> < ^ Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 15:13:31 +0000 (GMT)
> < ^ From: Alexander Hulpke <hulpke@math.colostate.edu >
^ Subject: Announcement GAP 4 beta 5

Dear Gap-Forum,

We have released a new beta version of GAP4. This mail contains the
announcement and information on how to obtain this version.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

The GAP Group in Aachen and St. Andrews.

PS: Please note that due to the Christmas Holidays there will be very few
people around over the next weeks and thus it may take a while until we will
respond to error reports or problems.

              Release notes for GAP 4 beta 5

This is the fifth beta release of GAP 4 (GAP 4b5).

GAP4 is available for UNIX and 32 bit Windows. We are still working on
compiling a Macintosh version and hope to have it available soon.

Again we would like to encourage users starting new projects, or
developing code that they expect to be using for some time to consider
moving to GAP 4 at this point if they have not already done so.

We would also encourage all GAP users to try out the new version and
let us know how you get on. We are especially interested in bug
reports (or bug fixes), of course, but we would also like to hear your
general views of the system, suggestions for improvement (patches that
improve it are even nicer, naturally), and so forth.

We are also interested in trying to quantify and improve the
performance of the system. "Real-world" benchmarks that let us compare
run-times with older and newer versions of the system, or with GAP3
(where relevant) are of interest.

While this is still a beta version we will endeavour not to do any
incompatible changes to the user interface. The actual algorithms used
may change, but the specification of the operations which are
documented in the manual should not.

You can obtain GAP4b5 from the GAP Web pages:

Europe (UK, master):
Europe (D, mirror):
USA (mirror):
Australia (mirror):

or from one of the following ftp servers:

Note that it might take a day or so for the mirrors to pick up the new

A list of changes since beta 4 can be found at

Though we don't put bugs in intentionally, there doubtlessly will be
bugfixes. We will announce these in the GAP-Forum and you can find them in
the `bugfixes' directory of the ftp servers as well.

If you are an experienced GAP3 user new to GAP4 we suggest you read the
Chapter on ``Migration to GAP4'' of the tutorial for a summary of changes
from GAP3 to GAP4.

Contributed Packages

System changes from GAP3 make it much easier to integrate contributed
packages into GAP4 without having to release a new version of GAP
(mainly, each package has its own manual). This will, we hope, enable
us to release GAP4 versions of a number of GAP3 share and deposited
packages over the next months. Users who develop GAP programs that
might be of wider interest are encouraged to consider submitting them
to be refereed for "publication" as share packages. See the web pages
for details.

Email Addresses 


If you install GAP4b5, please send a short message telling us that you
have done so, and perhaps the type of computer/OS that you are using
and the broad mathematical area that you expect to use GAP in to
gap@dcs.st-and.ac.uk. This helps give us an idea of our user base.


If you have a specific problem or query that does not seem likely to
be of wider interest, or a message for the "GAP team", please send it
to gap-trouble@dcs.st-and.ac.uk, rather than to individual members of
the team.

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