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newRPL: [UPDATED April 27-2017] Firmware for testing available for download
07-24-2016, 03:11 AM
Post: #329
RE: newRPL: [UPDATED July-14-16] Firmware for testing available for download
(07-23-2016 02:52 AM)JDW Wrote:  I only found this thread today, and I must admit I only read the first 3 pages. Please be merciful to me for asking this most basic of all questions but here it goes...

What is wrong with the old RPL such that a newRPL is needed?

In other words, what are the easily noticeable benefits to newRPL for the average HP 50g calculator user? Is it just an expansion of RPL for programmers? Or does it provide UI enhancements that benefit non-programmers? Is there a video overview of newRPL that explains the highlights so no flashing-and-fiddling is required?

Nothing wrong with the old RPL, that's the whole point of newRPL: to preserve RPL in the 21st century, otherwise it is destined to fade into oblivion soon.
Let me explain: HP designed the RPL environment to run on a 4-bit CPU called Saturn. They stopped manufacturing it in the late nineties if I'm not mistaken. So the 49G+, 48GII, and 50g had an ARM processor running a Saturn emulator. And even the 50g is now retiring, so RPL will simply vanish unless somebody makes a version of RPL that is portable and runs on any modern platform. That's what newRPL is: a "remake of a classic" for modern hardware.

Of course, if you make a Start Trek remake in 2016 you won't copy the same special effects from the 60's, it has to look and feel more modern, hence newRPL comes with a few improvements.
It's a complete calculator environment (well, when it gets completed, right now it's in alpha stage), it basically turns your RPL calculator into an RPL calculator, just a different implementation of it.
A normal user will notice the speed right away. By eliminating the emulation layer, newRPL is much faster. The second thing you'll notice is that the screen uses the 16-greys mode rather than plain black and white, there's 2 soft menus instead of only one (empty menus for now, we are working on adding all the menus), and many other small changes that make it efficient to use, faster to type on, etc.

Because it's still a work in progress, many things are missing, so if you are expecting to find all 700 commands from the 50g you are out of luck. We are getting close to the 200 mark, but there's still a lot of work to do.

At almost every step, things were changed a little (improved, at least from my perspective). For example, a few changes from the 50g:
* Difference between integers and reals based on the decimal dot was eliminated.
* Variable precision decimal math up to 2000 digits.
* More flexible custom menus
* Faster access to variables
* You can declare local variables anywhere in the code with LSTO
* Any program can be sandboxed to keep your directories clean.
* Persistent comments stay in the compiled code to make it more readable.
* Faster list processing, also swapped + and ADD for lists.
* Unicode text support all over.
* 8-level Undo/Redo on stack operations
* Many keyboard shortcuts that make using it very practical
* The editor is quite powerful:
+ Full clipboard support can copy/cut/paste objects or text in the editor and the stack, and turn objects from the stack into text for the editor, or paste text into the stack.
+ Paste the contents of any variable directly into the editor as text by using the soft menu.
+ Autocompletion of command names
* SD card support much faster than 50g
* It will accept SDHC cards as well as SD cards (just fixing a few bugs, it will be released very soon).
And a few other things I can't recall right now.

One last thing: you can test it from the simulator in the project page at SouceForge, so there's no need for you to flash it on real hardware to test it. But the real hardware does it more justice as you'll immediately feel the speed.
I'm planning to update the simulator it in a few days, so it will be on par with the firmware (it usually falls behind, as I update the firmware on this thread quite often, the simulator not so often).
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RE: newRPL: [UPDATED July-14-16] Firmware for testing available for download - Claudio L. - 07-24-2016 03:11 AM

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