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MathGroup Archive 2009

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Manipulate suggestions

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg101282] Manipulate suggestions
  • From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 06:31:30 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University

Now that I've finally gotten around to learning and using Manipulate 
(admittedly late to the table), I have to agree that it truly does 
deserve the Steve Jobs/Apple appellation, "Insanely great".  But, a few 
minor gripes/suggestions:

1)  Executing

      Manipulate[ Plot[x^n, {x, 0, 1}], {{n,2}, 1, 5, Animator}]

without the "Animator" and then clicking the inverted "+" icon gives me 
the icon control buttons and the numeric value/data entry box (which is 
very valuable).  Adding the "Animator" as above auto-opens the icon 
control buttons, but not the numeric field.  

Why not?  (That is, is there a good and necessaru reason it doesn't)  

Is there a way to build an automated "Auto-click the inverted + button  
for me" into the Manipulate command?

2)  Does anyone else agree with me that "-" and "+" single-step buttons 
should be side by side (just like the Slow/Fast vertical double arrows), 
with the Start/Stop button either at the very left end, or over just to 
the left of the Slow/Fast arrows)?  Trivial point, perhaps, but seems 
like a more natural ordering.

3)  And would anyone else agree that the default action if you click the 
single-step buttons while an animation is running should be to _stop_ 
the animation, and wait for further single steps (and let you click the 
Start arrow when you're ready to re-start).

Seems to me this is the way many if not most other video and movie apps 
work -- and the natural way that a user would want it to work.  
(Otherwise, what would be the point of clicking the single step buttons 
during a running animation?)

4)  Any simple way -- repeat, simple! -- to link the single step buttons 
to Left and Right (or Up/Down) Arrow keys on your keyboard.  (Should 
that maybe be the built-in default?  Doesn't nearly every keyboard have 
arrow keys?)

Anyway, despite my other continuing critiques of Mathematica, Manipulate 
is a great concept, very neatly executed, and a real credit to the 
Wolfram team.


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