Where can I get this version of Gap from, please.
----- Original Message -----
From: Steve Linton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Multiple recipients of list <GAP-Forum@dcs.st-and.ac.uk>
Sent: 27 July 1999 10:50
Subject: Release of GAP 4.1
> Dear GAP Forum,
> The GAP team are delighted to announce the release of GAP 4.1 -- the
> first version of GAP 4 to be released for general use. This version
> replaces all of the beta test and prerelease versions of GAP 4, continued
> use of which we do not recommend. For most purposes this version also
> replaces the final released version of GAP 3, version 3.4.4, and we would
> encourage GAP 3 users to move to GAP 4 at this stage, as that is where
> our development efforts will continue to be focussed.
> There are a few parts of the code and of the manual of GAP 3.4.4 that
> have not made it for this release, in most cases because work on their
> further improvement is still going on. We hope to include these in GAP4
> as soon as possible. These parts are listed at the end of this
> announcement, Similarly several of the share packages of GAP3 still have
> to be updated and linked to GAP4. We are working with the authors to
> ensure that these will be added as soon as possible. So users should be
> able to decide if they still have to continue using GAP 3.4.4 because
> they need some of these parts.
> At this time, the discussion forum `gap4', which was used by the GAP4
> beta testers will be merged with the Gap Forum (this will happen
> automatically, subscribers do not have to do anything), and discussion of
> GAP4 in the Forum is expressly encouraged.
> You can find detailed information about the new version on our World Wide
> Web site, which is located at
> with mirror sites at:
> http://www.math.rwth-aachen.de/~GAP/ Aachen, Germany
> http://mirrors.ccs.neu.edu/GAP/ Boston, USA
> Australian National University
> These sites are linked to the FTP archive from which you can download the
> software, which you can also find directly at ftp-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk in
> directory pub/gap/gap4.
> Note that you cannot upgrade a GAP 3 installation "in place" to GAP 4, as
> the structure of the directories has changed. You should install GAP 4
> separately. Beta testers should also note that some details of the
> installation procedure have changed since the last beta version.
> If you install GAP 4.1, please send a brief message to
> `email@example.com' confirming that you have done so. Please cite GAP
> in any publication resulting from its use. The correct form of citation
> can be found on the Web pages.
> GAP remains free and open software, full details of the Copyright can be
> found on the Web page, or in the included documentation. GAP is also
> highly extensible, and we actively support the contribution, refereeing
> and distribution of extensions to the system, in the form of ``share
> packages''. Once again, details can be found on the Web, or in the
> Following this release we expect (sadly) to release bugfixes from time to
> time. They will be announced on the GAP Forum. Please take note of these
> announcements and apply the bug fixes to your installation.
> Changes Since Earlier Releases
> The Web page http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/gap/Info4/changes.html (also
> on the mirror sites) contains a summary of the changes since the last
> beta release and of the most important changes between GAP 3 and GAP 4.
> The general philosophy of the changes since GAP 3 is two-fold. Firstly,
> many assumptions in the design of GAP 3 revealed its authors' primary
> interest in group theory, and indeed in finite group theory. Although
> much of the GAP 4 library is concerned with groups, the basic design
> now allows extension to other algebraic structures, as witnessed by the
> inclusion of substantial bodies of algorithms for computation with
> semigroups and Lie algebras. Secondly, as the scale of the system, and
> the number of people using and contributing to it has grown, some aspects
> of the underlying system have proved to be restricting, and these have
> been improved as part of comprehensive re-engineering of the system. This
> has included the new method selection system, which underpins the
> library, and a new, much more flexible, share package interface.
> Details of these changes can be found on the Web, or in chapter
> "Migrating to GAP 4" of the tutorial manual. It is perhaps worth
> mentioning a few points here.
> Firstly, much remains unchanged, from the perspective of the mathematical
> * The syntax of that part of the GAP language that most users need
> for investigating mathematical problems.
