Cantor--whiteboard interface

Alexander Rieder alexanderrieder at
Fri May 18 13:05:19 UTC 2012

On Tuesday 15 May 2012 14:36:04 Mark Kuster wrote:
> Hi, Alexander & Martin
> I used Mathcad forever before switching to Linux and still use it at work
> and so could help from that angle. The Mathematica-style interface most
> packages have works well enough, but Mathcad's whiteboard interface doesn't
> constrict the user to a linear progression. You simply plop an equation,
> definition, text, script, graph, or whatever anywhere on the screen. It
> also works more in WYSIWYG fashion (like writing on a real whiteboard)--the
> user sees a formatted entity, not a textual entry, even while editing.
> In terms of implementation,it might do something like record the (x,y)
> entry position entry, facilitate math entry and editing, and (here's the
> key) show the typeset result on the screen at the location chosen. If the
> user indicated something to evaluate (using "=", shift-enter, or whatever),
> then it would show {typeset user entry} = {typeset result from the backend
> math package}. Optimally, the user's raw keystrokes never appear anywhere.
> The possibilities break wide open after that.
> I attached a couple examples made by printing Mathcad documents to pdf to
> help visualize how it works. Except for menus & toolbars, the screen looks
> just like the pdfs without the page breaks. The Mathcad web site
> ( may help also. You will notice that
> Mathcad typesets poorly compared to Cantor-Sage-LaTEX. Adding the Mathcad
> interface to what you already have would probably blow everything else
> away. With Cantor's export-to-LaTEX feature,or a Cantor-Kile combo, one
> might then effortlessly turn a free-form creative flow into a typeset paper
> ready for publication, homework, web post, whatever.
> To answer your questions after all that wind, implementing the ideas
> interests me greatly, but I would have trouble finding enough time. Happy
> to help, though, if you broke off a small enough chunk for me. Certainly
> would help with any Mathcad or other questions.
> Best Regards,
> Mark

this surely looks interesting. Unfortunately I'm quite busy at the moment, so 
it might take a while until I get to play around with this idea, but I'll keep 
it in mind if I ever find myself with unexpected free time. (As an alternative,  
patches are always welcome of course).

best regards,

> On Monday, May 14, 2012 09:43:28 PM Alexander Rieder wrote:
> > On Sunday 06 May 2012 16:29:07 Mark Kuster wrote:
> > > Hi, just took a look at Cantor--nice idea, kudos to Alexander. A
> > > Mathcad-style (free placement whiteboard) interface option would work
> great
> > > too. A choice of front ends along with the back-end choices Cantor
> > > already
> > > offers would probably attact more users too.
> > > 
> > > Thanks,
> > > 
> > > Mark
> > 
> > Hi,
> > sorry it took me so long to reply, I must have somehow missed this mail.
> > I'm not familiar with Matcad so I don't know what advantages that
> > interface
> > brings. But there is currently a project ongoing to rewrite the worksheet
> > interface (but the changes are mostly technical, not visual), maybe that
> work
> > will enable us to do some "free placement". Do you have any interest in
> > implementing this mathcad-interface, or did you mean this message just as
> > a
> > suggestion for us for future developement?
> > 
> > best regards,
> > Alexander

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