[gcalctool] scientific notation not working

Bug #662876 reported by marbertone on 2010-10-18
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Calculator
gnome-calculator (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gcalctool

I'm a happy Ubuntu user. Surprisingly I noticed gcalctool's new look, and I remained very pleased. But then I discovered that pasting such a number as 1.00035284274E-002 into it gives me the following output:
"E not recognized"
Geeez! I switched to Ubuntu from Vista also because I work a lot w/ data (I'm a physicist) and the middle-click-paste was awesome to interface gvim and gcalctool. Now it doesn't work anymore...
shame on the new gcalctool!
Mario Alberto

Ubuntu version: Maverick 10.10

Thank you for your bug report. There's a upstream bug report about this: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=620191 Apparently the change was intentional (because "E" can now be a variable and having a second meaning would be ambiguous), see this IRC discussion: http://irclogs.ubuntu.com/2010/06/01/%23ubuntu-desktop.html

I'm setting the bug to confirmed, I personally think your use case is widespread enough to treat "E" special.

Changed in gcalctool (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in gcalctool:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
status: Unknown → Confirmed
wombat (jewett-aij) wrote :

Another issue:
It is completely impossible to represent numbers smaller than 10^-12 with the new calculator. It does not matter whether you enter the number using scientific notation, or if you press the "10^y" button, or type in "0.0000000001". The number is displayed as "0". This makes the calculator tool useless for a wide range of people taking courses or doing engineering work.
(I don't want to post this as a new bug, because it seems to be related to this bug.)

davepc (dave-p-clarke) wrote :

The new implementation of scientific notation (which I dont like) also works intermittently.
If I want to enter say 1.567E5+1.1E5

I type 1.567, press the x10y key then type 5.

some times I get the correct 1.567x10^5 and sometimes I get 1.567x105 (as in one hundred and five).

a) When it works, I then press + then 1. But that 1 ends up super script. I cant return to normal size.

b) When it doesn't work, I delete the 5 from 105 and try holding down alt, this works for top row numbers but not the numeric key pad. so alt+ (top row)5 gets it, but then its a case of case a) with it stuck on superscript.

so in short, the only way to do the sum on gcalctool is to enter 156700+110000!

This is the case on both my desktops using ubuntu 10.10 (one a fresh install). using gcalctool 5.32.0.

Robert Ancell (robert-ancell) wrote :


I believe all those problems are now fixed in the natty version. You can try the latest version from this PPA:

marmuta (marmuta) wrote :

This is not fixed in Oneirics version 6.0.2-0ubuntu1. The linked bugzilla report seems to have stalled too.

As this bug report states, it is impossible to exchange data with programs using E-notation (i.e. all programs I care for).
Also In it's current form entering numbers in scientific notation is inefficient and error prone due to the need for parenthesis: e.g. 8E9/30E6 becomes 8x109/(30x106).

Is there a way to to have it not pulled in by ubuntu-desktop anymore? This would allow for easier replacement with alternatives.

Changed in gcalctool (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Robert Roth (evfool) on 2011-10-22
Changed in gcalctool (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
affects: gcalctool → gnome-calculator
affects: gcalctool (Ubuntu) → gnome-calculator (Ubuntu)
Changed in gnome-calculator:
status: Confirmed → Expired
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