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10.4: Be aware of a Calculator widget bug
Authored by: Makosuke on May 24, '05 06:13:11PM

Glad that somebody explained what I was going to say clearly. It is what it is, and that's the way it behaves. If anything, the basic mode in newer versions of Calculator.app behaves in the less-expected manner.

Additional, UI thoughts:

For one thing, a basic "dumb" (meaning four-function, non-scientific, like the Widget) calculator has no parentheses keys, so you can't type in a lot of equations without breaking them down mentally and hitting enter a lot. This is a big reason to remove the order of operations completely and just operate on the previous two entered values.

An additional good reason to limit four-function calculators to a single thread of logic: If you don't do this, there is absolutely no visual feedback as to the equation you've entered, and as such no way to visually verify what the heck you're doing.

Example: If I type 1 + 2 * 3 - 4 / 5 into a scientific calculator, I should see exactly that (as, for example, the tape in Calculator.app shows). If I type that into a dumb calculator, I'd have no confirmation what I typed, either as I'm typing it or afterward--all I see is an answer.

As such, it's clearer from a UI perspective to, once I type 1+2*, have the calculator display the result of that operation, 3, illustrating what I'm about to operate on next, and so on.



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