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Giving Qalculate! a more professional look

  • Cousteau

    I was thinking that this program could optionally have an interface (nothing serious, just as a toy) similar to other programs such as Matlab or Maple. Something like

    this is, instead of deleting previous results, keep them on a scrolling area. Now we can compete against Maple :)

    Also, it would be nice to have some kind of scripting support. Right now I'm exploring the possibilities of writing some commands on a file called "file.qalc" and then running

    qalc < file.qalc

    This workaround does a good job, but there are several problems:
    * All results are shown, there's no way to prevent it (I would like something like "a:=3;" instead of "a:=3" to prevent echoing the result, like in Matlab)
    * Empty lines result in displaying "0=0".
    * There's no way to write comments.
    Also, some more advanced programming features would be great, such as advanced if/for statements (like "for(i:=0; i<10; i:=i+1) { op1; op2; op3…}"), function definitions, interactive data input… but IMO that's largely away from Qalculate!'s scope. Anyway, who knows how will this program be in the future? :)

    For now, I think that the "console mode" GUI I mocked up plus basic scripting capabilities would be useful for example to show how a physics problem is solved.

  • I'm personally not interested in all the advanced features of Qalculate (plotting, solving equations, calculus, etc.), and I am certainly not interested in adding more!  There are many other programs out there that do these things well already.  In my opinion, given the current level of developer support, I think we should be removing features to focus on the core of Qalculate, i.e. simple numerical calculator with strong support for units.  Of course, you can always write your own program(s) that use libqalculate for the core.


  • Cousteau

    I was actually looking for an open source alternative to a thermodynamics program called Engineering Equation Solver. Since Qalculate! is great for work with units, I thought it might be a good platform to begin with. But it needs some kind of scripting to work.

    Another option would be to build a front-end to qalc that runs the scripts, and optionally implements some sort of programming. Maybe Cantor already provides this. And another one is to make my own, as jjstickel suggests. I'll take a glance at libqalculate-dev.