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newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-10-25]
09-22-2017, 09:49 PM (This post was last modified: 09-22-2017 09:50 PM by Neve.)
Post: #141
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-22-2017 09:32 PM)Luigi Vampa Wrote:  Gents, "mea culpa", I started this little mess. I should have read Neve's posts more carefully. Arrrgh, sometimes I have a big-mouth :.!
Please, let's stop here.
This thread is really worthy.
Big thanks :0)

PS: Caro Claudio, sono desolato :./
Don’t worry Luigi, I’m good with this. No need to apologize (at least not to me.)
I also agree that this argument is totally useless, childish and counter productive.
That’s the reason I’m not even answering and arguing anymore about it.
We all have made our point of view clear. Let’s leave it at that.

I hope my suggestions will be heard in the future as I would really like to be able to install it and finally use it.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to think that.
Think positive! Smile

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09-22-2017, 09:57 PM
Post: #142
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
Excellent, back to the technical stuff...

(09-22-2017 08:29 PM)Neve Wrote:  Nope, that I am definitely not indeed. I’m a system engineer and IT executive. I do like many things. But what I do not like is the interface that I find to crowded with two menu lines which, to me, are useless. I understand how it can be appealing to you or to some people. But on a screen that is already not that large, it’s not something I appreciate. Especially when you get older and when smaller fonts are becoming harder to read under low light conditions. Under normal conditions when you actually want smaller fonts, I can’t use flags to make the change, because these flags are not available.

I think you misunderstood. There's no flag to change the font, there's several commands. The fonts have names, not flag numbers. There's no "mini font" and "large font" like it used to. Now there's two 5-pixel fonts, two 6-pixel fonts, one 7-pixel font and four 8-pixel fonts you can pick and choose freely to use on every part of the screen. That's what's in ROM, also users can modify and use user fonts freely. You can install/uninstall any font like in a PC and use it independently on any part of the screen.
You can have different fonts for: First level of stack, other levels of the stack, menus, status area, command line editor, plots and applications (Forms, soon to be).

You don't like the second menu? No problem, just press On-VAR for a second and the second menu is gone. Not so crowded anymore.
Menu font too small for you? Just use the 7-pixel font for the menus, looks great.
Menus too black for you? flags -15 and -16 will turn them white.

How's that for freedom of choice?

(09-22-2017 08:29 PM)Neve Wrote:  Speaking of flags (but not only), as a general rule, I don’t like when options are removed and things are imposed. I like to have the ability to choose. If you want to make something better, and you have in more ways than I can list, don’t impose what works “for you”, or what doesn’t bother you, on others if you want to reach a broader public. Remember that, as a developer, you need to adapt your work to the need of the users not ask the user to get use to whatever vision you have of what they need. That sounds more like the Apple/Steve Jobs approach: “tell us what you don’t need, and will make sure you’ll need and impose them”

You are again misinformed. Flags that were removed were replaced with more powerful functionality. For example, on the 50g you can control a few modes to display numbers. On newRPL you have full control:
There's 3 formats active at all times, big numbers, normal numbers and small numbers. You can define the format freely for the 3 formats (they can also be the same), you can have big numbers presented in SCI or ENG format, while smaller numbers displayed normally, and tiny numbers back to SCI format. You control the number of digits, separator characters, everything you can possibly change on a number's presentation. But... not with flags, there's a SETNFMT command that takes the format in a much better way.
Want another example? Coordinate system: RECT/POLAR. The flag no longer exist, because it's a property of the numbers/vectors themselves. You can have complex numbers in rectangular or polar coordinates simultaneously on the stack. Convert to/from polar/rect affects only the number/vector you want to convert, not all of them.
More freedom of choice, not less.
Another one? Base BIN/HEX/OCT/DEC no longer exists as flags. An integer number can have any base, it's a property of the number, not a system-wide flag. So you can be doing calculations in hexa, then throw in a number in binary and every number stays in the base you typed it. Again, more choice, not less.
I'm not sure which flags you refer to when you say newRPL imposes things (I'd like more specific examples), but I think you just got it all backwards. I'm with you when it comes to more freedom, and I don't think newRPL imposes much of anything, it's an environment as open or more than the original. The whole point is to improve on the original, not make it worse.


