## Clac

A command line, stack-based calculator with postfix notation that displays the stack contents at all times. As you type, the stack changes are reflected immediately.

In a stack-based postfix calculator, entering a number pushes it on a stack, and arithmetic operations pop their arguments from the stack and push the result. As all the operations take a fix number of arguments, there's no room for ambiguity: parenthesis and operator precedence are not needed. Postfix notation is also known as reverse Polish notation, or RPN.

## Why?

I like Forth and other stack based, concatenative languages, and I've used the `dc`

calculator a lot. Once I got used to `dc`

, other calculators seemed to be less powerful. While it has been extremely useful for me, I've always found the UI a bit lacking. That's why I decided to try this idea of an always-visible stack with realtime updates.

## Installation

Download the latest release or check the available packages. You can also compile the source code in the master branch.

Install clac into `/usr/local/bin`

with the following command:

```
$ make install
```

You can use `make PREFIX=/some/other/directory install`

if you wish to use a different destination. If you want to remove clac from your system, use `make uninstall`

.

## Commands

When a command requires an argument, it pops a value from the stack. If the stack is empty, a zero is provided instead. In the descriptions below, the top of the stack (and thus the first value popped) is represented by the letter `a`

, while the second value popped is represented by the letter `b`

. For example, if the stack is composed of the number `1`

, `2`

and `3`

(with `3`

at the top of the stack), when we describe the sum then `a`

will be `3`

and `b`

will be `2`

. It is important to note that subtraction and division invert the order of the arguments before performing the operation: with `1`

, `2`

and `3`

in the stack, when you type `-`

it will pop the values `3`

and `2`

and push the result of `2 - 3`

. This is in the tradition of other postfix calculators and programming languages.

Here's a description of the available commands:

### Arithmetic operations

`+`

Pop two values `a`

and `b`

and push the result of `a + b`

.

`-`

Pop two values `a`

and `b`

and push the result of `b - a`

.

`*`

Pop two values `a`

and `b`

and push the result of `a * b`

.

`/`

Pop two values `a`

and `b`

and push the result of `b / a`

.

### Modulo operation

`%`

Pop two values `a`

and `b`

and push the remainder of the Euclidean division of `b`

by `a`

.

### Exponentiation

`^`

Pop two values `a`

and `b`

and push the result of `b ^ a`

.

### Logarithm

`ln`

Pop the value `a`

and push its natural logarithm.

`log`

Pop the value `a`

and push its logarithm to base 10.

### Factorial

`!`

Pop the value `a`

and push its factorial.

### Trigonometry

`sin`

Pop the value `a`

and push its sine.

`cos`

Pop the value `a`

and push its cosine.

`tan`

Pop the value `a`

and push its tangent.

`asin`

Pop the value `a`

and push its arc sine.

`acos`

Pop the value `a`

and push its arc cosine.

`atan`

Pop the value `a`

and push its arc tangent.

`atan2`

Pop two values `a`

and `b`

and push the arc tangent of `b / a`

, using the signs of `a`

and `b`

to determine the quadrant.

### Error function

`erf`

Pop the value `a`

and push its error function.

### Summation

`sum`

Pop all the values in the stack and push their sum.

`add`

Pop the value `a`

and remove that many items from the stack. Push their sum.

### Rounding

`ceil`

Pop the value `a`

and push the smallest integer value greater than or equal to `a`

.

`floor`

Pop the value `a`

and push the largest integer value less than or equal to `a`

.

`round`

Pop the value `a`

and push the integer value closest to `a`

.

### Absolute value

`abs`

Pop the value `a`

and push the non-negative value of `a`

.

### Stack manipulation

`swap`

Pop two values `a`

and `b`

and push the values `a`

, `b`

.

`dup`

Pop the value `a`

and push the values `a`

, `a`

.

`roll`

Pop two values `a`

and `b`

and rotate `b`

elements in the stack `a`

times.

`drop`

Remove the top of the stack.

`clear`

Remove all the elements in the stack.

`count`

Push the number of items in the stack.

`_`

Push on the stack the result of the last operation.

### Stashing

`stash`

Pop the value `a`

and move that many items to the stash.

`fetch`

Pop the value `a`

and move that many items from the stash.

`.`

Stash the top of the stack.

`,`

Fetch one stashed item.

`:`

Stash all the items in the stack.

`;`

Fetch all stashed items.

## History

Use `<C-p>`

/`<C-n>`

or the `<Up>`

/`<Down>`

arrow keys to navigate the history.

## User defined operations

It is possible to define operations (or *words*, as they are usually called in stack based programming languages) by editing the `words`

configuration file. It is not created by default, but clac will use some environment variables in order to search for word definitions.

`$CLAC_WORDS`

If set, it should point to a file containing word definitions.

`$XDG_CONFIG_HOME`

If set, clac will search for `$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clac/words`

.

`$HOME`

If set, clac will search for `$HOME/.config/clac/words`

.

### How to define words

Words are defined as aliases, with one alias on each line. Empty lines are ignored. Here are some examples:

```
pi 3.14159265358979323846
tau "pi 2 *"
sqrt "0.5 ^"
```

Note that an alias has two parts: a word to be defined and its meaning. That's why the `tau`

and `sqrt`

definitions are enclosed in double quotes. If the double quotes are removed, clac will complain that it can't parse the command. For example, if we remove the double quotes from `sqrt`

and start clac, we will get this error message:

```
Incorrect definition: sqrt 0.5 ^
(~/.config/clac/words:3)
```

User defined words can be used as if they were built-in commands:

```
$ clac "42 dup * pi *"
5541.76944093239
```

### How to list defined words

If you type `words`

and hit enter, clac will list the defined words.

### How to reload defined words

If you type `reload`

and hit enter, clac will reload the words file.

## Non-interactive mode

While the most interesting aspect of clac is the ability to visualize the stack as it is updated with each key press, at some point you may want use clac just to get a quick result or call it from a script. For that reason, clac can be used in non-interactive mode by invoking it with an argument.

### Examples

Here are some examples of non-interactive invocations:

```
$ clac "3 4 +"
7
$ clac "2 3 4 +"
7
2
```

When clac finishes evaluating the expression "2 3 4 +", there are two elements in the stack: the number 7 at the top of the stack and the number 2 at the bottom of the stack. The elements are printed in order, one per line, starting from the top of the stack.

This other example uses the stashing features. Let's say we want to push two numbers and get the result of their multiplication plus the square of the second number.

```
$ clac "4 3 dup dup * . * , +"
21
```

Another example that uses the stash would be to get the average of all the elements in the stack:

```
$ clac "1 2 3 4 count . sum , /"
2.5
```

In fact, if you find yourself calculating averages very often, you can define the word `avg`

as `"count . sum , /"`

.

## Contributing

If you find a bug, please create an issue detailing the ways to reproduce it. If you have a suggestion, create an issue detailing the use case.