|Idea for the WP34S PC-emulator|
Message #1 Posted by fhub on 1 June 2011, 8:50 a.m.
now that my first idea (EEX instead of E) has been well received, I dare to present one of my other ideas for the WP34S emulator. ;-)
First of all many thanks to the developers of this fantastic project, which I've discovered only a few weeks ago.
I've been a fan of all kinds of calculators (and especially of their PC-emulators) since almost 30 years, and this WP34S project is indeed the most interesting one.
I don't know who of the developers (Walter/Paul/Marcus?) is responsible for the PC-emulation, but at least here's my idea:
What I always found very annoying with these calculator emulations is the complicated way to access the calculator keys (or functions) via the PC-keyboard: either you have to make many mouseclicks or you have to remember lots of keyboard-shortcuts for the calculator keys (mostly not mapped very well).
Some time ago I found a TI-58/59C emulator on this website:
And this emulator uses a (IMHO) very comfortable way to access the calculator keys and functions, which I've never seen before in any other emulator program:
You can simply enter the keys/functions on the PC-keyboard by their names! :-)
Now my question to the author of the WP34S PC-emulation:
would it be possible to implement such a feature, i.e. being able to use any of the WP34S functions by just entering the name on the keyboard?
My idea would be like this:
maybe the easiest way (requiring minmal code in the emulation program itself) would be an external key-file *.key (like the *.skin files), which contains the names (abbreviations) and the required calculator keystrokes (as key-codes) to execute this function. Such an external file would also have the advantage that the user can modify and extend the names of the functions himself.
Let me give you a few examples how this key-file could look like:
SIN 24 12
SINH 24 11 12
ASINH 25 11 12
LN 25 41
MOD 26 45 (for RMDR)
For the numbers I just used a kind of key-code (row/column of the calculator key), but this could of course be coded in a different way.
If parsing these names (SIN, SINH, ASINH, ...) during the normal usage of the calculator keys (e.g. while entering a number) would be too complicated to implement, then using this special keyboard-mode might also be switched on and off by a special key, e.g. <Space>. With this I mean that after having entered a number I press the <Space>-key, then enter my name (SIN, ASIN, ...) and finally end my name with <Space> again, and then the emulator executes the keystrokes for this name. (Of course it would be nice if the entered name would appear somewhere, e.g. in an extra window or better on the calculator display).
So what do you think about this idea?
For me it's definitely more comfortable (and also much faster) to directly enter the name of a function than clicking on several keys with the mouse to finally get the desired function.
Edited: 1 June 2011, 9:00 a.m.