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newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-10-25]
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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RE: newRPL: Alpha demo 0.9 released [UPDATED 2017-09-15] - Claudio L. - 09-22-2017 09:57 PM

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