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MathCad-like front end for Sage

asked 2011-11-23 14:21:42 +0100

TNick gravatar image


I imagine this to be a recurring question / topic in Sage communities but, if so, my search skills are failing me. The only thing that I've found is this project started (and abandoned?) in 2009.

So... are there projects that aim to create a front end for Sage that features an editor like MathCad's? Is there some previous work that one can relate to? Previous research? Ideas? Web-based / desktop based? Any bit of information would be appreciated.

Thanks. Nick

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There is - I don't know how MathCad-like it is.

parzan gravatar imageparzan ( 2011-11-24 00:02:50 +0100 )edit

I would say that the current notebook interface differs from mathcad only in two things: one is that in mathcad the whole document is evaluated top to bottom, while in notebook you can evaluate a cell in the bottom before top one, and the other is that the input in mathcad is done in graphical formula-like way. IMHO the last one is not an advantage at all :)

ADuC812 gravatar imageADuC812 ( 2011-11-24 12:56:49 +0100 )edit

@parzan thank you for the tip. Had a brief look into it (got No Backend Found and went on google to look for some screen-shoots) and it lacks the "graphical formula-like way" tha I'm interested in. Which leads us to

TNick gravatar imageTNick ( 2011-11-24 14:06:22 +0100 )edit

@ADuC812 thank you for your comment. Indeed, one of the "issues"/feature is the order and size of evaluation. In a graphical environment special arrow-like connectors may indicate the way a sheet is to be evaluated and each equation may be tagged for recompute at certain events or completely prevented. "Graphical formula-like way" is what I'm really missing. Considering the trend towards <touch-screens miniaturisation="" reducing="" the="" size="" of="" the="" computers="" emergence="" of="" tablets=""> and the fact that Sage works as a server so that computational load is on the server (me hopes, still to read the sources) I think that a part of the existing user set and some new users may be interested in this way of using Sage. I'm quite interested why you think that it's not an advantage at all.

TNick gravatar imageTNick ( 2011-11-24 14:08:56 +0100 )edit

Well, I didnt think about tablets. However, I do think that the text-based input is much more flexible than the "graphical formula-like way". Think about introducing new data types, classes, methods, etc - you will need to define the graphical way for using them. BTW, the last mathcad I have seen is 14, maybe, it became better since then. I am rather new to sage as well

ADuC812 gravatar imageADuC812 ( 2011-11-25 00:01:25 +0100 )edit

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answered 2011-11-26 04:33:17 +0100

ADuC812 gravatar image

updated 2011-11-27 12:07:20 +0100

Thinking a bit on the topic led me to an idea: you can write your formulas in any editor which generates latex as output (something like what is used in LyX), and then write a code that converts latex formula into python or sage. Generally, in this way it may be possible to use LyX itself as a frontend to Sage (this presentation gave me this feeling). LyX is just a typesetting frontend, though. This may require a lot of coding anyway.

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TeXMacs already has a Sage plugin, which doesn't do anything that you mentioned (e.g., convert from latex to Sage), but it does let you use Sage from within a WYSIWYG type of editor.

Jason Grout gravatar imageJason Grout ( 2011-11-26 15:19:27 +0100 )edit

WOW. Ok, LYX looks awesome from that presentation. Converting latex formula and using for input is what I had in mind. As I said, my search skills failed me. @Jason Grout this looks more advanced down the track, then. Thank you both, I will look into them.

TNick gravatar imageTNick ( 2011-11-27 03:32:13 +0100 )edit

Note for the reader: The plug-in for TexMacs works like the notebook, from what I've seen. While it's obvious that a lot of work has been put into TexMacs and it may be a great tool to use, LyX is my personal preference.

TNick gravatar imageTNick ( 2011-11-27 05:03:08 +0100 )edit

answered 2011-11-28 18:24:10 +0100

pang gravatar image

Alejandro Serrano wrote a qt interface a couple of years ago. You could start from there:

I tried it, and it worked. It had some nice features, but it didn't have an equation editor like lyx or texmacs.

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Asked: 2011-11-23 14:21:42 +0100

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Last updated: Nov 28 '11