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Prime Emulator and Conn. Kit fix wishlist 2018
04-27-2018, 01:57 AM
Post: #1
Prime Emulator and Conn. Kit fix wishlist 2018
I’ve been doing a lot more Prime development recently and liking this calculator a lot more now that I know it better. Here are a few bugs and “low hanging fruit” usability suggestions. Latest firmware / emulator / conn. kit as of April 2018.

1. Stuck SHIFT KEY in hp prime emulator
When switching between Prime emulator, Connectivity Kit and Prime pdf help on a Mac I often find the Shift key on the Prime emulator stuck in the down state when I switch back to the emulator. This happens several times an hour and makes using the emulator calculator impossible after that point. There is no recovery except to quit and restart the Prime emulator. This in my opinion is an “A” level bug, which I’ve previously reported during beta. I don’t have a guaranteed way to reproduce it except to CMD-Tab from the emulator to other apps and back, till it happens. The reason for the bug might be related to the fact that the Mac keyboard CMD key activates SHIFT on the prime emulator and also is used as part of the system wide CMD-Tab application switching shortcut.
Wish: Prevent Shift key being stuck down bug.

2. Flaky communication between Prime and Connectivity Kit
The prime emulator often has trouble connecting to the connectivity kit. If the Prime emulator is visible in the Connectivity Kit App and I quit the Prime Emulator (e.g. because of point 1, above) and restart the emulator, the Connectivity Kit usually does not reconnect and the Emulator is not listed. This is on a Mac (tested on multiple machines, high sierra, el capitan and sierra). Workaround: Click on the Emulator Wireless Network Properties (top right of Prime emulator screen) and select No Network, or alternatively select HP_Classroom till it connects. My old workaround was to restart the Prime Emulator and Connectivity Kit programs till they somehow talked to each other.
Wish: Connectivity Kit should recognise Prime Emulator immediately without fiddling.

3. Downloading Prime Emulator update inside Connectivity Kit does nothing
When I check for updates via the Connectivity Kit and both an update to the Connectivity Kit Software and the Prime Emulator are found and downloaded - only the Connectivity Kit update process gets initiated successfully. The Prime Emulator DMG goes somewhere mysterious and doesn’t get launched. Checking again for updates using Connectivity Kit says there are no updates, yet clearly the HP Prime Emulator has not been updated. Workaround: search the internet for the latest HP Prime Emulator software and download and run it.
Wish: Both updates are applied.

4. Connectivity Kit Refresh from Prime is only one-way
The Connectivity Kit only reads the state of the Prime Emulator (or any connected Prime iOS/real hardware/Android) on first connection. Any code changes made on the Prime are not seen by the Connectivity Kit thereafter. This means that if you edit code on the connected Prime and also edit a connected Prime program in the Connectivity Kit and save, the Connectivity Kit version always overwrites the connected Prime version. This principle also applies to apps eg. spreadsheets. Editing a spreadsheet app program code in the Connectivity Kit and hitting save, will reset all changes made to the connected Prime spreadsheet incl cells formats and values - to the state they were in when the Prime Emulator first connected to the Connectivity Kit.
Wish: Two way sync.

Here are some “low hanging fruit” in the Connectivity Kit code editor:

5. Tab indenting and Block comment features
- Hitting Tab or Shift-Tab should indent/deindent selected lines. Indentation is an important part of programming and all code editors have this basic feature.
- Hitting CMD-/ (or some other hotkey) should insert or remove comments on selected lines.

More ambitious Connectivity Kit code editor improvements:

- 6. Syntax checking in the Connectivity Kit code editor. This alone would save many round trips to the Emulator and back.
- 6.1. Add and document any Keyboard Shortcuts in the Connectivity Kit code editor
- 6.2. Add code templates and a menu of all insertable Prime commands to the Connectivity Kit code editor.
P.S. I tried the Notepad++ with the nice HP Prime plugin in a VM but for some reason the ▶ symbol gets changed into a different character when I copy and paste between Notepad++ and the Connectivity Kit code editor!

7. Prime Emulator Keyboard Shortcuts.
Create and document a comprehensive way to hit all Prime Emulator buttons using keyboard shortcuts. E.g. I want to hit the “View” button using a keyboard shortcut rather than via using a mouse - how do I do it? I can use Free42 from the keyboard - even triggering soft menus etc. using F1…F6, and wish I could “drive” the Prime emulator in a similar way.

8. Access to printout terminal - iOS too.
There is no way to bring up the ‘teminal output window’ once it has been ESC’d out of, on the Prime Emulator and even on iOS and Android Prime. Only the hardware Prime has the secret shortcut of holding the ON button and pressing divide.

9. The SHOW command - make it wrap
Not sure what the point of this command is, except maybe to focus on something during a discussion or presentation. If I have a long line in the Home screen I can already scroll the display to the left/right to view the rest of the line. The SHOW command just shows me that long line on a screen by itself - but I still have to scroll left and right. If it would wrap - now that would be a godsend!

  • Meaningless exclamation mark symbol error messages on the Prime - how about some meaningful text message occasionally? Especially in INPUT form validation etc.
  • iOS stability - I still have ocassional occurrences of total app crashes - April 2018.
  • Full, official documentation on the Python cas programming mode.

Apologies if I have misunderstood something, or if some of these issues have been discussed and settled before in other threads.

P.S. I’ve previously reported issues 1, 2, 4 in an email to the HP beta program & 8 in a post.
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04-27-2018, 04:48 AM
Post: #2
RE: Prime Emulator and Conn. Kit fix wishlist 2018

Nice list, thanks!


Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own. I do not speak for HP.
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