Big Bad Bug

It seems that in the latest beta I made somewhat embarrassing bug. It was not possible to enter uppercase Greek symbols using the long-double-key-hit method. I know that most users do not use this feature, but because it is a unique Math-o-mir feature I decided to react promptly.

Anyway, I am sorry for inconvenience. If you use the above mentioned feature, you can download the new beta from here.

Font options rework – v1.92 beta4

The new math notepad, Math-o-mir 1.92 beta4, can be downloaded from here.

In this version I changed the way font options are presented to user. To a first-time user it certainly was not easy to understand font formatting in Math-o-mir because there are so many options and possibilities. I hope this redesign will make it easier.

At first sight everything remains the same – there are still these two famous ‘U’ and ‘M’ options at the top of the left-side toolbox:

  • ‘U’ – uniform formatting mode – all letters you type are cast in the same font (as in any word processor)
  • ‘M’ – mixed formatting mode – you can define different font for any particular letter (useful when typing math)

When you look under ‘U’ for sub-options, the following menu will open:

uniform

As you can see, there are now only 8 predefined uniform formatting modes. You can still redefine any of them as you wish by clicking at the ‘font’ arrow-button. The presence of the ‘font’ arrow-button is, I hope, a more obvious way for a first-time user to redefine font settings.

When you look under ‘M’, the following menu opens:

mixed

By clicking at any letter symbol in the above table, you can define font that will be used to format that particular symbol. You can also change them all at once by clicking at the “Alter all…” option. I hope that such presentation can give better insight to a first-time user about the difference between ‘uniform’ and ‘mixed’ formatting modes.

There are concerns too… These two pop-up menus are large and might be annoying to experienced users. The second menu looks like a symbol chooser instead as a means to define font for every character (the concept that every character can be cast in different font is not something a first-time user would expect to find).

I also corrected several bugs in this version. I hope to hear from you and that you will somehow contribute in making the fastest math note-taking software in this world.

Font alignment corrections, beta3

I uploaded a new beta (1.92 beta3) today because I found an annoying bug in former version. All italic Greek symbols were pushed too much to the left, therefore letters in any equation that contained Greek symbols were not spaced evenly. I think it is much better now.

Even stranger bug was that the Function Plotter showed wrong values on both axis, x and y, if values were below 0.001 (the error was three orders of magnitude, lol). Funny that I didn’t notice it before.

Regarding the new default italic-serif font, I must admit that I don’t like the ‘f’ letter. Too fancy for my taste. Still, I am keeping the italic-serif font as default.

Serif or sans-serif font in equations

Today I was reading about serif and sans-serif font opinions and recommendations, trying to reach some conclusion. Unfortunately, it seems that there are no consensus among experts and so I single-handedly decided as follows:

  • by default, Math-o-mir will use sans-serif-upright font for plain text (same as before)
  • by default, it will use italic-serif font for math variables (before it was italic-sans-serif)
  • digits are cast in upright-sans-serif font (same as before, but this is debatable)
  • function names are cast in greenish upright-serif font (same as before)
  • measurement units are cast in pale upright-sans-serif font (same as before)

The reason I decided to change the default math variable cast from italic-sans-serif to italic-serif is because with sans-serif readers have difficulties differentiating between uppercase ‘i’ and lowercase ‘L’ – both letters commonly used in math… For long time I was reluctant to use italic-serif font for math variables because I was thinking that on a low-resolution monitor, tiny serif fonts will be hard to read. It seems however that fonts are ‘intelligent’ and adapt to low resolution well.

I decided to leave the upright-sans-serif for plain text because I wanted better contrast between math and text. This way a user is quicker to realize if he/she is typing in a wrong typing mode. The problem is that users (like myself) that are lazy to switch between math and text typing mode are now going to be forced to do this more often because otherwise their ‘sloppiness’ is going to be clearly visible.

In any case, if you are not a new user and you already saved your preferred settings, you will see no change after you install the new Math-o-mir version. Only new users will be affected by new defaults. You can download the new 1.91 beta2 from here.

There are no other news except the fact that by default, after software gets installed on a systems with high-resolution monitor, the default zoom level will be set to 120%… And of course, several bugs are exterminated.

