We have released FX Equation 5.005.4.
The main improvement in this version is a greatly improved handling of vertically aligned equations.
Previous releases of FX Equation 5 have struggled with aligning equations when there is a mixture of text and equations on a line. For the past six months we have been recommending that, if you wanted to align equations, you did not include any text sections.
V5.005.4 removes this limitation.
The new aligner follows the following rules
1. Any line which STARTS with an equation will have equals signs vertically aligned.
2. Text AFTER an equation will not affect alignment
3. When two equations are separated by text, only the first equation is vertically aligned.
4. Lines which START with text will not take part in the alignment
This seems to be the most intuitive way to handle vertical alignment and is certainly far superior to what earlier versions have been producing.
Why does FX Equation 5 not find the 5.005.4 update?
Good question – but one with a long answer.
We exist in a double world where individual teachers want to be informed of every little change but school tech staff don’t want anyone to know that there is an update available (they say this is so that they can control the network but I think that they just don’t want to be pestered by teachers to install lots of little updates).
The way we work around this is that any updates that change the last number (eg, 5.005.3 to 5.005.4) are NOT detected by the software and reported as an available update. Any change to the middle number (eg. 5.005.4 to 5.006.0) are detected and reported. We reserve these updates for when something major has happened and we also do it as a matter of course at least once per year to force school systems to keep somewhat up to date.
Many of the updates we release are incredibly minor. Bombarding you with constant messages about new updates would just be annoying and often you would detect no change in the software. The change we made for the 5.005.4 update NEARLY qualified for a “detectable” update but we decided to not set that off for two reasons.
1. We want to do a little more experimentation with the equation alignment. Often small wrinkles get thrown up by these sort of changes (in fact one already has) and it is better to wait until those have been resolved before notifying everyone.
2. We have a very neat new feature that we are currently working on that definitely WILL qualify as a detectable update and we wanted to save the detectable update for that.
Anything which has value to multiple people will ALWAYS be discussed in a news article like this one. If you keep an eye on the emails, you won’t miss anything important.