> < ^ Date: Fri, 06 Feb 1998 14:04:56 +0000 (GMT)
> < ^ From: Alexander Hulpke <hulpke@math.colostate.edu >
^ Subject: Release of GAP4, Beta 3

Dear Gap-Forum, Dear Gap4 list,

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

The GAP Team in Aachen and St. Andrews.

Release notes for GAP 4 Beta 3

This is the third beta release of GAP 4 (GAP4b3). Except for (hopefully not
necessary) bug fixes we are planning this to be the last beta release, to be
followed by the release of GAP 4.1 which we expect to be in early summer.

As there still is little documentation beginning users should probably not
yet change. If you are writing GAP code yourself, especially if you are just
starting larger projects, and if you are willing to experiment, it might be
well worth to start using GAP4 already now to save you converting your code

You can obtain GAP4b3 from the GAP Web pages


or from:

ftp-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk in the directory /pub/gap/gap4b3 or
ftp.math.rwth-aachen.de in the directory /pub/gap/gap4beta in the files

INSTALL, gap4b3.tar.gz, doc4b3.tar.gz
and (optional) tbl4b3.tar.gz.

(please allow the mirrors to pick up the changes over night.)

* The installation procedure has changed. Please read the file `INSTALL'. *

Since the release of Beta 2 a large amount of work has gone into fixing bugs
and improving implementations. All known library bugs are fixed.
The algorithms in this release should already
perform as in a ``real'' release. Therefore please report any bugs or cases
of suspected substandard performance to `gap-trouble'.

- We have started to use `GNU autoconf' to take care of the variations among
Unix systems.
- It is possible to save and load workspaces.
- There is a fast kernel arithmetic for GF(2)-vectors and matrices
- Conceptual problems with solvable permutation groups have been
- There is a new quick algorithm for automorphism groups of solvable
- The algorithms for subgroup lattice and normal subgroups have been
- The compatibility mode has been enhanced.
- Changes to the handling of the break loop
- A multitude of small changes.

So what is missing (or: why is this still a beta release)?

- Documentation. The released documentation has not changed much since 4b2.
This is due to the fact that various pieces of documentation have not yet
been integrated.
We are aware of the problems this poses for users and hope to remedy this
as soon as possible.

- Some routines for finitely presented groups. The quotient algorithms
are still not ready for release. We are confident, however to have
them in 4.1.

- Polynomials over algebraic extensions and code for the identification of
Galois groups: Here a redesign is planned. Therefore these routines are
not converted at the moment and probably will not make it for 4.1.

Renamings since 4b2:
IsIdentical -> IsIdenticalObj

GroupHomomorphismByImages now checks the homomorphism property. There is
GroupHomomorphismByImagesNC to avoid the checks.

The attributes for stabilizer chains are now called `StabChainMutable' and

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