Tuesday, April 01, 2008

SpeedCrunch 0.10 Released!

After about 4 months of very strong dedication (and I mean it), a new version is out there. You can get it as usual from the project website download page. NOTE: now there is also a portable edition available in addition to the normal installer, please read the instructions on the page. There, you can also read the major changes in this version (box on the right). If you're really interested, you can always read the changelog or, why not, the list of all the bug fixes and enhancements registered in the issue tracker.

My personal very favorite new features are:
  • the ability to calculate, inside an immediate tooltip, the result of the selected text (in addition to the calculate-as-you-type feature that SpeedCrunch introduced a long time ago)

  • the possibility to save and restore sessions, keeping your variables between them. It also makes it possible for you to send your calculations to someone. In addition, it is also possible to run a batch calculation from a file, as well as the text export that was broken in the previous version

  • the ability to change the language of the application on-the-fly, with no need to restart, as well as a close to complete support for right-to-left written languages (Hebrew, for now, but I'd love to be contacted by an arabic or whatever translator)

  • automatic generation of high contrast colors to be used on the syntax highlighting of the expression being entered, adapting automatically to the system background and foreground colors, thus removing the need for a human (tedious) reconfiguration of the colors

  • a new dock window serving as a browsable mathematics manual, with geometry figures, quadratic equation, etc, allowing the immediate insertion of the formulas displayed in the book pages into the expression editor

  • reorganized menus and virtual keypad

I need to mention this. There's a sort of an "easter egg" in SpeedCrunch that just a few people seem to know about. If you press Ctrl+Space, you'll get a popup with all the constant categories. If you press Enter, Return or Right Arrow on one of them, a new view will slide in the popup - the list of constants belonging to the category you chose. Pretty handy for those who use the calculator through the keyboard and need frequent and fast access to the constants they need.

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Wolf Lammen for his active development, especially on the math engine and parser; Petri Damstén for his original idea of the math book and prototype implementation; Marco Wegner for his testings, tips and work related on our translation tools; Yonathan Avraham for his help on the RTL support; Johan Thelin for being always available to help me with my deep questions about Qt and packaging the application on Windows; Ariya Hidayat, the original author, for his important contributions on the last days and what not (and we both started working for Trolltech today, life's funny sometimes, hurray!).

I hope you enjoy the new release, it should be the most complete and polished release ever.
For the Linux users, a dynamically linked portable edition will be shipped soon as well (that shall work on any Linux distribution with Qt 4.2 or higher version), and requiring no installation, just like the new Windows Portable Edition. That's it for now!