

H or help  
Prints a help usage message to standard output, then exits.  
E  Specifies that numerical output should be in scientific notation. 
EE  Specifies that numerical output should NOT be in scientific notation. 
PXXX 
Sets the "precision", or the number of decimal places displayed, to be XXX. This setting only affects output, not internal representations. If the precision is set to 1, the number of decimal places displayed will depend on the value.
Precision is set to autoadjust (1) by default. Example: wcalc P6 
v or version  
Prints the version number and exits.  
d or dec or decimal  
Results are printed in decimal (base 10). This option is the default, and does not have a default prefix to indicate that numbers are in base 10.  
h or hex or hexadecimal  
Results are printed in hexadecimal (base 16). Numbers printed in hexadecimal have a prefix of 0x unless the p or prefixes option is used.  
o or oct or octal  
Results are printed in octal (base 8). Numbers printed in octal have a prefix of 0 unless the p or prefixes option is used.  
b or bin or binary  
Results are printed in binary (base 2). Numbers printed in binary have a prefix of 0b unless the p or prefixes option is used.  
p or prefixes  
Toggles printing prefixes for hexadecimal, octal, and binary forms.  
l or lenient  
Makes the parser assume that uninitialized variables have a value of zero.  
r or radians  
Toggles whether trigonometric functions assume input (and output) is in radians. By default, trigonometric functions assume input is in degrees.  
q or quiet  
Toggles whether the equals sign will be printed before the results.  
c or conservative  
Toggles accuracy guards. Because of the way floating point numbers are stored in computers, some numbers cannot be represented exactly (such as 0.1). Because of this, calculating with those numbers can produce results that are not exactly correct, but are different from the correct answer by a very small value (smaller than the floating point value can represent accurately). For example, the calculation of 1.9.1 can return an extremely small number that is not zero but is less than what can be represented accurately, and thus for all intents and purposes, it is 0. The accuracy guard feature will round numbers to zero if they are less than the representable accuracy of the floating point number. However, sometimes numbers that small or smaller need to be displayed, and thus the accuracy guard should be turned off. Alternatively, the number of internal bits could be increased, which makes it possible to represent numbers with more accuracy.  
u or units [type]  
Prints units used for conversions; parameter type can be: lengths, areas, volumes, masses, speeds, powers, forces, accelerations, temperatures, angles, or pressures. If the parameter is not supplied, all units are printed.  
remember  
Toggles whether or not expressions that produce errors are remembered in the history. Does not affect commandline math.  
round= { none  simple  sig_fig }  
Wcalc can attempt to warn you when numbers have been rounded in the output display. It has two methods of keeping trackeither by using significant figures (sig_fig), or by a simple digitcounting algorithm. Rounding in the commandline version is denoted by a tilde before the equals sign (~=). Rounding in the GUI version is denoted by changing the text color to red. In some cases, Wcalc may think that the number has been rounded even if it shouldn’t have been necessary (this is because of the way floating point numbers are represented internally).  
dsep=X  
Sets the decimal separator character to be X.  
tsep=X  
Sets the thousands separator character to be X.  
idsep=X  
Sets the inputonly decimal separator character to be X.  
itsep=X  
Sets the inputonly thousands separator character to be X.  
bitsXXXX  
Sets the number of bits of memory that will be used to internally represent numbers to be XXXX. The default is 1024. Set higher if you need to work with extremely large or extremely small numbers, set lower if you want to use less memory.  
ints  Toggles whether long integers will be abbreviated or not. This conflicts with engineering notation for large numbers, but not for decimals. 
verbose  
Toggles verbose mode, which displays the expression to be calculated before calculating it.  
defaults  
Prevents reading the .wcalcrc file.  
C or color  
Toggles the use of color in the commandline output.  
Variables are supported and may be assigned using the = operator. To assign a variable use the form:foo = anylegalexpression
Thereafter, that variable name is the same as the literal value it represents. Expressions can be stored in variables like this:
foo = ’anylegalexpression’
Expressions stored this way will be interpreted at evaluation time, rather than assignmenttime. Note that these cannot be recursive.