(09-22-2017 08:29 PM)Neve Wrote:  That includes the keyboard changes. Because, on top of having to learn (again) a somewhat different system rebuilt from the ground up, I don’t need nor want to have to remember what keys does what, just because they are now wired differently. That, to me, is another huge minus.
In other words: Freedom and flexibility.
I hope this all makes sense.

Makes a lot of sense, but it's like you are talking about a different project.
The keyboard is quite faithful to the original layout, with one exception: The 6 keys now used for the second menu.
The main relocation was the STO key, moved to HIST. That's what everybody struggles with (myself included, but not anymore).
The other keys are of no consequence, since there's no APPS menu, no FILER, etc. in newRPL (as of now, there might be a filer in the future)
Everything else in those keys was moved to the cursor keys. Now you can define the selection and do cut/copy/paste with the cursors, as well as UPDIR and HOME.
Defining the selection with the cursors is more natural, like on a PC, and efficient (usually you need to move the cursor to the position where the selection starts, so why not mark the block with the same key?).
By the way, cut/copy/paste is way more powerful than the 50g, works on the stack, the interactive stack and the editor, so you can put an object from the stack on the clipboard, then paste it in the editor as text and vice versa. And I keep repeating the same thing: more freedom.
Everything else in the keyboard stayed the same, all the symbols, trig and hyperbolic functions, even the UNITS menu at number 6, etc.
The Alphanumeric mode was revamped but it's still the old Alpha mode with alpha lock selected and a few visual hints.
So once you remember where STO is, everything else is roughly the same, save that you now have 6 keys dedicated to the second menu.
There's new functionality in some keys, which is not painted on the keyboard but that doesn't count as "relocation". For example now you have 8-level stack undo/redo on the left cursor which is extremely useful. You can undo menus as well with the UNDO key (each menu separately) many levels, unlike the old single-level hold-PREV. More freedom, more freedom.

So the key assignment is not as crazy as you paint it, it's mainly STO and the cursors that moved. I use a stock 50g and one with newRPL side by side every day and I can switch back and forth with no trouble. I do miss the stack undo on the stock 50g, it's one of the features that I use most.
In the end: like you said, freedom and flexibility.
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09-22-2017, 10:25 PM (This post was last modified: 09-22-2017 10:26 PM by Neve.)
Post: #143
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-22-2017 09:57 PM)Claudio L. Wrote:  Excellent, back to the technical stuff...
So the key assignment is not as crazy as you paint it, it's mainly STO and the cursors that moved. I use a stock 50g and one with newRPL side by side every day and I can switch back and forth with no trouble. I do miss the stack undo on the stock 50g, it's one of the features that I use most.
In the end: like you said, freedom and flexibility.

Ok. I’ll give it another try with your suggestions. I hope my mind will change for the better!
As for the stack undo, I hope you’ll implement that in the future.
So where did the HIST go key?

PS: Even though I do love the 50g for being the most “powerful” real RPN pocket computer out there I do have to admit that my 2 main calculators are an HP41C (soon to become a CL) and an HP41CX, which are my preferred calculators of all times. Hell, I grew up with these!

On a side note, would it be possible to have a mode where the stack would act like the one on the 41? For example, on a 41 typing 25->Enter->* would give you 625.0000. But I guess that wouldn’t be RPL anymore....

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09-22-2017, 10:33 PM
Post: #144
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
One advantage of the way flags work is that not only do they let you set values for configurations, but they also allow you to programmatically query what the current configuration is.

