Opened 9 years ago

Closed 9 years ago

#7661 closed defect (fixed)

maxima interface gives precedence to function dictionary instead of local variables

Reported by: burcin Owned by: burcin
Priority: critical Milestone: sage-4.4
Component: interfaces Keywords: maxima
Cc: robert.marik Merged in: sage-4.4.alpha0
Authors: Burcin Erocal Reviewers: Robert Mařík
Report Upstream: N/A Work issues:
Branch: Commit:
Dependencies: Stopgaps:


From the sage-devel thread:

On Fri, 11 Dec 2009 13:46:31 +0100
Nathann Cohen <> wrote:

> sage: var('delta k')
> sage: m1=2*delta**2 + 2**2*delta*k
> sage: n=delta*k+2
> sage: m2=(2*delta)**2+(k-1)*4
> sage: m=(delta+delta*k-(delta-1))
> sage: ((m1/n)-(m2/n)).expand().simplify()

On 4.3.rc0, I get this:

TypeError: unsupported operand parent(s) for '*': 'Symbolic Ring' and
'<class 'sage.functions.generalized.FunctionDiracDelta'>'

The Maxima interface seems to give precedence to the global function dictionary instead of the local variables when converting Maxima output back to Sage expressions.

sage: dirac_delta(x)
sage: maxima(dirac_delta(x))

Attachments (2)

trac_7661-maxima_convert_back.patch (18.4 KB) - added by burcin 9 years ago.
trac_7661-maxima_convert_back.take2.patch (18.8 KB) - added by burcin 9 years ago.
apply only this patch

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (16)

comment:1 Changed 9 years ago by was

People run into this all the time, evidently:

[15:21] --> SageWWW has joined this channel (~SageWWW@
[15:23] <SageWWW> hey guys.  what do you think about
[15:24] <SageWWW> d = var('delta'), so now d is a reference to a sage.symbolic.expression.Expression
[15:25] <SageWWW> but when we try to add it to something else, it thinks its a sage.functions.generalized.FunctionDiracDelta
[15:27] <wstein>

comment:2 Changed 9 years ago by eigenlambda

sage: d = var('delta') sage: e = d._maxima_() sage: sage.calculus.calculus.symbolic_expression_from_maxima_element(e) dirac_delta

somewhere in symbolic_expression_from_maxima_element(), the string from maxima is looked up in sage.calculus.calculus._syms, which by default has 'delta': dirac_delta . So this is what's happening, next, SR() barfs on trying to turn dirac_delta into a symbolic expression, at which point people who just wanted their variable 'delta' back get confused and frustrated.

sage: del sage.calculus.calculus._symsdelta? sage: sage.calculus.calculus.symbolic_expression_from_maxima_element(e) delta

That may not be such a good idea, however, since what sage calls dirac_delta, maxima refers to as delta. Nevertheless, since reset('delta') appears to remove delta from that dictionary, perhaps var('delta') should also do so?

Of course, what happens when someone does a Laplace transform with delta as a sage variable will then come out confusing and wrong. At least the current behavior is merely broken.

comment:3 Changed 9 years ago by burcin

  • Authors set to Burcin Erocal
  • Priority changed from major to critical
  • Status changed from new to needs_review

attachment:trac_7661-maxima_convert_back.patch fixes the problem reported above, and a similar problem with function conversions back from maxima reported in comment:2:ticket:8459.

Changed 9 years ago by burcin

comment:4 Changed 9 years ago by burcin

I updated attachment:trac_7661-maxima_convert_back.patch to remove a doctest fix broken by a previous patch in my queue (#6949, symbol... line in sage/symbolic/ring.pyx).

This patch depends on #7748.

comment:5 Changed 9 years ago by robert.marik

Thanks for working onthis. Is #7748 the only prerequisity? I installed three patches as described at #7748 and got the following error

patching file sage/calculus/
Hunk #3 succeeded at 1414 with fuzz 1 (offset -4 lines).
Hunk #5 FAILED at 1455
1 out of 14 hunks FAILED -- saving rejects to file sage/calculus/
abort: patch failed to apply

comment:6 Changed 9 years ago by burcin

  • Owner changed from was to burcin

AFAICT, #8237 also changes that code. Can you try with #8237 applied?

I'm sorry for the dependency hell we get into with these patches for every release. I don't know any way to automatically get a list of dependencies for a patch in my queue.

Thanks for your time Robert.

comment:7 Changed 9 years ago by robert.marik

Hello Burcin

I think that two lines should be removed from the patch

global _syms 
_syms = sage.symbolic.pynac.symbol_table.get('maxima', {}) 

I updated your patch, it is now

If everything will work, I'll return in few (several) hours with positive review (tests in functions, interfaces, symbolics and calculus passed, now running all the test).


comment:8 Changed 9 years ago by burcin

OK. That is one approach to solving this problem. Now we need to rebase the patch at #8237 so that it applies on top of these. Removing the offending hunk from should be enough for that.

Note that your updated patch shows you as the author. I'd appreciate it if you changed that back.


comment:9 Changed 9 years ago by robert.marik

  • Status changed from needs_review to needs_work

Sure, it was intended as temporary patch and from this reason I did not upload to trac server unless tested. I got some doctest failures in three files. See and the files a, b and c.

I think that b is simple to fix, but have no idea about a and c.

comment:10 Changed 9 years ago by robert.marik

  • Cc robert.marik added

Changed 9 years ago by burcin

apply only this patch

comment:11 Changed 9 years ago by burcin

Thanks a lot for the quick feedback.

  • a is because you have the pynac package from #8644 installed, but not the corresponding patch from #8565.
  • b is a simple import problem, fixed by the updated attachment:trac_7661-maxima_convert_back.take2.patch
  • I can't reproduce c here. It doesn't seem to be related to the changes in ticket. Do you have any other patches applied?

comment:12 Changed 9 years ago by robert.marik

  • Status changed from needs_work to needs_review

I tested it on a fresh install and seems that all a,b,c are resolved. I am running all tests again, to be sure :)

comment:13 Changed 9 years ago by robert.marik

  • Reviewers set to Robert Mařík
  • Status changed from needs_review to positive_review

Tests passed, postive review, thanks for fixing - very very usefull ticket.

Release manager: apply only trac_7661-maxima_convert_back.take2.patch

comment:14 Changed 9 years ago by jhpalmieri

  • Merged in set to sage-4.4.alpha0
  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from positive_review to closed

Merged "trac_7661-maxima_convert_back.take2.patch" in 4.4.alpha0

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