All variables may also be stored with a description of what they are. This description is added in the form of a quoted string after the assignment, like this:
foo = ’anylegalexpression’ ’description’
Active variables are designed to give a functionality similar to userdefined functions. They are variables that rather than representing a value, represent an expression that is evaluated whenever the variable is evaluated. This expression may contain other variable names. For example, after the following sequence of commands:foo=5
bar=’foo+4’The variable bar will evaluate to 9, or four more than whatever foo evaluates to be. These can be stacked, like so:
baz=’sin(bar)+foo’
In this case, baz will evaluate to be 5.15643, or the sin of whatever foo+4 is plus whatever foo is.
To demonstrate the utility of these active variables, here are two functions written by Stephen M. Lawson. The first computes the weekday of a given day (dy) in a given month (mo) in a given year (yr). The value it returns is in the range of 1 to 7, where 1 is Sunday, 2 is Monday, 3 is Tuesday, and so forth.
weekday=’(((floor((yr  floor(0.6 + 1 / mo)) / 400)  floor((yr  floor(0.6 + 1 / mo)) / 100) + floor((5 * (yr  floor(0.6 + 1 / mo))) / 4) + floor(13 * (mo + 12 * floor(0.6 + 1 / mo) + 1) / 5))  (7 * floor((floor((yr  floor(0.6 + 1 / mo)) / 400)  floor((yr  floor(0.6 + 1 / mo)) / 100) + floor((5 * (yr  floor(0.6 + 1 / mo))) / 4) + floor(13 * (mo + 12 * floor(0.6 + 1 / mo) + 1) / 5)) / 7)) + 1) + 5 + dy) % 7 + 1’
The second function computes what day Easter will be for a given year (yr) and returns an offset from March 31st. For example, for the year 2005, it returns 4, which means March 27th. Because of leapyear problems, this only works from the year 1900 to 2099, but is a good demonstration nevertheless.
easter=’((19 * (yr  19 * floor(yr / 19)) + 24)  floor((19 * (yr  19 * floor(yr / 19)) + 24) / 30) * 30) + ((2 * (yr  4 * floor(yr / 4)) + 4 * (yr  7 * floor(yr / 7)) + 6 * ((19 * (yr  19 * floor(yr / 19)) + 24)  floor((19 * (yr  19 * floor(yr / 19)) + 24) / 30) * 30) + 5)  floor((2 * (yr  4 * floor(yr / 4)) + 4 * (yr  7 * floor(yr / 7)) + 6 * ((19 * (yr  19 * floor(yr / 19)) + 24)  floor((19 * (yr  19 * floor(yr / 19)) + 24) / 30) * 30) + 5) / 7) * 7)  9’
There are two basic kinds of builtin symbols in wcalc: functions and constants.
The functions supported in wcalc are almost all selfexplanatory. Here are the basic descriptions.
sin cos tan cot The standard trigonometric functions asin acos atan acot or arcsin arccos arctan arccot or sin^1 cos^1 tan^1 cot^1 The standard arc trigonometric functions. sinh cosh tanh coth The standard hyperbolic trigonometric functions. asinh acosh atanh acoth or arcsinh arccosh arctanh arccoth or sinh^1 cosh^1 tanh^1 coth^1 The standard arc hyperbolic trigonometric functions. log ln logtwo Logbaseten, logbasee and logbasetwo, respectively. Remember, you can also construct logbaseX of number Y by computing log(Y)/log(X). round Returns the integral value nearest to the argument according to the typical rounding rules. abs Returns the absolute value of the argument. ceil ceiling floor Returns the ceiling or floor of the argument. sqrt cbrt The square and cube root functions. rand Returns a random number between 0 and the number given. irand Returns a random integer between 0 and the number given. fact Returns the factorial of a number. Gamma Returns the value of the Gamma function at that value. lnGamma Returns the value of the log Gamma function at that value. zeta Returns the value of the Riemann zeta function at that value. sinc Returns the sinc function (for sinus cardinalis) of the input, also known as the interpolation function, filtering function or the first spherical Bessel function, is the product of a sine function and a monotonically decreasing function.