I apologize in advance if what I am about to ask is irrelevant (I haven't yet had the time to figure out how to use newRPL!), but does NewRPL provide the ability to programmatically determine things like the current font size and the current default base? If so, then there is absolutely no need for flags for those like the 49/50 have. If not, then that might be an area where some improvement could be made.

Also, after I installed newRPL 0.9a on Windows 10, the only thing it added to its Start menu group was the Uninstall shortcut -- it didn't create a shortcut to run the actual newRPL program from. I don't know if this is a problem with my system or a bug in the installer, but I thought I'd point it out.
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09-23-2017, 12:17 AM
Post: #145
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-22-2017 10:25 PM)Neve Wrote:  Ok. I’ll give it another try with your suggestions. I hope my mind will change for the better!
As for the stack undo, I hope you’ll implement that in the future.
So where did the HIST go key?

Hehe, another confusion. I meant I miss the stack undo on the stock firmware when I use my other 50g, because when I use newRPL I use it all the time, just press left on the stack to go to the previous state of the stack, right-shift and left will do REDO. It's handy.

I always thought HIST was a wasted key, so there's no HIST for now. If somebody feels the need for it, can request it and will be added. What I do miss is CMD sometimes (to recall the last 4 things you typed) so it will be implemented (no time frame). UNDO on the HIST key is now the menu UNDO (rs-HIST does one menu, rs-hold-HIST does the other), while the stack UNDO stays at the left cursor, more accessible and intuitive, you just "go back".

(09-22-2017 10:25 PM)Neve Wrote:  PS: Even though I do love the 50g for being the most “powerful” real RPN pocket computer out there I do have to admit that my 2 main calculators are an HP41C (soon to become a CL) and an HP41CX, which are my preferred calculators of all times. Hell, I grew up with these!

On a side note, would it be possible to have a mode where the stack would act like the one on the 41? For example, on a 41 typing 25->Enter->* would give you 625.0000. But I guess that wouldn’t be RPL anymore....

On an RPL machine, pressing Enter compiles the text in the command line and puts the result in the stack. The text is gone at this point so * has only one argument to work with.
While there could be a way of "fooling" the system to recreate the RPN effect, storing the 25 on a temporary place or something, the behavior is not really defined when you put more than one object on the command line. If you type 1 2 3, then Enter, *, what is * supposed to do? { 1 2 3 } * { 1 2 3 } ? or 2*3? or 3*3?. This is the only excuse why an RPL machine can't work like an RPN does.
But, I guess a classic RPN mode could be done, limiting the stack depth, and limiting input to a single number at a time. Actually, newRPL is an open core, a single library could define an entire RPN calculator, with all its opcodes. All it needs is an accompanying GUI to match the RPN mode.
At one time I looked at the source code of the WP34s, to see how hard would it be to put it into a newRPL library, and have a WP34 mode inside newRPL. Before you get your hopes too high, it would be a lot of work, but an integrated project like this could be just what the community needs.
Imagine one firmware running on popular hardware (now 50g, perhaps Prime in the future), that can mimic the best RPN and the best RPL calculator. You choose the mode of operation depending on what you are doing that day, just hit one key and you are in the other mode.
For developers, it means less divided efforts, we all work on the same core and make improvements to both modes.
But for now I'm just dreaming out loud... newRPL is still incomplete, it needs to be completed before we can think of implementing those "extras".
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09-23-2017, 12:27 AM
Post: #146
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-22-2017 10:33 PM)Eric Rechlin Wrote:  One advantage of the way flags work is that not only do they let you set values for configurations, but they also allow you to programmatically query what the current configuration is.

I apologize in advance if what I am about to ask is irrelevant (I haven't yet had the time to figure out how to use newRPL!), but does NewRPL provide the ability to programmatically determine things like the current font size and the current default base? If so, then there is absolutely no need for flags for those like the 49/50 have. If not, then that might be an area where some improvement could be made.
Completely relevant. Everything that's not done with flags has commands to set and get the configuration, including number format, fonts, etc. As a matter of fact, there's no GUI yet to select anything, so everything *is* programmatic at this point.
Now you mentioned the default base: there's no default base, each number can have its own base, the system will not add it for you. You specifically have to give a base: #3h.

