Sunday, May 13, 2012

GSoC project for Cantor

Hi, this is my first post on the planet. I am Martin Küttler, a mathematics student from Germany. I am very late with this, but still: I was accepted for GSoC this year! I proposed to implement a new interface for Cantor, and I am looking forward to spend the summer on this task.

Cantor's current interface (henceforth known as 'the old interface' :) ) uses a KRichTextWidget, which brings several limitations. Some of these could be worked around with some efforts (and some have been), but that's not a real solution, as KRichTextWidget just is not suitable for the worksheet interface Cantor strives for. 
That's why I want to implement a new interface based on the Qt Graphics View Framework. When it's done it is supposed to provide a better user experience without all the quirks (and occasional crashes) of the old interface, and with decent search and undo/redo features. On top of that it should bring a lot of new possibilities for user interaction, that are not (easily) possible with a mere text-based approach. In the end of the summer I intend to implement an inline input assistant for a convenient matrix creation.

The code can be found at the gsoc2012 branch of Cantor. It is working already, but a lot of the old features are still missing, and there are new features bugs instead. I intend to address those issues in the next few weeks, and I will post here when there are major improvements. But the code can be tried out already, and if you do so please leave a comment to tell me what you think of it.

It looks like this is going to be an exciting summer for Cantor, as Filipe Saraiva also started implementing a Python backend for Cantor. I'm really looking forward to it!


  1. Great! I'm no expert in interfaces, but for example QT Octave needs a manager, and its interface could be improve too :)

    1. I'm no expert in interfaces either, all I know comes from using them and finding out what I like or dislike.
      There is an Octave backend for Cantor, so I am working on one of the possible interfaces for octave. I do not currently think I will work in Qt Octave though.

  2. Hi Martin, welcome into the KDE community and your work on Cantor is very exciting!

  3. Hey there, this sounds great -- open source mathematics applications with good UIs are rare! So far the best I found is wxmaxima, but something Qt based would be very much appreciated. Good luck with this project!