[LON-CAPA-admin] 2.4.0 Maxima issues

Stuart Peter Raeburn raeburn at msu.edu
Wed Jun 13 22:41:25 EDT 2007

Hi Stefan and Peter, 

I would recommend downloading the new version of LON-CAPA (2.4.1) which  
includes (among other thiings) some changes to lonmaxima, loncontrol and 

The changes to these modules address the situation where 
Expect->soft_close() and/or Expect->hard_close() fail to terminate maxima 
client processes.  Now in 2.4.1, maxima lisp processes which are no longer 
needed are killed off directly, instead of via Expect.pm. 

LON-CAPA version 2.4.1 is available from:

Download and extract the contents of the tar file.  Then
cd loncapa-2.4.1

Once the update is complete restart loncontrol and httpd
/etc/init.d/loncontrol restart
/etc/init.d/httpd restart 

Before restarting loncontrol you may want to terminate any long-running 
maxima clients which Expect previously failed to kill, and which are still  
consuming CPU resources. The log-in page on polya reports a load of 350%  
which suggests that there are some of these unresponsive maxima clients 
still running on your library server.  Use 

ps -ef |grep maxima 

to identify the process IDs (pid) for any long-lived maxima client processes 
which are consuming resources, and have failed to terminate.  Look for: 

www       pid  .....
/usr/lib/maxima/5.11.0/binary-clisp/lisp.run -q -M 

(where pid is the processID) and use kill -9 pid to kill the process. 

Once these have been cleaned up restart loncontrol.
The output from lon-status on polya suggests that you have downgraded to 
maxima 5.9.2 as a way to get LON-CAPA problems requiring maxima to work on 
your FC5 server. 

Stuart Raeburn

Stefan Bisitz writes: 

> Hi there, 
>> New Version 2.4.0
>> - computer algebra system maxima available to homeowkr problems,
>>    - added tags <mathresponse> <mathhint> to use maxima for grading
>>    - <formularesponse> without sample points uses maxima to grade formulas
> Happy to read this but this doesn't work on our server :-( 
> We installed LON-CAPA 2.4.0 on our Fedora 5 server and checked the new
> problem templates. All these problems which use maxima are NOT working: 
> 1) Formula Response using Computer Algebra System:
> ERROR:Computer's answer is incorrect ("5*a*x^4"). 
> 2) Formula Response using Computer Algebra System and Hints:
> ERROR:Computer's answer is incorrect ("16t^3,42t^6"). 
> 3) Math Response using Computer Algebra System and Hints:
> Enter "x"
> Feedback message: "Unable to understand formula" 
> Maxima details (called maxima via shell):
> Maxima 5.11.0 http://maxima.sourceforge.net
> Using Lisp GNU Common Lisp (GCL) GCL 2.6.7 (aka GCL) 
> We are concerned that the old issues with wrong lisp version, Expect.pm
> etc. still might exist.
> What do you think? What do you know? 
> Stefan Bisitz and Peter Riegler 
> _______________________________________________
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> LON-CAPA-admin at mail.lon-capa.org
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