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Old 2nd April 2006, 11:34 PM   #1
Collo is offline Collo  Australia
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Default Imperial vs Metric software

Hi all,

I've written a few audio related programs, but being from Australia, the measurements used are metric.

I'm considering adding Imperial measurements as an option for the large number of users in the US.

What I would like to find out, is if decimal inches are widely used, or do people still want to be able to specify fractions.

for example:

1.25 inches, or 1-1/4 inches.
1.375 inches or 1-3/8 inches....etc

If decimal inches are OK, how many decimal places - 2 or 3 ?

Fractional dimensions are harder to impliment, but can be done if people think they would be useful.

Does anyone have a link to any software (not necessarily audio) that they consider to have a well written interface for entering and displaying fractional Imperial dimensions.

regards
Collo
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Old 3rd April 2006, 01:42 AM   #2
TerryO is offline TerryO  United States
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Default Re: Imperial vs Metric software

Quote:
Originally posted by Collo
Hi all,

I've written a few audio related programs, but being from Australia, the measurements used are metric.

I'm considering adding Imperial measurements as an option for the large number of users in the US.

What I would like to find out, is if decimal inches are widely used, or do people still want to be able to specify fractions.

for example:

1.25 inches, or 1-1/4 inches.
1.375 inches or 1-3/8 inches....etc

If decimal inches are OK, how many decimal places - 2 or 3 ?

Fractional dimensions are harder to impliment, but can be done if people think they would be useful.

Does anyone have a link to any software (not necessarily audio) that they consider to have a well written interface for entering and displaying fractional Imperial dimensions.

regards
Collo
Collo,
I'm afraid that I'm one of those people that have never been confortable with the metric system, more of a reflection of my Boomer generation than anything else.

If you decide to write an Imperial plugin for your program, please do all us old coots a favor and use fractions. Nearly every ruler and tape measure is in fractions. For "normal" uses, such as cabinet construction, fractions would be a tremendous help.
I'd like to thank you on behalf of all the Metrically Impaired Members (MIM) for keeping us in mind.
Thanks,
TerryO
PS: For machining/lathe work in metal, decimal is the preferred method for Imperial measurements.
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Old 3rd April 2006, 02:12 AM   #3
Collo is offline Collo  Australia
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thanks for that quick reply.

exactly the info I was looking for.

Now all I have to do is work out how to do it!

Hopefully, I'll get a few examples for inspiration....
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Old 3rd April 2006, 06:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Imperial vs Metric software

Quote:
Originally posted by Collo
Does anyone have a link to any software (not necessarily audio) that they consider to have a well written interface for entering and displaying fractional Imperial dimensions.
Vectorworks does a good job. You can enter in any mix of decimal metric or decimal imperial, fractions of either and do math on the entries (ie 5"-1.62*20mm is a valid entry and is converted to the units currently choosen as default.

http://www.nemetschek.net/

dave
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Old 3rd April 2006, 07:59 AM   #5
lndm is offline lndm  Australia
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Collo, I wonder if it would be acceptable/easier for all to use just eighths or sixteenths for example.
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Old 3rd April 2006, 08:27 AM   #6
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi,
eighths, sixteenths and one decimal inches covers most options.
Then it's just converting everything back to mm to do the calcs.
Then reconvert to show both mm & inch in the results.
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Old 3rd April 2006, 09:27 AM   #7
Collo is offline Collo  Australia
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Here is an example of what I'm considering.

Not quite as ambitious as Vectorworks.

It's a small calculator to test the maths and parsing rules. Written in Visual Basic 6, it will run "as is" on Windows XP. (Those running 98 would need the VB6 runtimes)

Handles decimal inches and fractions down to 1/16. Calculates in both directions

http://www.users.bigpond.com/bcolliso/imperial.exe

As AndrewT suggests, the software this interface is destined for would still use mm internally, but the MIMs can have their fractions.

Would this approach work OK?
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Old 3rd April 2006, 12:57 PM   #8
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi Collo,
that works just fine. You made it look so simple.
Alternatively, the header could have a choice of imperial or metric. Then display the user's preference. Using your conversion internally and unseen.
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Old 3rd April 2006, 09:15 PM   #9
Collo is offline Collo  Australia
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Do you think I should include feet?

If so, which format seems the most intuitive?

2ft 6-1/4 ...my preference
2f 6-1/4
2 6-1/4
2-6-1/4
other suggestions?

When working in decimal inches, would it be more consistent to dissallow feet?
ie 30.25 acceptable 2ft 6.25 not acceptable
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Old 4th April 2006, 03:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Collo
Would this approach work OK?
Proably -- my biggest issue is that it only runs under Windows....

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