Monday, March 29, 2010

GCalctool 5.30

GCalctool 5.30 is now released. Gcalctool is the default GNOME calculator and this is also the default in Ubuntu.

Both GNOME and Ubuntu use a synchronised six month release cycle.

  • The great thing about regular releases is... Predictability!

  • The bad things is... You may not get all the features you wanted done in one cycle...

Here's my summary of what to expect in GCalctool 5.30.

The good:

  • The display now acts like a standard text entry (no obscure shortcut keys)

  • Equations look like correct mathematical syntax (π, |−4|, 6×10⁻², sin⁻¹ x, 2x²y, 3E₁₆)

  • Polynomials can be solved (x²+2x−4, (x+1)(x−2))

  • There is no limit on the number of variables (x=55, value=21)

  • Bases can be mixed in the same calculation and any base between 2 and 16 can be used (120₃+3E₁₆)

  • Units can be converted (3 feet in centimeters, 3.22 EUR in AUD)

  • The help is now topic based (Mallard format)

  • The UI has less visual clutter:

The bad:

  • Hexadecimal numbers are harder to enter (you need to explicitly add the base 16 suffix (Ctrl+H) to them).

  • Variables can't be removed (the workaround is to edit ~/.local/share/gcalctool/registers)

  • There is no support for functions (you should be able to enter f(x)=6x+2, f(3))

  • There is no GUI for non-currency conversions (use the keyboard)

  • Complex numbers weren't working in time for release:

The ugly:

  • Converting between number bases is unintuitive (enter number then press base buttons to change)

  • Programming mode is a mess of buttons (needs complete redesign for GNOME 3.0):

  • Financial mode is crying out for some graphs (it would be better to show financial models and adjust the values)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Simple Scan 0.9.6 (1.0 Release Candidate)

A few days ago I released simple-scan 0.9.6. This version is the 1.0 release candidate.

There are two things I'd like to fix before 1.0:

  • There may be some issues with scanning from an automatic document feeder (ADF). Please comment on bug 512553 if you are having problems. (I don't have an ADF to test).

  • The generated PDF files do not JPEG compress the images. This is because the Cairo renderer does not support it. If you know of a C accessible library that can do this or even how to hard code this (the PDF files are just a single image per page) then please comment on bug 534122.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010