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Monday, January 02, 2006

speedcrunch: the madness continues

What was intended to be a proof-of-concept has become the calculator of choice in the latest Kubuntu Breezy Badger. The next logical step is to let users of other platforms also have a chance to enjoy it.

Many have asked why I do not offer (and encourage) Windows version, as it is written in the website. This is a not technical matter as the code itself is as portable as I can make (sans compiler quirkness) and it does not depend on anything. But for once, the situation has changed since Trolltech released Qt 4 because now official GPL-ed Win32 edition of Qt is available. Johan Thelin has taken the task of porting it to Qt 4 and thus makes SpeedCrunch runs in Win32.

The next 0.7 series will hopefully feature Linux, Windows and Mac OS X version, essentially all platform where Qt is supported. So Window and Mac OS X users soon can also enjoy the keyboard-friendly calculator with 50 digits precision, variables support, color syntax highlight, functions autocomplete and calc-as-you-type (or on-the-fly calculation) convenience. Thanks to Johan, it will also sport the long-awaited optional keypad:

Until KDE 4 ready, SpeedCrunch will be Qt only. If you can't wait, then I highly recommend Michael Pyne's abakus. It is well integrated with KDE. Some goodies - among others the high-precision feature - are also in abakus as we share plenty of code.

And with the new year comes also the new maintainer. From the very long development time of version 0.6 (I still need to upload the final version, but Berlios seems to be down all time), I realized that I was doing it harm if I keep it that way. So finally, I passed the torch of SpeedCrunch to Johan and surely he would steward the development better than what I did. For the users, translators and contributors, I sincerely thank you and appreciate all your patches and feedback.

There are still tons of interesting ideas for this calculator: RPN support, user-defined function, more built-in functions, external plug-in, higher precision, common scientific constants, just-in-time compile, etc. So do not expect the madness to stop ...


Anonymous said...

Do you have any plans to make use of GNU Octave as a backend?
Octave currently doesn't have a gui AFAIK, so making a simple gui for it or even using it as the engine of SpeedCrunch will be a Good Thing(TM) that usual calculators don't and won't offer.

Ariya Hidayat said...

Wrapping Octave does not fit well into the SpeedCrunch's philosophy of simple desktop calculator.

However, I do very much agree that a Qt/KDE GUI front-end for Octave will be loved by many. Heck, perhaps such project exists already...