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 Â¿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:
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. 🙂
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, BenoÃ®t, KDE ev et surtout, Anne-Marie pour avoir fait possible cette rÃ©union.