(09-22-2017 10:33 PM)Eric Rechlin Wrote:  Also, after I installed newRPL 0.9a on Windows 10, the only thing it added to its Start menu group was the Uninstall shortcut -- it didn't create a shortcut to run the actual newRPL program from. I don't know if this is a problem with my system or a bug in the installer, but I thought I'd point it out.

That's strange. I created the installer using the open source Excelsior installer, and tested it before uploading. It created a desktop icon, and inside the menu group there's the uninstaller and the actual program. I'm also using Windows 10 on this machine. Perhaps uninstall and try again?
If not then I'll have to perhaps start using a different installer creator software.

By the way, I forgot to mention to everybody reading this thread that I updated both the simulator and the ROMs to build 916, and named it Alpha 0.9a.
It's far more stable than 0.9 so I thought to make an official release.
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09-23-2017, 01:14 AM
Post: #147
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-23-2017 12:17 AM)Claudio L. Wrote:  Hehe, another confusion. I meant I miss the stack undo on the stock firmware when I use my other 50g, because when I use newRPL I use it all the time, just press left on the stack to go to the previous state of the stack, right-shift and left will do REDO. It's handy.

Fair enough.

(09-23-2017 12:17 AM)Claudio L. Wrote:  I always thought HIST was a wasted key, so there's no HIST for now. If somebody feels the need for it, can request it and will be added.

I don’t feel that way about the HIST key, and I like keys to behave according to what’s actually printed on them.

(09-23-2017 12:17 AM)Claudio L. Wrote:  What I do miss is CMD sometimes (to recall the last 4 things you typed) so it will be implemented (no time frame).

Yes, that would be nice.

(09-23-2017 12:17 AM)Claudio L. Wrote:  UNDO on the HIST key is now the menu UNDO (rs-HIST does one menu, rs-hold-HIST does the other), while the stack UNDO stays at the left cursor, more accessible and intuitive, you just "go back".

I’ll have to see how this works to forge myself a better opinion...

(09-23-2017 12:17 AM)Claudio L. Wrote:  On an RPL machine, pressing Enter compiles the text in the command line and puts the result in the stack. The text is gone at this point so * has only one argument to work with.
While there could be a way of "fooling" the system to recreate the RPN effect, storing the 25 on a temporary place or something, the behavior is not really defined when you put more than one object on the command line. If you type 1 2 3, then Enter, *, what is * supposed to do? { 1 2 3 } * { 1 2 3 } ? or 2*3? or 3*3?. This is the only excuse why an RPL machine can't work like an RPN does.
But, I guess a classic RPN mode could be done, limiting the stack depth, and limiting input to a single number at a time. Actually, newRPL is an open core, a single library could define an entire RPN calculator, with all its opcodes. All it needs is an accompanying GUI to match the RPN mode.
At one time I looked at the source code of the WP34s, to see how hard would it be to put it into a newRPL library, and have a WP34 mode inside newRPL. Before you get your hopes too high, it would be a lot of work, but an integrated project like this could be just what the community needs.
Imagine one firmware running on popular hardware (now 50g, perhaps Prime in the future), that can mimic the best RPN and the best RPL calculator. You choose the mode of operation depending on what you are doing that day, just hit one key and you are in the other mode.
For developers, it means less divided efforts, we all work on the same core and make improvements to both modes.
But for now I'm just dreaming out loud... newRPL is still incomplete, it needs to be completed before we can think of implementing those "extras".

I can see you’re moving in the right direction!! That would be definitely awesome to have, let’s say, an entire HP41 with all it’s modules running on a 50g or on a Prime!!!
That would be the best next thing!!!

