I blogged about Sage in the past and stated that I won’t be using it much since `R`

is my language/environment of choice. This is still true, but I wanted to write a few more comments about Sage after toying with it a bit more.

Sage is based on Python (good!) and its mission statement is

Mission: Creating a viable free open source alternative to Magma, Maple, Mathematica and Matlab.

I like it. If I need to solve an equation, factor, do partial fraction decomposition, do Taylor expansions, find derivatives, integrate, and all else math, Sage is there for me. It’s both free (open-source) and easy to use. The learning curve is pretty low if you want to do basic things like create examples for teaching Calculus. Plotting is also great but R is superior in my opinion. Sage graphics outperforms R graphics in one respect: it can include and display LaTeX equations natively (uses `matlibplot`

, which is based on GNU-plot, I think). Sage also displays the vertical and horizontal axes in the center of a plot, similar to the graphs in textbooks I grew up with. Sage graphics seems more geared towards teaching whereas R is geared towards professional publishing.

Personally, I’ll use Sage when I teach stuff like Calculus where I need plots with axes and all other math features that R isn’t built for.

There is a sage mode for emacs, however, is in alpha mode as of now, so the features aren’t comparable to ESS is for R.

Another great thing about Sage is it has a notebook GUI that allows it to be run inside a web browser. Therefore, you can run a Sage server that allows users run Sage interactively! See this for example. You can run `notebook()`

on your own computer or create an account on the previous site to test it out