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March 10th, 2012
I have released the source code to LastCalc, to accelerate development, spread the workload, and hopefully foster a vibrant volunteer community around the project.
If you're unfamiliar with LastCalc you can try it out at http://www.lastcalc.com/.
LastCalc has come a long way since my first experiments in November of last year. It already supports many of the features of Google Calculator (unit and currency conversions etc), combined with a powerful pure functional programming language with a novel heuristic approach to parsing and interpretation, that borrows from declarative programming languages like Prolog.
All of this is wrapped in a powerful yet user-friendly JQuery-based front-end that does realtime syntax highlighting and has built-in help. It even has functionality to retrieve information from other web pages on the Internet (the online help demonstrates doing this to retrieve the current Bitcoin-USD conversion rate).
It still has a long way to go though. In particular, it needs the ability for users to log in, save their worksheets, and share them with other people. My goal is to create an ecosystem of creativity among LastCalc's users too, that will dramatically extend LastCalc's vocabulary, but user accounts and worksheet sharing are essential for this.
LastCalc's codebase is currently under-documented (I only recently decided to open source it), but my intention is to address this as quickly as I can, to make it as easy as possible for developers to get a local dev environment set up that they can play with. I'll try to do most of this in the Github wiki, here is a starting point:
If you are interested in helping please join our mailing list and announce yourself, then fork the git repository and start hacking. I'll endeavor to incorporate any and all improvements into the actual live site as quickly as I can.