42S on iPod Touch: OFF function behavior (bug?)



#17

I bought this fine calculator simulator, the most important app in my iPod Touch yet. I am very satisfied with it. However, I have some checking to suggest.

The real HP-42 has (of course) a keyboard operation to turn it off. As this has little sense for a simulator, the respective position in the keyboard has been replaced with an "options" label, and it activates a configuration menu. This is acceptable, although I found myself "turning off" the calculator when a calculation has finished; only to see i'm now at such menu instead of leaving the application. Just a little annoying; but nothing serious.

The issue is worse when you execute XEQ "OFF" from the keyboard or even inside a program. Instead of leaving the application, or staying there in "off" state, or even doing no action at all; the "OFF" function does the same that the keypad operation now on its place: it goes to the configuration menu. This is not only annoying but plainly weird.

I don't think anything similar happens to Free42, although I had't tried it yet. It doesn't seem to have a configuration menu there.

[Disclaimer: I apologize in advance if my imperfect command of the English language prevents this message to convey its intended friendly meaning.]


Edited: 8 Nov 2009, 3:52 p.m.


#18

Yes, Free42 will close itself when pressing the Off key sequence, or executing the OFF command. One time, it just blanked the screen for a moment, then came right back, but it hasn't done it since.

In Free42, you just tap the calculator display to bring up the options, rather than pressing Off.

#19

Why is the OFF command so important to you? Why would you turn a SIMULATOR off like you would with the real calculator? To save batteries?
OFF command is implemented differently on simulators, but it is generally meaningless on them.

42s is far more than "fine simulator" of the HP-42s. It is a giant leap ahead of its origin. Extremely fast, a lot more accurate, practically unlimited in memory, printer facilities independent or printer or paper, IO, brilliant, readable display etc. etc.

I'd suggest you go get reasonably familiar with the thing you are criticizing before you post. It's another thing if you have questions for things you don't understand. Then you should ask politely rather than using words like "annoying", this community here is very helpful, the best one can get.


#20

As they say, old habits die hard. I've often found myself reaching for Shift-Off as well, so having it do something reasonably similar to exiting or turning off is nice. The Palm version of Free42 handles it rather well, in that both the Off key and the OFF command actually turn off the Palm. As soon as you turn it back on, you're right where you were in Free42. Not sure if the Apple API allows programs to throw the device directly into sleep mode, though, so this might not be an option.

Having the OFF command not behave as expected isn't a big loss - I can't imagine the command is used all that much in programs. But it's hard to deny that having OFF open the preferences is at least a little bizarre.

#21

Reth: Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of my message. I have been a member of this community for more than 10 years, and so do agree with your view about the excellent quality of most people here. Excuse me if I annoyed someone using a word that means "small inconvenience"; perhaps using my mother tongue can make me more precise with adjectives. I also apologize for not being polite enough for your high standards, whatever they are.

I paid the price for the application, I think it's excellent, I gave praise to it, I recommended it to many other persons. That said, I think a "quasi-bug" (even if it does not block normal use or cause errors in calculations) or a "behavior quirk" are to be commented, so the developers can take care of them.

It seems that the opcode for OFF was retained and linked to the simulated press for the respective key... only that the key function has changed. It's not unfair to mention the undeniable fact that the "OFF" function does something very different from expected. Just that.

This is not the same than asking a simulator to do, for instance, hardware diagnostic tests by pressing three "keys". That would be a different thing (even if it may have a nice, retro-looking efect).

Other parts of the answer deserve no comment.

#22

Hi Reth,

Not to gang up on you too much, but I was thinking of pointing out that it seemed to me that you hadn't read Andrés' post very well. He made it clear that he was talking small refinements!

Furthermore, here is an example of the historical interest Andrés and others have about the 42 emulation and simulation:

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/archv007.cgi?read=12920#12920

Edited: 9 Nov 2009, 12:39 p.m.


#23

Bill, thank you very much for your clarification. Best regards.


#24

Andres,

There is/was no need for any kind of disclaimer. Your command of English puts a lot of native-English speaking people I know to shame. I had the privilege of sitting next to you at an HHC in San Diego and found your verbal English skills be very good as well (not to mention your excellent HP programming abilities!). You are a class act, Andres.


#25

Hi Matt, nice to hear from you, and thanks for your positive comments (even as exaggerated and generous as they are).

I hope to make my point clear: 42S is an excellent product, I use it everyday. There was just a detail to mention, so it can be taken care of.

