ANNOUNCE: GENIUS 0.7.3 the "Who needs 256 bits" release

From: George <>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 11:26:01 -0800

To find out what Genius is, skip a few paragraphs down, or go to

Something I've been meaning to do for a long time has been to reduce the
default precision that genius will have mpfr use for floats. So far it has
been 256 bits which is I suppose way overdoing it. It just slows down
calculations. Moving to 128 bits speeds up lots of things especially
if you evaluate functions like sin or exp a lot and it's way more then is
really needed. Reducing further would not get such a dramatic impact and
then why would we be using gmp at all, we could have used `double' and
saved a lot of trouble (hey a poem!) :) You can always jack it back up
to 256 in the preferences if you really care for so much precision.

You can now do poor mans parametric plots as you can draw arbitrary
lines on the line plot window. I was going to do an actual parametric
plot function like LinePlot, but I got lazy. So there!

I think in some gdm announcement I said that blinking cursors are evil
and so continuing with that theme, there's a preference to turn it off.
To show how responsive to user feedback I am, I implemented this while
responding to the email that suggested it. (but of course, as anyone who
recently tried emailing me, getting a response within a month if at all
is pure luck).

In any case, Genius is one of the oldest GNOME projects, it has been the
original GNOME calculator before I got wild ideas about it doing absolutely
everything. It is programmable has a powerful language and handles many fun
features including matlab like support for matrices. It requires GNOME2 (at
least glib2 if you don't want a GUI) and a recent enough gmp library.
However you can still use the command line version if you prefer non-gui

There is still a lot of work required to make this all nice, mostly it needs
to have the function library improved and verified to be correct and
documentation needs to be written (the complete help system is not yet in
place). Feel free to help out :)

Here are the news in 0.7.3:

* Update to mpfr 2.1.1
* Documentation update, document the plotting functions for example.
* Blinking cursor can now be turned off in gnome-genius
* Set default precision to 128 bits. Who needs 256 can set it in the
  preferences. Also save/restore the precision
* Add LinePlotClear, LinePlotDrawLine functions to allow drawing arbitrary
  lines and to allow a way to do parametric plots until that functionality
  is actually added
* Added: NewtonsMethodPoly, wait
* Lots of work on the internal number structure to make it faster/more
  memory efficient and to fix some possible bugs/issues
* Fix float formatting bug that sometimes caused hangs and crashes
* Fix large leak on element by element operations
* Fix compilation with external mpfr
* Bunch of other little bugs/issues fixed.
* Translation updates (Adam Weinberger, Miloslav Trmac, David Lodge,
  Petrecca Michele, Vincent van Adrighem, Tino Meinen, Jan Moren)

The RPM at the 5z site is built on Fedora Core 3 with all the bells and
whistles of GNOME 2.6/8. Note that Fedora Core 3 has all the right things.

Note that now a recent MPFR is normally included in genius, so you don't need
to install it separately (the version in FC3 is a little buggy anyway).

You can also build RPMS on older redhat's with rpmbuild -ta <tarball>.

Have fun,


George <>
   When they kick at your front door, how're you gonna come?
   With your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun?
                                         -- The Clash
Received on Thu Mar 24 2005 - 19:29:11 CST

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