Wcalc supports a lot of constants. Some are special (like pi), and some are simply mathematical or physical constants that have been hardcoded in. The physics constants are taken from http://physics.nist.gov/constants, and should all be in predictable SI units.The value of pi is special, as it is calculated to however many bits of precision have been specified with the \bits command. The default number of bits is 1024, or a value of:
3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937
5105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117
0679821480865132823066470938446095505822317253594
0812848111745028410270193852110555964462294895493
0381964428810975665933446128475648233786783165271
2019091456485669234603486104543266482133936072602
4914127372458699747248223615028234079551511205588
1168465696731309335738719301105597412739780116660
0823447367841524950037348489795545416453901986117
5727227318713884226435889742120217131949568051423
0839931356624755337162012934002605160185668467703
3122428187855479365508702723110143458240736806341
7989633389232864603510897727208179195996751333631
1014750579717366267579547177770281431880438556092
9672479177350549251018537674006123614790110383192
5028979233679937836193101666790131879693151725794
3860403036395703382632593537215128964016797694845
3904619615481368332936937026831888367580239969088
9326975278116532822249504103365733859441905164461
4642369403738060905908822203694572794411694624061
6684848934170304346480406820774078369140625Similarly, all values that rely on the value of pi, like mu0, have the same level of precision. Here is a complete list of the symbols used to represent the constants hardcoded into wcalc:
e The logarithm constant:
2.718281828459045235360287471352662497757247093699959574966gamma Euler’s Constant: 0.5772156649015328606065120900824024310421
593359399235988057672348848677267776646709369470632917467495
146314472498070824809605040144865428362241739976449235362535
0033374293733773767394279259525824709491600873520394816567K Catalan Constant: 0.9159655941772190150546035149323841107741
493742816721342664981196217630197762547694793565129261151062
485744226191961995790358988033258590594315947374811584069953
3202877331946051903872747816408786590902g Acceleration due to gravity: 9.80665 m/s/s Cc Coulomb’s Constant: 8987551787.37
Z0 or Zzero Impedance of Vacuum: 376.730313461 ohms epsilon0 or epsilonzero Permittivity of Free Space: 8.854187817e12 F/m mu0 or muzero Permeability of Free Space calculated as 4*pi*10^7. G Gravitational Constant: 6.67259e11 h Planck Constant: 6.6260755e34 c Speed of Light: 299792458
muB Bohr Magneton: 5.78838174943e11 J/T muN Nuclear Magneton: 3.15245123824e14 J/T G0 Conductance Quantum: 7.748091733e5 S ec Elementary Charge: 1.60217653e19 Kj Josephson Constant: 483597.879e9 Hz/V Rk Von Klitzing Constant: 25812.807449 omega
Malpha Alpha Particle Mass: 6.6446565e27 kg a0 Bohr Radius: 5.291772108e11 m Md Deuteron Mass: 3.34358335e27 kg Me Electron Mass: 9.1093897e31 kg re Electron Radius: 2.817940325e15 m eV Electron Volt: 1.602177250e12 J Gf Fermi Coupling Constant: 1.16638e5 GeV^2 alpha Fine Structure Constant: 7.29735253327e3 eh Hartree Energy: 4.35974417e18 J Mh Helion Mass: 5.00641214e27 kg Mmu Muon Mass: 1.88353140e28 kg Mn Neutron Mass: 1.67492728e27 kg Mp Proton Mass: 1.67262171e27 kg Rinf Rydberg Constant: 10973731.568525 1/m Mt Tau Mass: 3.16777e27 kg
u Atomic Mass Constant: 1.66053886e27 kg Na or NA Avogadro’s Constant: 6.0221367e23 k Boltzmann Constant: 1.3806505e23 F Faraday Constant: 96485.3383 C/mol c1 First Radiation Constant: 3.74177138e16 W m^2 n0 or nzero Loschmidt Constant: 2.6867773e25 m^3 R Molar Gas Constant: 8.314472 Vm or NAk Molar Volume of Ideal Gas: 22.413996e3 (m^3)/mol c2 Second Radiation Constant: 1.4387752e2 m K sigma StefanBoltzmann Constant: 5.670400e8 b Wien Displacement Law Constant: 2.8977686e3 m K
random A Random Value irandom A Random Integer
There are some special symbols that wcalc accept as input for compound operations.
