KDE for scientific work

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Qalculate backend for Cantor

A very popular request on the Qalculate forums is a port of the KDE3 interface to KDE4. While there is no progress that I know of on this task, there is now an alternative for KDE users: using Cantor as a graphical interface.

As some you already noticed, I have recently pushed a new branch, called qalculate-backend, into the Cantor git repository. The backend was originally created by Milian Wolff and recently I have also been working on it. The main functionality of the backend is already implemented, as you can see from the screenshot below.

Some work on the help system has also been already done, but it’s not complete yet:

What is still missing, compared to the other backends already available, is the ability to support LaTeX output, variable management, linear algebra support (to guide the user in the creation of vectors and matrices), syntax highlighting and tab completions.

If someone is interested in contributing, please leave a comment below! The target would be to implement most of these features before SC 4.8 and merge the backend into git master.

Cirkuit 0.4 released with many new features

Hello planet,

it’s been quite a long time since the last post, I’ve been extremely busy at work lately. I am pleased to announce a new version for Cirkuit. I’ve been using it quite a lot lately and I think it’s ready for public consumption.
Here’s a showcase of the main new features:
  • the preview widget has been completely reworked. Now it is possible to zoom in/out the preview or you can ‘Zoom to fit’ like in the previous releases of Cirkuit. This can be useful when you work on large figures and you want to work on some small details. Now you can zoom in the desired area and track the changes there easily. Additionally, the generation of the preview has been optimized and should be now much faster than in previous versions. The resizing of the widget is also now smoother and faster.
  • The templates used by Cirkuit to generate the preview are now editable. They can be configured with the new ‘Template manager’, which supports Get Hot New Stuff so that you can share and download new templates. This feature is mostly interesting if you want to use some LaTeX package inside your figure. You can now simply edit the template and add custom \usepackage instructions.
  • Are you particularly satisfied with the figure you just created with Cirkuit? You can now share it with the community via the built-in GHNS support. You can also download the diagrams shared by other users.

  • The keyboard shortcuts and toolbar are now fully configurable, so you can now redefine the shortcuts to generate the preview, export it and so on.
  • Especially interesting for developers, a new backend system (similar to the one used in Cantor) has been implemented. This means that it’s fairly easy to generate a new backend and add it to Cirkuit. As an example. a new PSTricks backend has been created and added in this release.
  • The help system has been also improved, providing the correct documentation for the currently used backend (if the backend supports it)
In addition to these new features, several bug fixes and minor improvements have been also implemented. So, get the sources here, test the application thoroughly and file bug reports and wishes at The source code is hosted on