Just a week ago, HPCalc.org released a video of a zoom meeting of Cyrille de Brebission (one of the HP calculator developers) explaining what the team has been doing and why it has been so difficult to work on new content.

As a surprise to no one, this Covid Pandemic was a major factor, but not in the way you may expect. Cyrille and Tim Wessman (Another HP calculator developer) are actually working two completely different jobs at HP: Calculators and PC accessories. Without going into too much detail, the pandemic started a massive demand for laptops that HP had to satisfy. This meant that Cyrille and Tim needed to focus almost entirely on their PC accessories job which left very little time to work on calculators at all.

Changing gears, Cyrille spoke on bringing back the HP Prime emulator app back to the App and Google Play store. Unfortunately, Apple and Google don't like the whole 'If it ain't broke don't fix it' saying and remove apps that haven't been updated in a while; even if they're still compatible and work well on the latest OS. The app can't be recompiled using the new SDK because there's too many things that have changed in the SDK causing the update process to be too time consuming for the current situation. There was discussion on making the apps open source, but unfortunately there's many issues with not all the code belonging to HP (~ 1:02:00) & (1:20:00).

He also discussed the beta Python app, confirming that they are indeed still planning on releasing an app based on micro-Python sometime in the future, "Hopefully whenever we have time to do it" (9:19). Along with mentioning that public beta Python apps will be released once development has started back up. Cyrille mentioned his vision on how the app would integrate with the Prime. Unlike TI's implementation where you can only program Python in the Python app, Cyrille wants to integrate Python into the main program editor and allow the user to exchange objects easily among Python, PPL, and CAS!

Cyrille touched on why Assembly isn't available on the HP Prime. I was disappointed to hear that the main reason is he didn't feel confident enough to allow ASM capabilities and proper security for the exam mode at the same time. I don't know the history of ASM on HP calculators but it doesn't sound like HP ever had an issue of cheating on previous calculators, so I'm a bit confused why this was the main reason. Fortunately, Cyrille is considering adding limited ASM capabilities to the Prime in the future. This limited ASM which would have significantly fewer features than PPL, but would allow a major boost in speed. This isn't a priority feature however and it will likely be many years before Cyrille actually starts implementing ASM.

This was the end of the HP Prime talk. Although I'm quite sad that HP doesn't care enough about the calculator division to hire people specifically for it, I'm hopeful for the future. When the pandemic finally settles down and the team has time to work on calculators again, there should be heaps of mobile apps and Python app betas to try! The HP Prime is definitely not getting discontinued so it's not a matter of 'if' these things will happen, it's a matter of 'when'.

Cyrille spoke about lots of other calculator related things, like HID support, and even showed a bit of HP Prime source code! (25:40) It's really nice to see transparency in a company and I highly suggest watching the video, I personally found it fascinating!
Thanks for posting that summary of the video. Reading it is so much faster than watching the video Smile
Register to Join the Conversation
Have your own thoughts to add to this or any other topic? Want to ask a question, offer a suggestion, share your own programs and projects, upload a file to the file archives, get help with calculator and computer programming, or simply chat with like-minded coders and tech and calculator enthusiasts via the site-wide AJAX SAX widget? Registration for a free Cemetech account only takes a minute.

» Go to Registration page
Page 1 of 1
» All times are UTC - 5 Hours
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum