Preface to Cinderella 2.6
The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.
Another five years passed. Five years full of work, projects, ideas, collaboration, teaching, research,.... During this time Cinderella got involved in many different projects. We took most of them as opportunities to enhance the capabilities of Cinderella in several (sometimes unexpected) directions. Some of these features are still experimental, but many of them are included in the current release of Cinderella.2 and in this documentation.
A course on the interrelation of mathematics and music, taught in 2008 in collaboration with the Deutsches Museum in Munich, was the starting point for a variety of ways to create audio output with Cinderella. The internet portal www.mathe-vital.de, initiated in 2007, was another seed for many new developments. Among them support for TeX-like typesetting of formulas, advanced operators for linear algebra and calculus, and advanced drawing of functions. An exhibition together with the Deutsche Museum triggered the development of new ways to deal with images and their transformations. The growing desire to handle 3D objects was the reason to create a plugin structure.
There are still many half official features that are not covered in full detail or at all by this documentation. Among these are support for multitouch devices, graph algorithms, background jobs, and many more. We are quite sure that many of these features will be made officially available later as well.
In a sense between Cinderella 2.0 and the current release 2.6 the project grew up and by now is in a state in which it could be called a device for mathematical visualization that goes far beyond geometry. We hope that you will enjoy creating such in Cinderella, or just doing maths, as much as we and our students do.
Another main feature of version 2.6 is the documentation you are just reading. For the first time since a couple of years the documentation again covers the complete official functionality that is available by the current version of Cinderella. The printed version of the manual has almost 500 pages, and you may wonder why we need them to describe the functionality of just one program. There are many answers to this and we will here mention at two of them: The first one is the obvious one — we added so much to Cinderella. The second answer is related to you, dear reader: We tried to produce a manual that is as readable and as accessible as possible. We included about 600 screenshots, many code examples for the scripting language, step-by-step tutorials and also some technical and scientific background information. Although Cinderella is a very mighty tool, many tasks can be performed in amazingly simple manners. After mastering the basics you can browse through this manual and just pick the aspects that are most interesting for you: geometry, physics, mathematical programming, music, function plotting, fractals, etc.
While we prepared the final version of the documentation for Version 2.6 again many people were very helpful. In particular we here want to thank Elena Kohler and Stefan Kranich for their extensive help in the final stages of the manuscript, and Stephan Berndts for his software to translate our documentation Wiki into LaTeX.
A great and very special thanks also goes to Ralph Möllers, the owner of Terzio Verlag. He gave us the permission to use the beautiful pictures of Ritter Rost for explaining the image operations of Cinderella. The copyright of these Images is held by Terzio Verlag and we are really proud to be allowed to use them.
Cinderella is a constant work-in-progress. We are sure that there are still many features that might be a valuable completion of the software. Our documentation might at some places be misleading or even wrong, there may be several bugs or inaccuracies. We are listening: Please just visit our website at http://cinderella.de for updates and errata. If you want to report a bug you can easily do so by sending a mail to
Jürgen Richter-Gebert, Munich
Ulrich Kortenkamp, Karlsruhe
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