  Directory  3.4.3       3.4.4
     doc      3321       10053
     etc      2506        2559
     grp      2672        6776
     lib      6009        4792
     pkg     12492       38639
     src      3738        3747
     tbl      9406        9598
     thr        50          53
     tom      1451        1430
     two      2294        2259
     htm                  5321       HTML version of the manual
     sml                 12470       groups of order less than 1000
     tst                    67       test files
     utl                   400       unzoo & patch
The Macintosh version

Burkhard H"oflings port of GAP for MacOS has been integrated into the GAP
distribution. It needs files in addition to the files in src which are in the
a subdirectory called macsrc.

Changes to the GAP library

Since the release of GAP 3.4.3 29 bugs in the GAP library have been identified
and fixed. The bug fixes were sent to the GAP-Forum. All these bug fixes are
incorporated into GAP 3.4.4.

In addition to that, the functionality of the GAP library has been improved
and extended. Comparing the files init.g in GAP 3.4.3 and GAP 3.4.4 giives a
quick overview over new functions.

The changes to the library include:

The Tietze transformation package has been extended and now allows to track
the history of generators through a series of Tietze transformations and to
protect individual generators from being removed.

New routines for working with matrix groups over finite fields (by
Frank Luebeck) which drastically improve the performance.

Speedups to the list handling routines by using more kerner functions
(by Jean Michel)

Several improvements and bugfixes in the routines for handling and
constructing character tables.

Routines for constructing character tables by the use of Clifford matrices
(by Ute Schiffer)

Improval of the routines for constructing special Ag systems.

Improved and streamlined code for the isomorphism and automorphisms search

Improvements of the algorithms for polynomial factorization.

Changes to the documentation

Manuals for the new share packages have been included and manuals for the
updated share package have been replaced. The complete GAP manual is now
about 1600 pages long -- probably too much to print it all. There is now an
HTML version of the manual in the subdirectory htm.

Changes to the data libraries

The data libraries have been extended

-- to the transitive groups of degree less than 24,
-- by the groups of order less than 1000
(except those of order 512 and 768)
-- by new character tables

The new transitive groups are included in the subdirectory grp. The groups of
order less than 1000 are in the new subdirectory sml. The changes to the
character tables affect the subdirectory tbl.

The tables of markes (subdirectory tom), the library of 3-groups (thr) and the
library of 2-groups (two) are identical with the respective libraries in GAP

Changes to the share packages
Various share packages have been added or replaced older versions. Details
can be found in the respective sections of the manual:

'autag': for computing the automorphism groups of soluble groups;

'CHEVIE': for computing with finite Coxteter groups, Hecke algebras,
Chevalley groups and related structures, replacing 'weyl';

'CrystGAP': for computing with crystallographic groups;

'glissando': for comnputing with near-rings and semigroups;

'grim': for computing with rational and integer matrix groups;

'kbmag': linking to Knuth-Bendix package for monoids and groups;

'matrix':     for analysing matrix groups over finite fields, replacing
              'smash' and 'classic';

'pcqa': linking to a polycyclic quotient program;

'specht': for computing the representation theory of the symmetric
group and related structures; and

'xmod': for computing with crossed modules.

  Directory         Status        Superseded by           Replaced
    anupq           updated
    autag           new
    chevie          new                                      weyl
    cryst           new
    gliss           new
    grape           updated
    grim            new
    guava           updated
    kbmag           new
    matrix                                                  smash
    pcqa            new
    specht          new
    xmod            new
smash                           matrix
weyl                            chevie

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