> * The great majority of function names.
> * Data libraries and the access to them.
> A number of visible aspects have changed:
> * Some function names that need finer specifications now that there are
> more structures available in GAP.
> * The access to information already obtained about a mathematical
> structure. In GAP 3 such information about a group could be looked
> up by directly inspecting the group record, whereas in GAP 4
> functions must be used to access such information.
> Behind the scenes, much has changed:
> * A new kernel, with improvements in memory management and in
> the language interpreter, as well as new features such as saving of
> workspaces and the possibility of compilation of GAP code into C.
> * A new structure to the library, based upon a new type and
> method selection system, which is able to support a broader range of
> algebraic computation and to make the structure of the library
> and more modular.
> * New and faster algorithms in many mathematical areas.
> * Data structures and algorithms for new mathematical objects, such as
> algebras and semigroups.
> * A new and more flexible structure for the GAP installation
> and documentation, which means, for example, that a share package and
> its documentation can be installed and be fully usable without any
> to the GAP system.
> A very few features of GAP 3 are not yet available in GAP 4.
> * Only a few of the GAP 3 share packages have yet been converted
> for use with GAP 4 (although several new packages are available
> only in GAP 4).
> * The Galois group determination algorithms which were
> implemented in the GAP 3 library are not present in GAP 4.
> * The algorithms for the factorization of polynomials over
> algebraic number fields which were implemented in the GAP 3 library
> are not present in GAP 4.
> * The library of crystallographic groups which was present in
> GAP 3 is now part of a share package `crystcat', which has been
> submitted for refereeing and is distributed with this release as a
> * The library of irreducible maximal finite integral matrix
> groups is not yet available.
> * The p-quotient and soluble quotient algorithms are
> implemented in the GAP 4 library, but those implementations are not
> yet described in the documentation. If you have a pressing need to
> them, please contact `gap-trouble'.
> * A few functions used in interactively constructing character tables
> which were present in GAP 3 are not in GAP 4.
> Remaining Issues with this Release
> Unfortunately, some work on the Reference manual was not completed in
> time for this release. As well as the missing chapters on the p-quotient
> and soluble quotient algorithms alluded to above, a number of other
> chapters, while present, are not as well written, clear or complete as we
> would like them to be. As far as we know, they do not contain actual
> errors. These chapters are labelled "Preliminary" and will be improved as
> soon as possible.
> It is our intention, in line with our emphasis on the extensibility of
> GAP to produce several items of new programmers documentation in the near
> future, to extend and supplement the present "Programming" and
> "Extending" manuals.
> Very many people have contributed to the development of GAP 4 over
> several years. This announcement is not the place to list all of them,
> but I must mention:
> Prof Joachim Neubueser -- who has led, inspired and driven GAP
> development since its inception in the mid 1980s
> Martin Schoenert -- who laid the foundations of many of the central
> concepts of GAP4, and wrote much of the kernel
> Frank Celler and Thomas Breuer -- who worked with Martin to refine the
> concepts, and did a lot of work on the library
> conversion to put them into practice
> Alexander Hulpke -- who coordinated the later part of the library
> conversion, and the beta testing, debugging,
> refinement and release of GAP 4.1
> Bettina Eick -- who all did large amounts of work on the library
> Volkmar Felsch and development
> Willem de Graaf
> Werner Nickel
> Andrew Solomon
> I should also like to thank all the GAP 4 beta-testers, package
> developers, manual proof readers and others who have given us extremely
> valuable and positive feedback.
> GAP development in St Andrews has been financially supported by the
> Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust,
> the European Commission (ESPRIT programme), the Royal Society of
> Edinburgh and the British Council, to all of whom we are very grateful.
> Development also takes place at other centres with support from other
> funding bodies.
> It finally remains for me to wish you all pleasure and success in using
> GAP, and to invite your constructive comment and criticism.
> St Andrews 26 July 1999 Steve Linton for the GAP Team