HP Prime "Symb" interface (bug?)



#10

So in order to plot functions, the calculator requires one to first define an open sentence. I interpret open sentence as something like

p(n) : n^2+1 is prime

(from logic), but I am pretty sure that is not what is meant by open sentence.

At any rate, the first thing I tried was to just type X^2. Except this results in 0. Strange. I click on the help screen (nice feature). Then I see "Example" in the menu, click on it thinking this will show me how to properly set up an open sentence. And I select the example they give. You'd think that this example would work. Pressing ENTER then results in "Error: Syntax Error" (why the redundancy?)

I had a hunch (because I used previous HP calculators) that an algebraic object was needed. (How would someone completely new to HP calculators know this, though? I know there will be manuals, but the reality is that many folks will hardly ever refer to one.) Apparently we need tick marks around our "open sentences" except if I try pressing SHIFT and (), there is no way to get just a single tick mark. Back in the HP48 days, one could take an existing equation in the command line, move the cursor to the beginning, and add a single tick mark to designate an algebraic object. I believe that is what is required here, but I have yet to figure out how to get a single tick mark. There seems to be only the option of getting a pair of tick marks with a placeholder in between.

A typical student user will not bother with a manual, and when they do it will be likely out of reluctance. That statement is based on years of experience with college students. The help screen needs to be updated to mention the tick marks and the example should have already had the necessary delimeters. The help screen refers to S0 through S9 (presumably "[S]entences" 0 through 9) except the actual input screen shows V0 through V9.

I'm using Rev 5016 (2013 8 13) if that helps. (Is this the latest?)
My settings are to use RPN mode -- everything else was left to default.


#11

Yes rev 5016 is the latest.

Namir

#12

Just my opinion...

The "typical student" will not run into any of the problems you mentioned, because typical students will not use RPN mode, which was the cause of all your problems. When you turned on RPN mode, you explicitly instructed Prime to disallow algebraic entry, and that's exactly what it did. It wasn't acting buggy; it was doing what you told it to do.

If you want Prime to recognize algebraic entry, then put Prime into algebraic entry mode (or textbook entry mode).

Yes, the help system and documentation call the Advanced Graphing sentences S0 through S9 instead of what they really are (V0 through V9). The unavoidable lag between firmware development and documentation creation always causes discrepancies like this. The problem gets even worse when the firmware is in a constant state of flux due to ongoing development and upgrade availability; it makes perfect documentation impossible. An HP Prime Wiki which can be easily updated to keep abreast of all such changes would probably be more useful than User Guides which are obsolete before their ink dries.


#13

Still, it seems to not like RPN expressions, either, as it parses them immediately as if they were in the calculator, rather than storing them and parsing them while graphing.

So, you absolutely have to use tick marks. That's bad UI, IMO - either allow RPN expressions and parse them while graphing, or make the tick marks implicit when in RPN mode.

And, two tick marks are fine, and it's what you get if you ask for tick marks on an RPL machine, too, just the placeholder isn't visible, and you can delete the trailing one. I think if you just have a leading tick mark, an RPL machine treats the trailing one as implicit.


#14

Quote:
And, two tick marks are fine, and it's what you get if you ask for tick marks on an RPL machine, too, just the placeholder isn't visible, and you can delete the trailing one. I think if you just have a leading tick mark, an RPL machine treats the trailing one as implicit.

What I was trying to do was simply put tick marks around the copied example from the help screen. I tried using two sets of tick marks with the idea that I would delete the placeholder and ending tick mark (for the beginning pair) and the placeholder and starting tick mark (for the ending pair at the end of the copied formula). It did not seem possible (at least I could not find a way).

#15

Quote:
Just my opinion...

The "typical student" will not run into any of the problems you mentioned, because typical students will not use RPN mode, which was the cause of all your problems. When you turned on RPN mode, you explicitly instructed Prime to disallow algebraic entry, and that's exactly what it did. It wasn't acting buggy; it was doing what you told it to do.


Point taken. I can agree that there are no bugs -- for algebraic/textbook entry. But (in RPN mode) try to type:

'Y' 'X' [SQ] =

where [SQ] is the square of a number. You don't get 'Y=X^2.' You actually have to type 'Y=X^2' (or just 'X^2'). So is there, or is there not a bug in the command line in RPN mode?


#16

The = is equivalent to == in the numeric side of things. Makes sense when you don't have the piecemeal building of symbolics. It is working as designed, but I am defintiely thinking I should change this before long.

The main reason there is not a huge amount of documentation around the RPN is that it isn't fully finished yet. It isn't that it is not yet useable and useful, but there is still some strangeness here and there. I felt it was better to get things fully completed before documenting all the way and avoiding rework. For example, CAS doesn't work in RPN yet, the parser doesn't yet handle parsing of non-defined objects, strange things like this, a new RPN mode that was turned off because I wasn't quite happy with it yet, etc.

TW

Edited: 13 Sept 2013, 12:11 p.m.


#17

Let’s hope that there are enough buyers for the Banana-Prime.

As – unfortunately – the promise for updates is not even worth

the paper it is written on and HP has lost the benefit of the

doubt a long time ago...



SCNR,

Andreas

http://www.software49g.gmxhome.de

Edited: 13 Sept 2013, 12:15 p.m.


#18

Andreas (#8),

The way the Prime team interacts openly with testers is novel, it has great promise, and they know what they are doing. If you don't want to buy version 1, then wait. Myself, I can't wait to buy my Prime version 1.0 and then simply do firmware upgrades just like the great 34S user group product still does. Other technology companies are not this open and release products with lousy maps and antenna positions right where your hand is. This complex a product is evolutionary in nature - no company can afford to invest forever without a market demand check; i.e. iterations. There is constructive feedback and then there is yours ...

Chris


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