By the way, I don't have a clear use for OFF in a simulator, other than consistency with the simulated original. I know there are differencies ann improvements, so 42S is not supposed to be an emulator, running a HP 42 ROM image, or something similar. Dynamic range, for instance, is larger. Internal digits precision seems to be higher. Speed is much faster, undoubtedly. Import/export via browser is nothing short as genius work. Perhaps I will soon give a try to Free42, which I used on a PocketPC years ago; and see if I like it more or less... or just have both, I'm sure they are excellent!


#26

Quote:
I don't have a clear use for OFF in a simulator, other than consistency with the simulated original. I know there are differencies ann improvements, so 42S is not supposed to be an emulator, running a HP 42 ROM image, or something similar.

Based on following statement, I believe that the author of 42s has no plans to be consistent with the original:
Quote:
Thomas Okken will be releasing a Free42 port for the iPhone that will
adhere much more strictly to the HP-42S, and will be more consistent
with his other platform ports.

While I want to preserve base HP-42S functionality. I would like to
exercise a little license. I personally believe that the catalog
listing not being exactly the same as the 42S is not a big deal, I
know opinions will vary. There are potentially new commands to come
given the time and the will such as UNDO, REDO, GPS, etc... All of
these would need to be added to the catalog.


The source of this statement is from the 42s forums after I raised an issue about changing the catalog. IOW, 42s is no longer keystroke compatible with the 42S. The purest in me would like an option to choose. However, I've always felt that Free42 would be a great base for a new RPN. I wouldn't mind seeing a total departure from the 42S look to something like the 32SII or 35s, i.e. two shift keys.

Perhaps 42s should be renamed to 42s+ since it is an evolution of the 42S.


#27

Egan, if that's the 42S direction, which may of course be valid, then it may be appropriate to remove the ON and OFF functions altogether.

What called my attention was that the OFF function maps to the HP-42 keyboard place where OFF used to be; but since there is now an "options" menu in that place, the menu is called when OFF is intended. I found that confusing. Perhaps mapping OFF to STOP will do (at least in a first approach).

Best regards,

Andrés

Edited: 9 Nov 2009, 4:03 p.m.

#28

Well Reth, let me tell you...

I have a Nokia 5800 and have 2 calculator simulators on it, both without an OFF function implemented. I run them in full screen mode (otherwise I need a magnifying glass) and then there are no 'phone menus available. The only way to exit is to TERMINATE them using the red physical key. This not only exits in an un-elegant way, but also directly to the home screen - leaving the "applications menu" open in the background. I then have to go into the "applications menu" afterwards to close it. I do find it anoying, anoying, anoying :-)

I would really like to have Free42 complete with OFF function, for the 5800.

#29

Quote:
The real HP-42 has (of course) a keyboard operation to turn it off. As this has little sense for a simulator, the respective position in the keyboard has been replaced with an "options" label, and it activates a configuration menu. This is acceptable, although I found myself "turning off" the calculator when a calculation has finished; only to see i'm now at such menu instead of leaving the application. Just a little annoying; but nothing serious.

Hi Andres, I felt that the ON/OFF function was redundant given the standard operation of the iPhone/iPod with the button at the bottom of the device. Also, ON/OFF can only be half implemented at best sense the application can never actually turn the device off. And, it makes for a convenient mechanism to go to the options view. This is my thinking anyway.

Quote:
The issue is worse when you execute XEQ "OFF" from the keyboard or even inside a program. Instead of leaving the application, or staying there in "off" state, or even doing no action at all; the "OFF" function does the same that the keypad operation now on its place: it goes to the configuration menu. This is not only annoying but plainly weird.

Version 2.3.1 has some work in this area, but probably not to your satisfaction. There was a problem where if you performed XEQ "OFF" it would take you to the options view, then when you went back to the calc view, the keyboard was still active.

You're right though, the effect of running "OFF" is quirky. The current behavior was easy to implement, but has some sloppy side effects. Given time I'll revisit this, and probably do what you say and just have OFF do nothing.

This is all assuming Apple some day puts the application back up on iTunes...


#30

Byron:

Thank you for your answer and, in first place, let me congratulate you for a magnificent piece of software.

