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Concerning the Equation Editor

After heavy work with various search engines I could write to TechSupport at PacificT dot com :

On Your site www.nucalc.com You write:

The functionality is derived from an old Macintosh application called Milo parts of which are embedded in Adobe FrameMaker.

Adobe FrameMaker contains all the following computation functionality, via the nine page Equations palette as part of FrameMath which uses the same code as the Graphing Calculator. If you type an equation in Adobe FrameMaker on the Macintosh and use the "Graph Equation" command in the Equation Palette popup menu, it will send the equation to the Graphing Calculator (launching it if necessary) to graph it.

The code in Graphing Calculator is available for embedding in other applications through source code licensing.

"More options" mode. The computer algebra commands of Milo and FrameMaker are embedded within the Graphing Calculator through byzantine hidden keyboard chords. I apologize for the cryptic names.

Hence my questions ...

Trace of Ron Avitzurs work

In FrameMaker 3 the About dialog mentioned the work of Ron:

FrameMaker 3 About dialog

Immediately I got an answer from the 'father' of the Equation Editor of FrameMaker:

My memory of dates may not be accurate, but here's the rough timeline.

I was an undergraduate student in Physics at Stanford University between 1984 and 1990. I began writing a Macintosh application called Milo in 1985 to help me with my physics problem sets. It was marketed by a company called Paracomp briefly starting in 1988.

I licensed the mathematical typesetting and algebraic manipulation code in Milo to FrameMaker and consulted there integrating the functionality into FrameMaker 2.0 around 1988. I continued doing consulting work at Frame on and off until 1992, updating FrameMath improving its typesetting features for FrameMaker 3.0 and 4.0.

I independently developed a pen-based version of Milo on the Macintosh around 1992 and consulted at Apple to provide that on what was to be a pen-based Macintosh hardware product. Apple produced about a hundred of these "PenMac" prototypes before cancelling the project. I then re-targeted what had been the PenMac calculator desk accessory as the PowerPC Graphing Calculator.

Because the PowerPC Graphing Calculator and FrameMath shared a common code base from Milo, they had the same file format for equations. The version of FrameMaker released on the Mac in 1994, (I don't recall which release that was, maybe 4.0 or 5.0,) included a menu item in a math palette popup menu which would take a math selection in a FrameMath equation object, and send it via AppleEvents to Graphing Calculator 1.0 to graph that equation. I think that feature was dropped in some future release of FM on the Mac, but again, I don't recall in which release.

Technically, both FrameMath and Graphing Calculator are derivative works from Milo.

Milo is still available in close to its original form, though with a number of features added, under the name SureMath, from www.suremath.com though I have no direct involvement with that company.

Best regards,
Ron Avitzur

[2014-02-10] suremath.com became a dead link. SureMath is available from the Unitversity of Hawai. An equivalent for Windows, NuCalc is available from nucalc.com (an entry to pacific Tech - see below).

And here you can read the marvelous story how the successor of Milo, the Graphing Calculator, was developed.

Additonal information from the site of PacificT.com

1988-09 - 1995-04 Ron was Contract programming at Frame Technology on core software. I integrated MathEdit into FrameMaker 2.0, maintaining and enhancing it for new versions.

Since 1996-09 (when Ron founded the company) Pacific Tech develops educational math software.

The The Graphing Calculator Story on the PowerMac (if the link does not work anymore, take this one)

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