Updated the Scientific Calculator "RINPn":
Added a Retractable Key-Panel, etc.
On Norvember, 11 we updated our scientific calculator app "RINPn" to Ver.0.9.4.
RINPn has not been released officially (the current stage is an open beta version), but already has enough quality for practical use. We are planning to release Ver1.0 officially, at the near the end of 2022.
Details of the Changes by This Update
This update contains various changes for both internal and external (UI) aspects, but the internal changes (refactoring, update of the script engine, and so on) don't so affect to userbility, so in this article, omit to explain details of them.
(If you want, you can check the list of the changes by the commit history on the source code repository.)
Instead, in this article, we introduce the changes of external aspects: new UI.
Added a "Retractable" Key Panel
The biggest change for the UI is a Key Panel, which is a panel on which numerical keys (1, 2, ...), math symbol keys (+, -, ...), and so on are aligned.
As you know well, almost all of real calculators have with key panels, but RINPn had not been equipped with the key panel until this update. It is because that, as one aspect of the initial concept, we designed the RINPn's window as minimal one, having only mandatory UI components.
RINPn has many powerful features, but we had wanted to keep the window simple as possible as, for not confusing users. Hence, initially, we designed the RINPn's window as key-panell-less, as the following:
We had considered that there is no problem for the above UI, because users can input any calculation expressions by using keyboard of their PC.
However, with using the open beta versions of RINPn by ourself, sometimes we felt that, we want to input expressions by clicking keys on the window, by mouse. It occasionally occurred even when we are using an USB numeric keypad.
For exploring details of the above psychological phenomenon, we made a prototype of the UI equipped with a key panel, and compared usability for both the key panel and the keyboard of the PC.
As the result, when the calculation expression is simple and short, we tend to felt that: the key panel is more easy to input it. In the contrast, when the calculation expression is long and complex, we felt that: the PC's keyboard is more easy to input it.
We don't know the reason of the above at all. But we think that, possibly, the "visual distance" between the display of the inputted content and components for inputting it, is related with a kind of psychological cost.
Thus, we added the key panel to the RINPn's window from this update, as follows:
As also explained in the comment in the above image, you can "retract" the key panel immediately by clicking "KEY-PANEL" switch, when you want to save space.
Also, as a secondary effect, we consider that the key panel gives easeness for users when they see the UI for the first time, because it looks like general real calculators. So the key panel will be displayed (expanded) by default.
Made the Window Resizable by Mouse-Dragging
The next topic is: resizable window.
From this version, we can resize the RINPn's window, by mouse-dragging edges or corners of the window:
This is the common feature in apps having windows, but it had not been supported on RINPn until this update.
There were no difficult somethings for realizing this feature, but we had pushed it to the back-burner, since it is not mandatory feature (because, we can also change the window size by modifying parameters in the configuration file instead).
Then, we determined to release this app officially in this year, so we have implemented this pended feature by this update.
"Script" Button: For Selecting And Executing a Script Easily
The next topic is: the new method to execute a script.
RINPn supports a scripting language "Vnano", having C-like simple syntax. By writing Vnano scripts, users can define original functions available in calculations, can perform long and complicated calculations automatically, and so on. Processing speed of Vnano scripting engine is fast (about GFLOPS), in the category of scripting languages. So it can withstand moderately heavy numerical computations.
However, until this update, for executing a script, we had been required to input the name or path of the script file manually, and then type enter key or press "=" button.
The above method is useful when an user execute the same script repeatedly. On the other hand, when we want to execute a script only once, it is a bother to input the file path of the script.
Hence, we added "Script" button to the key panel of the RINPn's window:
By clicking the above "Script" button, you can select a script file on GUI, and then the selected script will be executed.
In addition, the file name or path of the selected script file will be set to the "INPUT" text field automatically, so you can execute it again by simply type enter key or "=" button, without re-selecting the script.
That's all. If you have any interest in RINPn, Please feel free to try using it. You can download the latest version of RINPn in free anytime from: The RINPn Official Website.
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