I am having difficulties solving following problems:

  • double-stroke letters are turned into Greek symbols even when I don’t want it. For example: Vcc, Vdd, mm
  • finding a simpler way to type single math variable while typing plain text. For example to type: “therefore x becomes zero”, the alt+spacebar must be hit before and after ‘x’ in order to switch the typing mode.
  • finding a simpler way to select (highlight) the last typed variable. You can do it by holding down the shift key and then hitting the arrow-left key, but this is wearing. Ideally one single key would suffice…
  • deciding about how to handle the Enter key when plain text is written inside tables – should the Enter key wrap a text line or should it jump into the next table cell (the similar question about the Tab key also)

Some moths ago I introduced a new experimental feature: it is possible to delete some portion of an equation using backspace key, and then to ‘paste’ the deleted portion somewhere else using the Spacebar+comma combination. I am however not happy with this feature and I am thinking to remove it (backspace is used too often and you don’t even realize you used it – this produces many garbage entries into the temporary local clipboard).

Very recently I introduced a feature where using shift+backspace you can splice last typed variables into a single word. This proved effective an I like it. The question is now should it work as it is now (splicing letter-by-letter) or should single shift+backspace strike splice all the letters left of the cursor, up to the first non-letter sign.

Early beta, v1.92

You can download the Math-o-mir v1.92 beta from here. There are not many news, but I still hope that whoever tries it will send me some feedback.

  • It is easier to type measurement units now, at least in some circumstances. After you typed a number, just hit the dot key and then continue to type the measurement unit. For example, if you type 34.4.mm the software should understand that mm is the measurement unit and will produce 34.4 mm. The good thing is that this works even for rare and/or non-standard units; the bad thing is that this works only if used the procedure after a number.
  • When you move your keyboard cursor to position just behind an existing number and you start typing some digits, these digits will be appended to the existing number (until now the multiplying dot was automatically inserted between digits you type and the existing number making it difficult to append a number with additional digits).
  • also, if you move your keyboard cursor inside some multi-letter variable and start typing, the typed letters will be inserted into the multi-letter variable (until now, the multi-letter variable was split in two parts making it difficult to correct mistyped variables).
  • Number of guidelines was increased from 8 to 12.
  • The “Headline” toolbar icon now has changed functionality. You can hit it multiple times to increase the headline size (there are three sizes, and then it cycles from beginning).
  • I added the Wh measurement unit (watt-hour) into the list of known units.
  • It is possible to create different line endings for open-path lines/curves. After you draw a line, right-click on it and select the line ending style from the popup menu. You can choose from arrow, narrow arrow, and dot ending styles. The selected line-ending style will be applied to both endings of the line/curve, except if you right-clicked the line/curve very closely (within 15 pixels) to one end (then the selected line-ending will be applied only to that end).

line_endingsThe implementation of line-endings is far from perfect (for example, line-endings will also stretch if you stretch the line), but I hope it can help. I myself often need to draw measurement lines and find it useful to have the option to quickly draw two narrow arrows on it.

Short review from giga.de

A German-language site GIGA, made a positive review of Math-o-mir. This made me very happy. Not that much because the review was mostly positive, but because there are still software sites that are willing to invest more than 15 minutes of their time to make a meaningful software review.

And especially because Math-o-mir is not a smartphone application.

Math-o-mir 1.91 build 2

U updated the latest 1.91 version; the build 2 can be downloaded from the homepage.

There are few bugs corrected in this version, like following:

  • digits that are part of a variable (like in ‘X1’ or ‘n8′) are now cast in the same font style as letters in that variable. Of course, when you write a pure number (like ’34’ or ‘34.23’) then digits are still cast in straight, non-bold font.
  • the symbolic calculator will now only suggest converting a number into scientific form if the number is larger than 9999 or smaller than 0.001. I found it annoying when it was suggesting to replace, say, number ’22’ with ‘2.2*10^1’.
  • Also the symbolic calculator will now decompose a number into factors if you just type, say, ‘126??’. Until now you either had to hit the space-bar key between ‘126’ and ‘??’ or you had to enter the equal sign in between.

I also implemented a simple experimental feature: You can now use the Shift+Backspace as an alternative way to build multi-letter variables (supposing that the default, Simple-variable-mode is what you use when are typing your math). Normally, a multi-letter variable is written by starting it with the apostrophe key. However if you forgot to type the apostrophe key, then instead of one milti-letter variable, you will end up with several single-letter variables that are visibly spaced. Now you can hit the Shift+Backspace several times to squeeze (splice) these separate letters into one word.

bobi

The above feature was actually motivated by the fact that it was not easy to write multi-letter variables that contain both, Greek and Latin symbols (for example, deltaX). Now this is doable by typing the Greek delta character first (‘DD’), then ‘x’, and then using Shift+Backspace splice the two together.

I dropped the ReadMe file from this version and the ReadMe file will not be shown after installation. I suppose nobody reads it anyway. So I added a short legal stuff into the about box.

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