@Inf@ Symbol that represents Infinity @NaN@ Symbol that represents "Not a Number"
There are several commands that are supported in wcalc.
\pXXX Sets the "precision", or the number of decimal places displayed, to be XXX. This setting only affects output, not internal representations. If the precision is set to 1, the number of decimal places displayed will depend on the value. The default is 1. \e or \eng or \engineering Rotates between always using scientific notation, never using scientific notation, and choosing to do scientific notation when convenient. Can also take an argument that is one of always, never, and automatic to choose a mode directly. \help or ? Displays a help screen. \prefs Prints out the current preference settings. \li or \list or \listvars Prints out the currently defined variables. \r or \radians Toggles between using and not using radians for trigonometric calculations. \cons or \conservative Toggles accuracy guards. Because of the way floating point numbers are stored in computers, some numbers cannot be represented exactly (such as 0.1). Because of this, calculating with those numbers can produce results that are not exactly correct, but are different from the correct answer by a very small value (smaller than the floating point value can represent accurately). For example, the calculation of 1.9.1 can return an extremely small number that is not zero but is less than what can be represented accurately, and thus for all intents and purposes, it is 0. The accuracy guard feature will round numbers to zero if they are less than the representable accuracy of the floating point number. However, sometimes numbers that small or smaller need to be displayed, and thus the accuracy guard should be turned off. Alternatively, the number of internal bits could be increased, which makes it possible to represent numbers with more accuracy. \p or \picky or \l or \lenient Toggles variable parsing rules. When wcalc is "picky" it will complain if you use undefined variables. If it is "lenient", wcalc will assume a value of 0 for undefined variables. \re or \remember or \remember_errors Toggles whether or not expressions that produce errors are remembered in the history. \pre or \prefix or \prefixes Toggles the display of prefixes for hexadecimal, octal, and binary output. \b or \bin or \binary Results are printed in binary (base 2). Numbers printed in binary have a prefix of 0b unless the \prefixes command is used. \d or \dec or \decimal Results are printed in decimal (base 10). This option is the default, and does not have a default prefix to indicate that numbers are in base 10. \h or \x or \hex or \hexadecimal Results are printed in hexadecimal (base 16). Numbers printed in hexadecimal have a prefix of 0x unless the \prefixes command is used. \o or \oct or \octal Results are printed in octal (base 8). Numbers printed in octal have a prefix of 0 unless the \prefixes command is used. \round nonesimplesig_fig Wcalc can attempt to warn you when numbers have been rounded in the output display. It has two methods of keeping trackeither by using significant figures (sig_fig), or by a simple digitcounting algorithm. Rounding in the commandline version is denoted by a tilde before the equals sign (~=). Rounding in the GUI version is denoted by changing the text color to red. In some cases, Wcalc may think that the number has been rounded even if it shouldn’t have been necessary (this is because of the way floating point numbers are represented internally). \dsepX Sets the decimal separator character to be X. \tsepX Sets the thousandsplace separator character to be X. \idsepX Sets the inputonly decimal separator character to be X. \itsepX Sets the inputonly thousandsplace separator character to be X. \hlimitX Sets the limit (X) on the length of the history. \open filename.txt Loads file filename.txt. \save filename.txt Saves the current session and variable list to a file, filename.txt. \bitsXXXX Sets the number of bits of precision that will be used to internally represent numbers to be XXXX. The default is 1024. Set higher if you need more precision, set lower if you want to use less memory. \ints Toggles whether long integers will be abbreviated or not. This conflicts with engineering notation for large numbers, but not for decimals. \prefs or \preferences Displays the current preference settings. \convert unit1 unit2 Converts the previous answer from unit1 to unit2. \store variablename Saves the specified variable in the preload file, ~/.wcalc_preload \explain object Explains the specified object. The object can be a variable, constant, function, or command. \verbose Verbose mode displays the expression to be calculated before calculating it. \del or \delim or \delimiters Display delimiters in numerical output. \cmod Toggle between Cstyle modulus operation and a more flexible method. \color Toggles the use of color in the commandline output.
