siunitx 2: more numbers, more tables, SVN?

The issue of input formats for siunitx and numbers has been mentioned. It seems every time I think I’ve sorted broadly what I need to do, other ideas come up. I’ve thought about scientific notation before, but haven’t had a go at coding anything. The idea of “compressing” error input such as 1.23\pm 0.02 into 1.23(2) was mentioned to me before, but that one slipped off my radar. I guess I should re-visit both of these areas and see what I can do. Of course, that will delay me with other things, but I’d really like siunitx 2 to cover a lot of things that version 1 does less well.

Tables have also been raised (again). I’ve had a quick look at pgfplotstable in the past, but I suppose I should read things in detail. I mention it a lot, but tables were not on the original “manifesto” for siunitx, and have rather crept up on me. It seems that this is a key area for users, and so I’ll also need to look at this area again. I’ve already said I need to work on more table ideas, so this is not really that much of a surprise. Over all, my aims in siunitx are probably slightly different to pgfplotstable, but I’ll see what I can learn.

All of this leads me to worrying about public information and releases. As a developer, I’d love to keep things simple for users, and only release working material. On the other hand, advanced users often provide good feedback well before things are done. I think I need some kind of public repository for the version 2 code, and as I currently use BerliOS for my LaTeX3 ideas, I’ll look at settings something up there over the weekend. They seem to be quite happy with the LPPL, which not every free open-source hosting service is.

2 thoughts on “siunitx 2: more numbers, more tables, SVN?

  1. I hope my comments didn’t put any pressure on you – that wasn’t the idea. I was merely curious about the design decisions you are going to make with siunitx because they will shape up the future of this package (at least for ver. 2). From that point of view it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to make input format of numbers independent form the output format.

    The reason I mentioned pgfplotstable is because of its design rather than functionality. One thing I like about it is that a number of hooks is provided at key points in the processing chain. That allows for a lot of customization with relatively little effort. To give an example, one can pre- and postprocess cell content before and after formating. Combined with the possibility to pass the content unformated this allows to use fully custom formating but still benefit from other functionality in that package. In principle it should be even possible to use siunitx for number formating in pgfplotstable but I haven’t tried that.

    • No problems. Much of what is in siunitx is things that people have suggested to me. I have one or two “regulars”, who have provided a lot of the ideas implemented. I’ve already gone quite a long way in separating input and output, particularly at the low level for version 2. In v1 things are a bit inter-mixed (this is one of the reasons for a new version).

      On pgfplotstable, it gives me ideas not only for siunitx v2 but also where I thing tables in LaTeX3 need to go. At present nothing is even planned there (that I know), but I have a feeling I’ll need to take a keen interest once I start on siunitx for LaTeX3 (probably in 2010).

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