KDE Applications 15.04 release brings a new version of the scientific programming software Cantor, with a lot of news. I am specially happy with this release because I worked in several parts of these new features. =)
Come with me™ and let’s see what is new in Cantor.
Cantor ported to Qt5/KF5
Cantor Qt5/KF5 + Breeze theme. In the image it is possible to see the terminal/worksheet, variable management panel, syntax highlighting, code completion, and the standard interface
I started the Cantor port to Qt5/KF5 during previous LaKademy and I continued the development along the year. Maybe I had pushed code from 5 different countries since the beginning of this work.
The change for this new technology was successfully completed, and for the moment we don’t notice any feature missed or new critical bug. All the backends and plugins were ported, and some new bugs created during this work were fixed.
We would like to ask for Cantor users to report any problem or bug in bugzilla. Anyway, the software is really very stable.
When you run Cantor Qt5/KF5 version on the first time, the software will look for Cantor Qt4 configurations and, if it exists, the configurations will be automagically migrated to Cantor Qt5/KF5.
Backend for Python 3
In Season of KDE 2014 I was the mentor of Minh Ngo in the project to create a backend for Python 3, increasing the number of backends in Cantor to 10!
Backend selection screen: Python 3 and their 9 brothers
The backend developed by Minh uses D-Bus protocol to allow communication between Cantor and Python 3. This architecture is different of Python 2, but it is present in others backends, as in the backend for R.
The cool thing is Cantor can be interesting for pythonistas using Python 2 and/or Python 3 now. We would like to get feedback from you, guys!
Cantor first release was originally in 2009, with KDE SC 4.4. Since that date the software did not have an icon.
The Cantor Qt5/KF5 release marks a substantial change in the development of the application, then it is also a good time to release an icon to the software.
The art is excellent! It presents the idea of Cantor: a blackboard to you write and develop your equations and formulas while scratches his head and think “and now, what I need to do to solve it?”. =)
Thank you Andreas Kainz and Uri Herrera, members of VDG team and authors of Cantor icon!
Other changes and bug fixes
Most bugs added in the Qt5/KF5 port were fixed before the release.
There are some small changes to be cited: in KNewStuff categories world, “Python2” category was changed to “Python 2” and “Python 3” category was added; the automatic loading of pylab module in Python backends was dropped; now it is possible to run Python commands mixed with comments in the worksheet; and more.
You can see a complete log of commits, bugfixes, and new features added in this release in this page.
As future work maybe the high-priority for this moment is to drop KDELibs4Support from Cantor. Lucas developed part of this work and we would like to finish it for the next release.
I intend to test if D-Bus communication can be a good solution for Scilab backend. Another task is to redesign the graphical generation assistants of Python backends. A long-term work is to follow the creation of Jupyter project, the future of IPython notebooks. If Cantor can to be compatible with Jupyter, it will be really nice for users and to encourage the collaboration between different communities interested in scientific programming and open science.
I will take advantage of the Cantor Qt5/KF5 release to write about how to use Cantor in two different ways: the Matlab way and the IPython notebooks way. Keep your eyes in the updates from this blog! =)
If you would like to help in Cantor development, please contact me or mail kde-edu maillist and let’s talk about bug fixes, development of new features, and more.
Donations to KDE Brasil – LaKademy 2015!
If you would like to support my work, please make a donation to KDE Brasil. We will host the KDE Latin-American Summit – LaKademy and we need some money to put some latin-american contributors to work together face-to-face. I will focus my LaKademy work in the previously mentioned future works.
You can read more about LaKademy in this dot.KDE history. This page in English explain how to donate. There is other page with the same content in Spanish.