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09-23-2017, 04:50 AM
Post: #148
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-23-2017 01:14 AM)Neve Wrote:  That would be definitely awesome to have, let’s say, an entire HP41 with all it’s modules running on a 50g or on a Prime!!!
Do you know that you can run HP-41X on your 50G?
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09-23-2017, 05:33 AM
Post: #149
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-23-2017 04:50 AM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  
(09-23-2017 01:14 AM)Neve Wrote:  That would be definitely awesome to have, let’s say, an entire HP41 with all it’s modules running on a 50g or on a Prime!!!
Do you know that you can run HP-41X on your 50G?
Are you the developer of this emulator?
I don’t really need it as I own an hp41 already, which has been my calculator of choice going on 33 years, but it’s nice to know.

Thank You.

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09-23-2017, 05:44 AM
Post: #150
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-23-2017 05:33 AM)Neve Wrote:  Are you the developer of this emulator?
No. But the developer is a member of this forum and participates in discussions from time to time.
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09-23-2017, 06:01 AM (This post was last modified: 09-23-2017 06:02 AM by Neve.)
Post: #151
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-23-2017 05:44 AM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  
(09-23-2017 05:33 AM)Neve Wrote:  Are you the developer of this emulator?
No. But the developer is a member of this forum and participates in discussions from time to time.

Cool Smile

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09-23-2017, 01:42 PM (This post was last modified: 09-23-2017 01:43 PM by Claudio L..)
Post: #152
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-22-2017 10:33 PM)Eric Rechlin Wrote:  Also, after I installed newRPL 0.9a on Windows 10, the only thing it added to its Start menu group was the Uninstall shortcut -- it didn't create a shortcut to run the actual newRPL program from. I don't know if this is a problem with my system or a bug in the installer, but I thought I'd point it out.

I just confirmed this on a different Windows 10 machine that was allowed to update to latest. Not only those shortcuts weren't initially created as they do on my other Windows 10, but the entire Group "newRPL Desktop", which contains the uninstaller only, gets removed from the Start menu after I see it for the first time. I disabled the real-time virus protection to see if it was removing it for a reason but no, same effect. And if I manually go to the folder where start menu groups are stored, the newRPL Desktop group isn't there, as if it was deleted on purpose by some "dark magic". Perhaps because the application isn't digitally signed? But there's no logs of Windows defender removing anything, and it allows the application to install the program and you can use it if you manually create the shortcut. It just annoys the user by not letting the installer create a shortcut? and it removes it from the Start menu on purpose? the fact a human being coded that behavior in the OS is just out of this world.

I also found this thread on Microsoft's own website, which is very old but seems unresolved.
The laptop I used to create the installer wasn't allowed to do latest updates because of hardware driver issues (Win10 removes and replaces the touchpad drivers with a non-functioning one), and the installer works perfectly there.

I'll double check, perhaps the Excelsior installer team found a workaround already. Stay tuned.
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09-23-2017, 02:29 PM
Post: #153
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-23-2017 12:17 AM)Claudio L. Wrote:  I always thought HIST was a wasted key, so there's no HIST for now. If somebody feels the need for it, can request it and will be added.

I don't think I expressed myself clearly in the sentence above. HIST in RPN mode invokes the interactive stack, which is also in the UP key, so it's a wasted key. newRPL already has the interactive stack on the UP cursor, no need for another shortcut. The HIST functionality I mentioned that is not implemented is the one that gets activated in algebraic mode, where you can go back through the stack (which contains both what you typed and the results) and bring that back to the edit line. What I mentioned might be implemented if people want it, is a more interactive version of CMD, more like HIST. Preserving the last few (8 default?, user-selectable) entered command lines and providing a way to interactively select one of the entered lines, and bring it back to the command line to re-type it. That could be useful (though a big memory hog if you edit large programs repeatedly).
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09-24-2017, 04:58 PM
Post: #154
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
I have to agree that HIST is a wasted key on the stock 50g - in fact, I long ago put a user key over it to something actually useful. (A menu with a bunch of list commands that I use frequently.)
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09-25-2017, 10:37 AM
Post: #155
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
NEG quirk:
  • Enter
    Code:
    << 23 45 67 >>
    onto the stack.
  • Use downarrow to bring it into the command line for editing.
  • Move the cursor to the "2" and press +/-.
  • A minus sign appears after the 67!
  • After this, everything works fine.
Is this intentional? Probably not!

