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Category: KAlgebra (Page 2 of 3)

Free Software Day

This saturday we will be celebrating the Software Freedom Day in Barcelona. I’ll be attending and I’ll talk about KDE and Education.

If you’re close and interested on the subject feel free to come and we will discuss anything you like! 🙂

See you there!


I haven’t found the laptop of my dreams yet (yes, I’m a romantic, probably I should write some series about How I Met My Laptop when I’m done) but life has not stopped, au contraire, it just kept moving on.

For starters, I spent last week with the KDE Edu and KDE Multimedia teams in Randa where we gathered to get our projects some steps forward. Personally it was a great experience, I was actually looking forward to discuss some issues with the KDE Edu people mostly and I think we did great, we’ll see how it turns out in the future but I’m quite optimistic about it :). Also I could meet Percy, our new KAlgebra contributor in person, so we could discuss about some technical issues we found and about how are we going to rule the world in the future. 😀
On the other hand, with my Kamoso developer hat on, it was a nice experience also to get to talk to some VLC developer to sort our problems out which is going to mean a new version soon. \o/ Great, and kudos to Alex who is doing some really tough work (VLC has bugs too! we had a hard time to realize that). And last but not least it was great to be able to show KDevelop to some KDE developers who had not realized its awesomeness yet, I even think I convinced some of them so, yay us!

Other than that, I keep working on my GSoC, I’ll have some flash visit home tomorrow and much more to come :D.

KAlgebra Everywhere

Today when I got home I felt like doing something big, something new and something fast. As many other times, this turned into some KAlgebra coding rush but today it was a bit different, because it involved a new project in KDE: Cantor.

So what happened? Cantor is an interface for mathematical engines (supports Maxima, Sage and R) that works on worksheets instead of just a console as we do in KAlgebra currently, like many other programs that you might know like Maple for instance. What I did was to implement a KAlgebra backend for Cantor.
I have to say it was quite straightforward. Alexander Rieder, the developer, has been helpful and everything worked fine, which is great and surprising for such a young project, so kudos for Cantor! 🙂

This backend already supports code completion, syntax highlighting and some embedded help, it doesn’t support plotting or latex exporting ¿yet? though, but I hope this will be added at some point. I’d like to remark that it’s good to have such backend because it makes Cantor a project that properly integrates the tools that KDE-Edu provides and doesn’t just rely on (probably better) choices from 3rd parties.

So now we have 4 KAlgebra interfaces: GUI, Console, Plasmoid and Cantor. What’s next?

Here you can see what it looks like:
Cantor with KAlgebra

Cantor with KAlgebra showing help


KDE for students

Last week Albert and I made a couple of talks related to KDE on the Térmens Lan Party event. One of these talks was about KDE-Edu. We reviewed every application one by one, showing some of their strengths.

There was a teacher in the audience (who is concerned about free software, afaik), he said that he was trying to get to use gnu/linux on his school but that he was facing some problems when it comes to use KDE.

One of the issues he mentioned (and that I don’t really know about) is the lack of accessibility tools, the other one is that KDE-Edu applications don’t really fit teachers needs.

It is this second point the one that I would like to focus now. We have quite good applications, but we developers (despite the ones that are both developers and teachers, of course) do what we ponder that’s useful, but not what it is in the actual classroom, so I just wanted to point out that we are open to requests, or at least I am.

In this direction, I wanted to mention that someone contacted me since he wanted to see some features happening on KAlgebra because of some study he is doing. I’m just mentioning that because it was a feature that I was not intending to add in a near future but that can indeed be useful in a real scenario, and it is implemented and hopefully will be in for KDE 4. Here you can see a screenshot of it and you can download and try it here if you wish, even if it is not ready still.

In conclusion, I just wanted to say that if you miss anything, just ask for it. If you don’t know what we have, just check all the (maybe too little) information we’re offering and if you want to contribute but you don’t feel like coding, you can help to improve this communication channel, that is actually failing, so that this education software reaches its goal, students.

KAlgebra release and further work

I didn’t plan to make an entry about the KDE 4.0 release, but I just realized something which is important to me. It is the first KAlgebra release into KDE, which is great because it will have a larger userbase and it lets me focus more on development instead of poking people to get the translations and packages :). Now I wonder if I still should update the berlios and kde-apps sites… I’ll think about it.

Said that, I’d like to thank all the people that have supported to get KAlgebra into KDE-Edu and have helped me through the way.