Preferences and settings can be retained between invocations of wcalc by storing them in the file ~/.wcalcrcThe format of the file is that each line is either blank or an assignment. Comments are ignored, and are defined as anything to the right of and including a hash mark (#). Assignments are of the form: key=value
The possible keys are:
precision A number defining the display precision. Equivalent to the \P command, where 1 means "auto" and anything else specifies the number of decimal places. This does not affect the behindthescenes precision. show_equals Either true ("yes" or "true") or false (anything else). Equivalent to the quiet argument. Specifies whether answers will begin with an equals sign or not. engineering Either "always", "never", or "automatic". Equivalent to the \engineering command. Specifies whether answers will be displayed in engineering notation or not. use_radians Either true ("yes" or "true") or false (anything else). Equivalent to the \radians command. Specifies whether trigonometric functions accept input in radians or degrees. print_prefixes Either true ("yes" or "true") or false (anything else). Equivalent to the \prefixes command. Specifies whether base prefixes (e.g. 0x for hexadecimal numbers) are used when displaying output. save_errors Either true ("yes" or "true") or false (anything else). Equivalent to the \remember_errors command. Specifies whether lines that contain a syntax error are added to the history or not. precision_guard Either true ("yes" or "true") or false (anything else). Equivalent to the \conservative command. Specifies whether the display will attempt to eliminate numbers too small to be accurate (hopefully, these are only errors created by the binary approximation of the inputs). print_integers Either true ("yes" or "true") or false (anything else). Equivalent to the \ints command. Specifies whether whole integers will be printed unabbreviated or not. This conflicts with engineering notation for large integers, but not for decimals. print_delimiters Either true ("yes" or "true") or false (anything else). Equivalent to the \delimiters command. Specifies whether delimiters will be added to output when displaying. thousands_delimiter Uses the next character after the equals sign as its value. Equivalent to the \tsep command. Specifies what the thousands delimiter is, and can affect output if print_delimiters is enabled. decimal_delimiter Uses the next character after the equals sign as its value. Equivalent to the \dsep command. Specifies what the decimal delimiter is. input_thousands_delimiter Uses the next character after the equals sign as its value. Equivalent to the \itsep command. Specifies what the inputonly thousands delimiter is, and cannot affect output. input_decimal_delimiter Uses the next character after the equals sign as its value. Equivalent to the \idsep command. Specifies what the inputonly decimal delimiter is, and cannot affect output. history_limit Either "no", for no limit, or a number. Equivalent to the \hlimit command. output_format Either decimal, octal, binary, hex, or hexadecimal. rounding_indication Either no, simple, or sig_fig. Equivalent to the \rounding command. c_style_mod Either true ("yes" or "true") or false (anything else). Equivalent to the \cmod command. Specifies whether the modulo operator (%) will behave as it does in the C programming language, or whether it will use a more flexible method. This only affects modulo operations where negative numbers are involved. As an example, with c_style_mod set to true (the default): 340 % 60 == 40; 340 % 60 == 40; 340 % 60 == 40
However, with c_style_mod set to false:
340 % 60 == 40; 340 % 60 == 20; 340 % 60 == 20
color Either true ("yes" or "true") or false (anything else). Equivalent to the \color command. Specifies whether the commandline interface will use color in its output or not. colors[XXX] This is used to specify the color of specific interface elements in the commandline interface. Valid colors are: The XXX must be one of the following values:
(bold)black
(bold)red
(bold)green
(bold)yellow
(bold)blue
(bold)magenta
(bold)cyan
(bold)white
conversion_category
conversion_unit
prompt
approx_answer
exact_answer
err_location
err_text
pref_name
pref_val
pref_cmd
status
var_name
var_desc
subvar_name
explanation
Wcalc uses a file, ~/.wcalc_preload, to store persistent information between instances. Typically, this is used to store variables that are frequently defined. This file can be edited by hand with a standard text editor. There is also a command within wcalc (\store) to append a variable definition to the end of this file. Any variable defined in this file is defined and available for use in any subsequent invocation of wcalc.
wcalc is Copyright (C) 20002014 Kyle Wheeler.
It is distributed under the GPL, version 2, or (at your option) any later version..
Any bugs found should be reported to
Kyle Wheeler at kylewcalc@memoryhole.net.
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