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09-25-2017, 12:59 PM (This post was last modified: 09-25-2017 01:28 PM by Claudio L..)
Post: #156
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-25-2017 10:37 AM)Nigel (UK) Wrote:  NEG quirk:
  • Enter
    Code:
    << 23 45 67 >>
    onto the stack.
  • Use downarrow to bring it into the command line for editing.
  • Move the cursor to the "2" and press +/-.
  • A minus sign appears after the 67!
  • After this, everything works fine.
Is this intentional? Probably not!

Nigel (UK)

Hmmmm... seems like the +/- key is not multiline ready. I think it's counting the offset from the start of text, but then applying it to the current line. Thanks for the report, will be fixed ASAP.

EDIT: The above was wrong. There was a bug that assigned a pointer to a string that later moved in memory, without re-reading the pointer. It's fixed, will come out in the next update. Good catch.
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09-25-2017, 07:52 PM
Post: #157
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-24-2017 04:58 PM)The Shadow Wrote:  I have to agree that HIST is a wasted key on the stock 50g...

I think the only time it's needed (with no alternative available) is in this specific scenario: You start the interactive stack, then hit EDIT, then want to ECHO something onto the command line from elsewhere on the stack. The only way to do that is to press HIST. ... I think. But I'd be happy to be informed otherwise.

Quote:... in fact, I long ago put a user key over it to something actually useful. (A menu with a bunch of list commands that I use frequently.)

I use ECHO so infrequently that I did the same as you, but my assignment there is UNDO (more accurately, TakeOver -41.3 KEYEVAL) because I use UNDO a lot.

X<> c
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09-26-2017, 12:03 AM
Post: #158
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-25-2017 07:52 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  
(09-24-2017 04:58 PM)The Shadow Wrote:  I have to agree that HIST is a wasted key on the stock 50g...

I think the only time it's needed (with no alternative available) is in this specific scenario: You start the interactive stack, then hit EDIT, then want to ECHO something onto the command line from elsewhere on the stack. The only way to do that is to press HIST. ... I think. But I'd be happy to be informed otherwise.

I didn't know that! I had to take the calc and test it. Sadly, it proves I never used it before in all these years.
But this whole discussion helped identify a couple of use cases that are missing in newRPL's current interactive stack:

* Edit an item in-place is not supported (yet). For the time being, to edit an object you'd have to drop it to level 1, exit the interactive stack and edit it, then use the interactive stack to move back in place. This is cumbersome, EDIT needs to be implemented soon.
* The ECHO use case, where you can echo stack items to the edit line is also not implemented. The current workaround is to enter the interactive stack, select one or more objects and copy them to the clipboard. Then you can paste into the editor.

I guess I need to figure out a way to open the interactive stack from the command line, and vice versa, which is not as straightforward as it might seem.
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09-26-2017, 04:58 PM
Post: #159
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
(09-26-2017 12:03 AM)Claudio L. Wrote:  
(09-25-2017 07:52 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  I think the only time it's needed (with no alternative available) is in this specific scenario: You start the interactive stack, then hit EDIT, then want to ECHO something onto the command line from elsewhere on the stack. The only way to do that is to press HIST. ... I think. But I'd be happy to be informed otherwise.

I didn't know that!

I didn't either! It doesn't seem like something one would use often, but it is definitely handy.
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09-27-2017, 12:09 PM
Post: #160
RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15]
Hello, please someone can create an article about NewRPL, with the purpose of highlighting the differences with the RPL

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/newRPL_(pr..._language)

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