a graphical user interface

As a programmers interface, phcpy was developed in a Terminal window, of 80 characters wide and 40 lines long. Python comes with Tkinter, which provides tools for building a graphical user interface. The goal of the module dashboard is to develop a graphical user interface to the methods of phcpy.

solving with a click of a button

A very basic graphical user interface to the blackbox solver consists of two text widgets: one for the input and another for the output; one button for the user to call the blackbox solver, and then two labels to document the functionality of the text widgets.

A screen shot of a basic interface to the blackbox solver is shown in Fig. 14.


Fig. 14 Solving cyclic 5-roots with a click of a button.

The code to launch this GUI is as follows.

>>> from phcpy.dashboard import launchsolver
>>> from phcpy.families import cyclic
>>> launchsolver(cyclic(5))

If called without arguments, as launchsolver(), then the input text widget is empty and the user must enter the polynomials in the system.

scrolling a list of solutions

The blackbox solver solve of phcpy.solver returns a list of strings. In the command line mode, we can print the solutions, one after the other. The scrollsols function launches a simple interface to scroll through the list of solutions, by clicking on previous or next buttons. The session below illustrates the scrolling through the solutions of the cyclic 5-roots problem.

>>> from phcpy.families import cyclic
>>> c5 = cyclic(5)
>>> from phcpy.solver import solve
>>> sols = solve(c5, silent=True)
>>> from phcpy.dashboard import scrollsols
>>> scrollsols(sols)

The window that then pops up in shown in Fig. 15. Note that, because of different choices of random constants, the first solution will most likely be different at each run.


Fig. 15 Scrolling the solutions of the cyclic 5-roots system.

making a coordinate plot of solutions

Solutions have coordinates in the complex plane. As in the case of the cyclic 5-roots problem, a plot of one of the coordinates in the complex plane reveals the pattern of the distribution in the roots, see Fig. 16.


Fig. 16 The first coordinate of cyclic 5-roots in the complex plane.

The plot appears in a canvas widget, in the GUI launched by the function plotcoordinate(sols, idx) where sols is the list of solutions and idx an index to a coordinate of the solutions.