Custom Menus on High-End RPL Machines
04-03-2019, 04:30 PM
Post: #21
 rprosperi Senior Member Posts: 4,388 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Custom Menus on High-End RPL Machines
(04-03-2019 04:22 PM)Giuseppe Donnini Wrote:  You're talking about the big conference in Rolling Meadows, IL, that took place in June 1990, but the talk I'm referring to was a small meeting of the Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club (PAHHC) later in November of the same year, where Bill Wickes addressed advanced HP-48 topics for nearly three hours and a half.

You're right of course. I missed seeing Philly in your note, but being that is next-door to Jake's home town, there is no mystery why it was video-taped. So many resources to read/watch, so little time to do so.... but I'm glad folks like Jake have capture and shared them, giving us a chance to share them when time does allow.

I don't suppose you made a transcript of the entire 3.5 hours?

--Bob Prosperi
04-03-2019, 05:49 PM (This post was last modified: 04-03-2019 06:35 PM by Giuseppe Donnini.)
Post: #22
 Giuseppe Donnini Member Posts: 82 Joined: Feb 2014
RE: Custom Menus on High-End RPL Machines
(04-03-2019 04:30 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  I don't suppose you made a transcript of the entire 3.5 hours?

Well, I actually did, and not only that, I also transcribed Bill Wickes' four-hour talk on the HP-28C at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1987. But both are not yet ready for the public's eye, it's just a first raw sketch that still needs a lot of polishing. And the task is certainly not facilitated by the deafening background noise of these old records—let alone the fact that English isn't my native language.
04-03-2019, 07:25 PM
Post: #23
 rprosperi Senior Member Posts: 4,388 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Custom Menus on High-End RPL Machines
(04-03-2019 05:49 PM)Giuseppe Donnini Wrote:  Well, I actually did, and not only that, I also transcribed Bill Wickes' four-hour talk on the HP-28C at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1987. But both are not yet ready for the public's eye, it's just a first raw sketch that still needs a lot of polishing. And the task is certainly not facilitated by the deafening background noise of these old records—let alone the fact that English isn't my native language.

Well, IMHO there is no need to make such a transcription perfect, it will never be perfect and no one needs it perfect, so I'd say don't even try; the gist of the content is what matters most - someone in the audience on those occasions may not have heard every word perfectly, but that didn't take away from what they heard Bill say.

On the other hand, there is no rush to polish it up, so take your time. Until today, no one was even expecting it...

Also, English may in fact not be your native language, but I'd never know that from reading your posts.

--Bob Prosperi
04-03-2019, 07:30 PM
Post: #24
 Jake Schwartz Member Posts: 263 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Custom Menus on High-End RPL Machines
(04-03-2019 05:49 PM)Giuseppe Donnini Wrote:
(04-03-2019 04:30 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  I don't suppose you made a transcript of the entire 3.5 hours?

Well, I actually did, and not only that, I also transcribed Bill Wickes' four-hour talk on the HP-28C at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1987. But both are not yet ready for the public's eye, it's just a first raw sketch that still needs a lot of polishing. And the task is certainly not facilitated by the deafening background noise of these old records—let alone the fact that English isn't my native language.

Perhaps we should have an item called "Bill Wickes' Greatest Hits"... I only wish that there was video of Bill's talk at the 1984 conference in Chicago on the HP-41 Translator ROM and the HP-71 FORTH/Assembler ROM. He repeated some of it at the Atlanta conference the following year as well.

Jake
04-04-2019, 05:22 PM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2019 02:02 AM by Claudio L..)
Post: #25
 Claudio L. Senior Member Posts: 1,702 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Custom Menus on High-End RPL Machines
Back to the original topic: it's a really nice write-up about the menu systems. Thanks!

Just wanted to chime in and comment on the next iteration of this menu system (present in newRPL).

Code:
 +------------+--------------------------------------------------------------+ | ENTRY MODE | PRESSING [id] W/O SHIFT:                                     | +------------+--------------------------------------------------------------+ | IMMEDIATE  | (If a command line is present, executes it, then) executes   | |            | the contents of the global variable named id. (*)            | |            |                                                              | | ALGEBRAIC  | Echoes the string "id" (without quotes) to the command line. | |            |                                                              | | PROGRAM    | Echoes the string "id" (without quotes) to the command line, | |            | surrounded by spaces.                                        | |            |                                                              | | ALG + PRG  | --- same as in ALGEBRAIC mode ---                            | +------------+--------------------------------------------------------------+

The entry modes remained unaltered, the main change is that menu entries that refer to directories are executed transparently (the directory is made current) without ever leaving the command line. For the same reason, UPDIR and HOME will change directory allowing full directory navigation while the command line is active.
Also, a minor thing is that commands that are valid functions in algebraic expressions will be inserted including a pair of parenthesis when in ALGEBRAIC mode.(EDIT: Nothing new about this, thanks Giuseppe!)
Finally, a press and hold on any menu key brings up the help for that key. If it's a variable it shows a preview of the contents.