To the point:

a)I find the "options" location a little confusing for me, as I am very used to Pioneers and tend to finsh my work turning the calculator off. But it's just me; and if it is a good choice for others, it's all right.

b) I strongly feel that XEQ OFF (via the XEQ key) or a program step which reads "OFF" should not call the menu. I understand it may not be possible / desirable to turn off the device, or even to exit the application; so I suggest that it may just STOP or something similar.

Please take these as mere suggestions from a satisfied user, and please dsregard any idiomatic mistake.

Best regards


#31

Quote:
Thank you for your answer and, in first place, let me congratulate you for a magnificent piece of software.

Thanks, However Thomas Okken deserves the bulk of the credit for creating Free42.

Quote:
b) I strongly feel that XEQ OFF (via the XEQ key) or a program step which reads "OFF" should not call the menu. I understand it may not be possible / desirable to turn off the device, or even to exit the application; so I suggest that it may just STOP or something similar.

You're right, this really is a bug, and I filed it as such here:

http://code.google.com/p/free42iphone/issues/detail?id=37

Another possibility is that the OFF command does in fact quit the application. It's just that the OFF command isn't mapped to the standard key sequence of the HP-42S. Hmm, I think I like that solution.

#32

Quote:
This is all assuming Apple some day puts the application back up on iTunes...

Yay! The latest version of Byron Foster's 42s RPN Calculator iPhone app has been returned to its rightful place in the App Store.

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=301525577

v2.3.1 details : http://code.google.com/p/free42iphone/

#33

Hi Andrés,

Handling OFF, whether the Shift-EXIT key sequence or the XEQ "OFF" command, is a tricky issue in an HP-42S simulator!


In Free42 for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Pocket PC, OFF simply exits the application. In Free42 for PalmOS, it turns the device off, but doesn't exit the simulator, so that when you turn it back on, you're still in Free42.


On the iPhone, the situation is a bit difficult, since iPhone applications aren't supposed to exit on their own initiative, and they also aren't able to turn the device off... so what *should* OFF do then?


Byron Foster's approach in his 42s port of Free42 is to bring up the "Options" screen instead. That seems like an excellent choice to me, but of course it's not going to work so well if you're running a program that executes OFF, or if you're used to pressing Shift-EXIT to shut down the simulator.


In my own Free42 for the iPhone, OFF exits the simulator, in flagrant defiance of iPhone user interface guidelines. I'm already steeling myself for the complaints from people that are used to Byron's 42s and expect the Options screen to come up instead. :-)


I guess both 42s and Free42 should have a setting that allows users to decide how they want OFF to behave. In a perfect world, the available options would include all of: (1) turn off the device, (2) exit the simulator and return to the home screen, and (3) bring up the Options screen.

- Thomas


#34

Quote:
On the iPhone, the situation is a bit difficult, since iPhone applications aren't supposed to exit on their own initiative, and they also aren't able to turn the device off... so what *should* OFF do then?

Same thing the 42S does. Display off, emulator app still running. i41CX+, 11C, 12C, 15C, 16C, and all the 48GX emulators behave this way.
#35

Hi, Thomas. Of course, my congrats for Free42, i42S, and others are also (and in first term) for you. These applications were very important for me at the time I decided to buy my iPod Touch, and are very, very good.


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  HP50g: Writing a function that returns a function Chris de Castro 2 1,224 12-10-2013, 06:49 PM
Last Post: Han
  HP Prime touch periodic table : new version Mic 4 1,322 11-25-2013, 05:29 PM
Last Post: Terje Vallestad
  Touch periodic table on HP Prime - revisited Terje Vallestad 2 924 11-23-2013, 11:47 AM
Last Post: Mic
  Possible bug with sqrt function in the HP prime Michael de Estrada 6 1,553 11-15-2013, 12:49 PM
Last Post: Michael de Estrada
  HP PRIME : strange behavior when trying user key capability Damien 12 2,668 11-03-2013, 11:02 AM
Last Post: Joe Horn
  How to create a touch button [HP Prime] uklo 1 838 11-02-2013, 02:03 PM
Last Post: Marcus von Cube, Germany
  Touch periodic table on HP Prime Mic 30 6,133 10-27-2013, 04:45 AM
Last Post: Les Koller
  Tic Tac Toe touch for HP Prime Mic 6 1,785 10-25-2013, 03:02 AM
Last Post: Mic
  HP Prime touch button SanS 3 1,046 10-10-2013, 12:24 PM
Last Post: Han
  Prime formatting behavior Camille 0 585 09-28-2013, 05:37 PM
Last Post: Camille

Forum Jump: