Nonpareil status

Several people have inquired about the status of Nonpareil, so it’s time for an update.

There are major changes in progress that are mostly “under the hood.” The released versions of Nonpareil install KML, image, and ROM files in a library directory (or with the Program Files in Windows). There has been no clear distinction made between the files relating to the user interface, and the files that define a calculator model. In fact, the KML files contain both kinds of information.

In the next major release (probably to be numbered 0.90), there is a clean division. The user interface will be defined by “.nui” files (Nonpareil User Interface), which are ZIP files that contain a KML file and a bunch of .png images. Instead of a single image, there are now separate background and overlay images, and separate images for each key. But since they are all bundled together into a .nui file, there is actually less clutter.

The ROM code and the information formerly in the KML file that defined a calculator model (non-UI) will now be in a “.ncd” (Nonpareil Calculator Definition) file.

Generally there will only be a single .ncd file for each model of calculator (e.g., HP-25, HP-38C, HP-41CV, etc.), but there may be any number of .nui files for a model. I am only going to supply one .nui file per model initially, based on the graphics developed by Maciej Bartosiak for the MacOS X port, but it is intended that other people be able to create more relatively easily. Thus people that prefer photorealistic images can create new .nui files to suit.

The Voyager calculators (11C, 12C, 15C, 16C) will be removed from the base “nonpareil” package, and instead will be part of a “nonpareil-voyager” add-on package. This is due to the the Voyager firmware being covered by a non-GPL license, most likely the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike 2.5 license. (The Voyager firmware has never been covered by the GPL or licensed for distribution, despite the fact that most of Nonpareil is covered by the GPL.)

Note that the trunk of the Subversion source code repository is not usable at the moment; in fact, it is rarely expected to be usable. Any time that there is a significant improvement or bug fix to the code, and it is usable, I publish a release. The purpose of allowing anonymous access to the source code repository is so that people can look at the history, or at what’s changing.

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One Response to Nonpareil status

  1. Hi Eric
    Nice to see Nonpareil still is under developement. If I can help with anything, let me know.
    I have a strange problem when I try to start up Nonpareil.exe using 41cx.kml. The shape of the calculator shows up with no buttons or display for about 0.5 second and then disarrears again and the program shuts down. Nothing else happen.
    The others work ok, including the other 41′s.
    I have removed the program, restarted and uppacked the program again, but with no differenties.
    I know its hard to answer – but what can be wrong?


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