Design Philosophy of Sage
William Stein realized several important facts when designing Sage.
* To create viable alternatives to Magma, Maple, Mathematica, and MATLAB, would take hundreds, or thousands of man-years if one started from the beginning.
* There was a large collection of open-source mathematics software already written, but which was written in different languages (C, C++, Fortran and Python being the most common).
So rather than start from the beginning, Sage which is written in Python and Cython integrates all their specialized mathematics software into a common interface. A user needs to know only Python.
Where no open-source option exists for a particular class of problem, then this would be written in Sage. But Sage does not reinvent the wheel. The same design philosophy is used in commercial mathematics program such as Mathematica, but Sage can use a much wider range of open source software solutions than nonfree software, since some open source licensing imposes restrictions on commercial use of code.
— Wikipedia on Sage (mathematics software)
2010.03.14 Sunday ACHK