Why You Should Not Use Emacs calc
emacs has a advanced calculator.
Alt + x
calc to start it.
But i don't recommend using it. Because today, lots other tools are superior. Emacs calc was a killer app in the 1990s. Today it's more or less a relic. It haven't been updated for 30 years, only maintained. While now you have python julia with statistics or linear algebra etc libraries doing artificial intelligence, or WolframLang free doing symbolic equation solving.
I recommend you use a programing language instead, run it in emacs.
The advantage of using a full featured language in a buffer instead of calc are:
- In a buffer file, you have full log of steps and results or complex calculations, finance sheets, can easily do variations in different lines or code blocks, etc, that can be edited and computed. The file is also saved automatically, for any future reference or copy/paste redo.
- In a buffer, you have emacs editing power. Far more easy to edit than calc's specialized input.
- Full featured language allows you to do far more advanced math. You can load lib for calculus or linear algebra or statistics.
- key stroke count to launch or do calculation is no more that using calc.
programing language i recommend for this are:
- Wolfram Language
Don't use compiled langs, such as Java, Golang, because they are too verbose.
- Setup emacs so that you can press a key to launch a new file of the programing language with template. E.g. Press a key, a
~/calc.pyopens, and the file contains the line
print( );and any import of libs you may want. So you can readily type and print.
- Setup emacs so that you can press a key to eval the current file.
For how to setup, see
why not use calc
consider, how many keys u need to press to launch calc? by default, there is no key. so M-x c a l c. 6.5 keys. now, u can define a key, to open say ~/temp.py. say, f1. so, just on launching a tool, the .py or .nb or even spreadsheet, can be faster than calc.
that's consideration of how fast or easy to launch it. then, we can look at the power of the tool aspect. then we look at the ease of learning of the tool aspect. and we look at the ease of operating the tool aspect. (keystrokes requires to do the calculation)
For example, the power of the tool aspect. We look at the feature set of the tool. e.g. what r the things u need to compute most of the time (is it just ur money in and out, or sci calc, or you need metric/imperial unit conversion often, or you are a business financial man, or more advanced math such as matrixes, statistics, equations, etc.). How easy it is to do them in your tool.
i would claim, all the aspects above, emacs calc is worse, today. compared to WolframLang, python, perl, ruby.
vast majority use of emacs calc, is just simple addition. like at groceries, you need a calculator for. So, the typing in a lang would be print 3.2 + 40.19 - 50 + 910.50 etc.