Google Calculator

Russell Turpin deafbox at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 16 15:05:37 PDT 2003


While the Google calculator is cool, it's
not quite what I have long dreamed about in
a calculator-type website. Here's what I
think might sneak into the veins of the
geek world.

(1) An open and extensible database of
dimensions, units, conversion constants,
and formulae. The idea here is that this
database is never finished. Every new field
or refinement of practice creates its own
units, constants, etc. And as we all know,
constants are merely variables that change
slowly, for example, as they are better
measured.

(2) The database needs to be browsable, so
that engineers can see what's in it, what
the logic is behind the calculations, and
can select variants that are relevant to
their work.

(3) Once a set of related units, constants,
and formulae have been selected, the
visitor should be able to generate a file
in C, C++, Python or other likely language
that contains these in language-specific
form. In other words, if you're writing
code for some automated quantitative
analysis device, based on reaction rates
as a function of pH, temperature, etc.,
you should be able to download all your
constants and conversion formulae from
this website.

Of course, no one writes embedded or
engineering software any more, so maybe
this isn't needed. ;-)

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