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Maple 8 Graphical User Interface (GUI) Improvements

  

Maple 8 includes a number of new features and improvements to the GUI.

 

Maplets Package

Maplet Application Viewer

Mixed Kernel Mode

Interactive Plot Builder

Interactive Curve Fitting Interface

Spellcheck

Programmatic Worksheet Launch

Importing and Exporting XML

Pretty-Printer Enhancements

Saving a Worksheet as a Maplet Application or Maple Input

File Preferences Dialog

Emailing Worksheets

Web Resources Link

The quit Statement and Function

Maplets Package

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Maple 8 introduces the Maplets package, a new technology for creating interactive GUIs for mathematical applications powered by Maple.

  

Using the Maplets package, you can write Maplet application definitions that control the appearance and behavior of a GUI. To display a Maplet application, run the Maplet application object you have created.

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By creating a Maplet interface to a computation, it is not required that end users be familiar with Maple. For example, an instructor can develop course material for a class of students who do not have any knowledge of the Maple syntax or programming.

  

As a Maplet application author, you need an understanding of the Maple programming language that matches the level of complexity of your Maplet applications. Simple Maplet applications can be written with only a basic knowledge of Maple programming.

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You can associate Maple code with GUI interactions in a Maplet application, for example, associate Maple commands and computations with a button. When the user clicks the button, the Maplet application executes the action in Maple.

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The Examples subpackage of the Maplets package contains a large number of Maplet applications that you can modify and reuse.

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The Maplets package is extensively documented. To begin learning how to write and run Maplet applications, see Maplets/RoadMap.

Maplet Application Viewer

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In Windows, the Maplet Application Viewer facility launches a Maplet application outside a Maple session.

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To save a worksheet containing Maplet application code  as a .maplet file, save as file type maplet. (For more information, see Saving a Worksheet as a Maplet Application or Maple Input.) When you double-click a .maplet file, the code in that file executes and your custom Maplet interface displays.

  

Using the Maplet Application Viewer, you can write mini-programs that can be launched from the desktop.

Mixed Kernel Mode

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The kernel is the main computational engine of the Maple software. It saves the values of worksheet variables. Previous releases contained two worksheet kernel modes for the graphical user interface version of Maple: shared (the default mode) and parallel. There is a new mixed kernel mode in Maple 8.

  

In mixed kernel mode, you are prompted to specify the kernel connection for each worksheet window. That is, in the mixed server mode, for each worksheet in a Maple session, you can select whether it uses a (new) parallel kernel (that is, is independent of other worksheets) or shares a kernel with one (or more) other worksheet(s).

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The kernel mode can be modified by using the File Preferences dialog.

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For more information, see kernel modes.

Interactive Plot Builder

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The Interactive Plot Builder provides a GUI to the Maple plotting routines. It is not required that you specify the plot routine or options.

  

To access the Interactive Plot Builder, use the context menu associated with an expression or the plots[interactive] function.

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The Interactive Plot Builder dynamically displays a dialog listing the plot types available for the expression. After you select the plot type, Maple displays a window listing options for the plot. You can select the values for options, and then display the plot or return the calling sequence corresponding to the routine and options you specify.

Interactive Curve Fitting Interface

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The Curve Fitting Assistant provides a GUI to the Maple routines that fit a curve to a set of data points.

Spellcheck

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To check the spelling of words in the text areas of a worksheet, use the Spellcheck feature.

  

To access the Spellcheck, from the Edit menu, select Spellcheck.

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You can create user dictionaries. User dictionaries are stored as text files that you can edit using a text editor.

  

Using the File Preferences dialog, you can control which user dictionary, if any, Maple searches after checking the Maple dictionary.

Programmatic Worksheet Launch

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Programmatic worksheet launch is available in GUI and Command-line versions of Maple 8. In GUI versions, a new worksheet window opens. In Command-line versions, the worksheet is paged on the terminal.

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For more information, see Worksheet[Display].

Importing and Exporting XML

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In GUI versions of Maple 8, you can export worksheets in the Extensible Markup Language (XML) format and load XML documents.

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To export a worksheet in the XML format, from the File menu, select Export As, then XML. For more information, see Export as XML.

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To import a worksheet saved in the XML format, from the File menu, select Open. In the Open File dialog, in the Filetype list, select Maple Worksheet as XML. If the XML document can be converted to a worksheet, it is displayed.

  

When a worksheet imported from XML is saved, by default, the file type is XML.

Pretty-Printer Enhancements

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In Maple 8, there are numerous pretty-printer enhancements: improved derivative display, display precision control, added symbols, basis notation for vectors, and improved expression layout.

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In Maple 8, the derivative notation has changed. Full derivatives are displayed using d-notation. Partial derivatives are displayed as in previous releases.

Diff(f(x),x);

ⅆⅆxfx

(1)

Diff(f(x,y),x);

xfx,y

(2)
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Using display precision, you can have distinct precisions for computation and display. The computation precision is controlled by the Digits environment variable. The display precision is controlled by the interface variable displayprecision.

  

The display precision is the number of decimal places (not the number of significant digits) displayed. The default value is −1, which represents full precision.

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In the GUI worksheet, the pretty-printer uses symbols (instead of names) for the

  

The symbols are used in exported RTF and HTML documents, and printed worksheets.

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Vectors can be displayed using the basis vector notation used in introductory text books. This functionality is used in the new VectorCalculus package.

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The layout of expressions is more compact in Maple 8. For example, the quotient of an integer and the name x displays as a fraction (instead of the product of the integer and the fraction 1x).

2/x;

2x

(3)

Saving a Worksheet as a Maplet Application or Maple Input

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In Maple 8, you can save worksheets as Maplet applications or maple input. Worksheets saved as Maplet applications can be displayed using the Maplet Application Viewer. Worksheets saved as maple input can be loaded into Command-line versions of Maple.

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To save a worksheet as a Maplet application or maple input, from the File menu, select Save As. In the Save As dialog, in the Filetype list, select Maple Input or Maplet.

File Preferences Dialog

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The File Preferences dialog is a GUI to all global options for the worksheet interface. It replaces the Options menu. It contains five tabs.

  

General (browser selection, autosave, kernel mode, palette size, balloon help, and export mathematics width)

  

I/O Display (input display type, output display type, assumed variable annotations, output replacement, and insert mode)

  

Plotting (plot display type, legend display, and print quality)

  

Numerics (precision for display and computation)

  

Spellcheck (user dictionary location and acceptance of Maple words)

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The dialog has an Apply to Session button that applies the settings to the current session and an Apply Globally button that applies the settings to the current session and changes the default settings.

Emailing Worksheets

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In Windows, worksheets can be emailed directly from the Maple software. This feature supports multiple user email profiles.

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To send an email with a worksheet attachment, from the File menu, select Send.

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For more information, see Sending Worksheets as Email Attachments.

Web Resources Link

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In Maple 8, the Help menu contains links to important Web sites, for example, the Maple Application Center. From the Help menu, select Maple on the Web.

The quit Statement and Function

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In Maple 8, entering quit, done, or stop at the Maple prompt no longer terminates the Maple session. To terminate the Maple session, from the File menu, select Exit. For more information, see quit.