Sunday, May 09, 2010

GCalctool 5.31.1

GCalctool 5.30 was a case of two steps forward, one step backwards as I didn't have the time to complete all the changes I had planned. GCalctool 5.31 has these changes. Note that this is an unstable release at the start of a development cycle; the design will be refined before the 6.0 release (GNOME 3.0).

Introducing basic mode:


The most noticable change is the use of colour thanks to a tip from Chris Lord.

I've also added memory operations and squares and square roots. I'm not sure if this is too much (or too little) for "Basic" - feedback welcome.

Advanced mode shows a lot more functions. Also of note is the ability to see angles in degrees at any time:


Programming and financial have similar changes but need more work. Number bases are easier to work with than in 5.30.

The internal changes that you can't see in a screenshot:
  • It now starts fast. Really fast.

  • It's a well behaved GTK+ application. This means that keyboard input and accessibility should work without any problems.

  • The code is modular. The calculator widget could be split out and used in other applications.

Please try it out! If you are using Ubuntu Lucid you can try it using the GCalctool PPA.

There are a number of design issues that I don't yet have good solutions for, ideas and mockups welcome:
  • I'm not sure of a good label for the memory buttons, the current labels don't feel right.

  • There's not a good way to delete variables/add new ones. I've been trying to integrate this into the popup menus (GTK+ is getting in my way).

  • The colours are done using primary colours and blending them with the GTK+ theme. I tried using Tango colours but they looked worse to me.

  • While removing the spacing between the buttons has reduced the optical illusion of the grid it still remains to some degree. I'm not sure if I can get around this without making custom widget (I'd like there to be no space between groups of buttons). Note the buttons do not have to be in a grid so please do a mockup if you have a good idea.

  • The programming bit editor is too big.

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