April 2018 Newsletter

Hello Tychos Users,

Its been a busy April! We have been working on some new features and fixing a few minor bugs.

What’s New

Block Rotation:

We added the ability to rotate blocks! You can now easily rotate any block using the rotate() function. This can be used to model rotational dynamics, or to simply make your simulations look more realistic. Take a look at this Physical Pendulum of a physical pendulum that demonstrates how to use this new feature:

Settings Improvements:

We have made some significant changes to the Settings pane. This includes the ability to change the background and the grid colors. We have also organized and cleaned up the interface to make it easier to use and understand.

Graph Plot Rate:

Also in the Settings pane, we added the ability to change the rate at which you plot points on your graphs. This allows you to set a rate that might match an experiment in your classroom.

Settings Not Saving Bug – Fixed:

Some settings were not saving, so we fixed that.

BETA: Images

We are testing the ability to represent Particles and Blocks with images:

rocket = Block([0, 0], [20, 20])
rocket.image = ""

Currently this feature works in only the newer Chrome and Firefox browsers, but we will be porting this to other browsers soon. I have noticed that students really enjoy adding images so that their simulations look more realistic and they can have some fun creating some pretty hilarious scenarios!

Draw Lines:

We added a new function called drawLine which allows you to…well, draw a line!

drawLine([x1, y1], [x2, y2], "color", strokeValue)

This is helpful for representing visual elements like strings and ropes.

What’s Next

Here are some things that we will be working on next…

Coding Interface

Based on some feedback from our users, we are beginning work on a major upgrade to the app that will improve a student’s ability to write code. This will include:

  • Color coding
  • Better error reporting
  • Code output sidebar aligned with correct line of code (it currently can get misaligned)
  • The possibility of using different languages.

This might take us some time, but its a project that we have wanted to tackle for awhile. We will keep you updated as to our progress.

Your Suggestions

Once again, we would really like your feedback on what you would like to see in Tychos next. We appreciate any feedback or guidance that you can offer.

Happy Coding!