Code:
 +------------+--------------------------------------------------------------+ | ENTRY MODE | PRESSING LEFT SHIFT + [id]:                                  | +------------+--------------------------------------------------------------+ | IMMEDIATE  | (If a command line is present, executes it, then) stores the | |            | object on stack level 1 in the global variable named id. (*) | |            |                                                              | | ALGEBRAIC  | --- same as in IMMEDIATE mode ---                            | |            |                                                              | | PROGRAM    | Echoes the string "'id' STO" (without double quotes) to the  | |            | command line, surrounded by spaces.                          | |            |                                                              | | ALG + PRG  | --- same as in PROGRAM mode ---                              | +------------+--------------------------------------------------------------+

This remains largely unaltered.

Code:
 +------------+--------------------------------------------------------------+ | ENTRY MODE | PRESSING RIGHT SHIFT + [id]:                                 | +------------+--------------------------------------------------------------+ | IMMEDIATE  | (If a command line is present, executes it, then) recalls    | |            | the contents of the global variable named id.                | |            |                                                              | | ALGEBRAIC  | --- same as in IMMEDIATE mode ---                            | |            |                                                              | | PROGRAM    | Echoes the string "'id' RCL" (without double quotes) to the  | |            | command line, surrounded by spaces.                          | |            |                                                              | | ALG + PRG  | --- same as in PROGRAM mode ---                              | +------------+--------------------------------------------------------------+

In ALGEBRAIC mode, Right-Shift+id just types the name of the variable in the command line, same as without a shift. With Right-Shift(hold)+id it will decompile the contents of the variable and insert it as text in the command line (transparent RCL, then insert as text). This works both in ALGEBRAIC and PROGRAM mode.

Perhaps the biggest change in the menu system is the use of 2 menus. Both are active at all times, one of them can be hidden temporarily (but its keys will be still active and can be used). This allows to have helpful commands in one menu, while keeping your variables in the second, which incidentally works quite well with the transparent directory navigation.

As far as customization, there was an improvement in that area as well: each menu key has various objects:
Display
Action
Help

They may or may not be the same object, and any of the objects can be a program.
The default behavior for the Display object is to decompile and display the object (or display the bitmap if it's a bitmap). If it's a program it executes the program first, and then decompiles and displays the result of the program (which may also be a bitmap).
The Action object can be a single object or a list of objects (representing the different shift planes). The default behavior is to execute the object (or program).
The Help object will:
* If it's a single command, get a help message from the library.
* If it's a variable, preview its contents.
* If it's a program, it runs and then display the results.
* Any other object will be decompiled and displayed.

Finally, any program can be a "normal" RPL program << >> or a secondary type program :: ; which will be executed transparently if there's a command line open (so it works like TakeOver without sysRPL).
04-04-2019, 06:51 PM
Post: #26
 Giuseppe Donnini Member Posts: 82 Joined: Feb 2014
RE: Custom Menus on High-End RPL Machines
(04-04-2019 05:22 PM)Claudio L. Wrote:  Back to the original topic

Thank you so much, Claudio! The moment Thomas asked his 42-related question, I knew my poor, little RPL sailboat would soon be hijacked by RPN pirates.

As regards newRPL:

(04-04-2019 05:22 PM)Claudio L. Wrote:  Also, a minor thing is that commands that are valid functions in algebraic expressions will be inserted including a pair of parenthesis when in ALGEBRAIC mode.

How is this different from standard RPL? This feature was already present in the HP-28C (the HP-48SX added the closing parenthesis, though).
04-05-2019, 01:55 AM
Post: #27
 Claudio L. Senior Member Posts: 1,702 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Custom Menus on High-End RPL Machines
(04-04-2019 06:51 PM)Giuseppe Donnini Wrote:  How is this different from standard RPL? This feature was already present in the HP-28C (the HP-48SX added the closing parenthesis, though).

Then it isn't! Since it wasn't in your writeup I thought it wasn't, honestly I didn't check and my memory isn't what it used to be. I used to carry 2 calcs, one stock and one newRPL, but I accidentally killed one so I can't crosscheck anymore.
04-05-2019, 02:44 AM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2019 02:47 AM by Giuseppe Donnini.)
Post: #28
 Giuseppe Donnini Member Posts: 82 Joined: Feb 2014
RE: Custom Menus on High-End RPL Machines
Thanks for the clarification. The reason it's not mentioned in my article is that I deliberately restricted the discussion—as I pointed out—to menu keys defined by global names. The feature you mention, however, is a property of ROM pointers.

That's the reason, by the way, why user-defined functions (UDFs)—which are stored as global variables—don't provide the same ease-of-use in algebraic entry mode as built-in (or carefully programmed plug-in) functions, but rather have the user manually type in the parentheses enclosing the function's argument(s).
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