A week ago I was a bit worried, because I had exams. I said to myself “It won’t be nice if the next KAlgebra release, with KDE 4.1, looks all the same as the 4.0”. I really was! I had lots of plans in my head and I thought that I would find any time for KAlgebra. Well, since my last monday’s exam I have been working on KAlgebra, and I have been making some great changes (IMHO).

The first one is that I am adapting it to the MVC, so that we can share the variables and functions all over the session.

The second one is that I have been adding the possibility of using multiple types in KAlgebra expression, so that we can work with Real numbers and Vectors, Matrix and so. By now I only have the Vector support working, but I think it will be useful. 🙂

KDE-Edu meeting in Paris

Yesterday I came back from Paris, where i spent this weekend with the KDE-Edu guys, where we met to plan our world domination process.

Before the meeting, I had some doubts about it, I didn’t really know how could a meeting improve KAlgebra or overall KDE-Edu. Everyone can talk to me (by e-mail, irc, etc.) and if there is any issue that should be discussed, I am open to talking to everyone. The reality is far from that. Everything flows more naturally when talking face to face, and that’s what the meetings are for: talking, discussing, knowing people and getting yourself to be known to others. I think it was very healthy for KDE-Edu, it gave me another impression of the project and makes me feel more confortable with it.

Also I had been in a sort of creational crisis for some time, I didn’t have many ideas, but after talking to some people (more precisely Frederik, Benoit and Vladimir) I am more motivated to keep working on it, so that we can have a better KAlgebra for next releases.

Said that, now I am looking forward to KDE 4.1 mainly. I just have some little issues to be solved for the next 4.0 version and then I’ll get to work on the 4.1 version. I am not going to talk about these things now because they don’t exist now, but I will when they do for sure.

Just before getting back to work:
Je voudrais remercier Mandriva, Benoît, KDE ev et surtout, Anne-Marie pour avoir fait possible cette réunion.

Au revoir!

Akademy-es 2007

I spent this week end at the Akademy-es in Zaragoza. Besides the cold weather (much colder than here in the coast) it was awesome. The conference was hosted by Hispalinux and Zaragoza Wireless, and they offered us a big enough space, with good wifi connection and power to plug our laptops, just perfect.
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Back to blog

There has passed a lot of days since the last time I blogged. Meanwhile, I have been working on my Summer Of Code (which is CMake support for KDevelop). Now it seems to work, at least someone can load any KDE project and it loads successfully, and it should work with every CMake project, but I have used KDE as to test and it works, obviously there are some missing features but I am working on it to have them soon available.

The last few days I have been working on KAlgebra, I have brought support to piecewise to be able to run conditional operations which is quite good when someone work with libraries :). If someone want to try it just ask me and I will help you, I will give you just a couple of examples :).

fib:=n->piecewise { eq(n,0)?0, eq(n,1)?1, ?fib(n-1)+fib(n-2) }
fact:=n->piecewise { eq(n,1)?1, ? n*fact(n-1) }

The next days I would like to bring multiline input for KAlgebra (yes, have everything in 1 line is ugly) and I will add some new operators such as =,<,> etc to work with it.

See you!

Last exam

Well, today I have done my last exam for this term. And yes, that makes me very happy.

In the last days I’ve done some important changes to KAlgebra. Mostly I changed the Console so that it shows the output expressions in HTML instead of a QListWidget. You can see how does it look like here. Also I have fixed some (quite big) bugs, haven’t had more time for it.

In the other hand, I’ve been working on an initial view avout cmake variables for my summer of code, I’ll begin my rush with it these days… 🙂

And now, looking forward to the aKademy!!!

Updating myself

Something like a month has passed since the last time I posted and someone asked me for a little update, then here we go.

Last month some important things (in my KDE life) happened. The first one is that KAlgebra was moved to KDE-Edu leaving kdereview module. I’m feel very excited with that, I’ve worked a lot on it and i like that someone uses it. Said that, I’d like to thank Anne-Marie Mahfouf for supporting me and the KAlgebra idea. If someone wants to know more about KAlgebra, you can try it from svn :P. I’ll talk about KAlgebra in the Akademy’s Edu and School day.

The second one is that I’ve begun working on my Summer of Code project and it is taking shape.

My main problem now is that I’ll be very busy in the next 20 days. Next week I begin exams and they will last until the 25th.


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