Messing with Apple's built in Grapher

Spent some time looking at the grapher application found on the Mac.

Showing the area between two lines.

I like the fact that I can just put an equation into it, but it’s frustrating in the fact that it looks like there hasn’t been any improvements in the usability of it for a while.

I wonder if this is because the program is meant for “serious” math? The examples that it ships with is a whole bunch of things I haven’t seen since college.

List of built in examples

All I want it to find a nice way of showing my daughter some cool graphs. Finding the intersection for two lines is fairly simple, but doesn’t give you a lot to do with it afterward.

Two simple lines

Equation editor Intersection model dialog

When the window dialog for intersections is model and you can’t move the main window to zoom in or out of the graph.

I wonder if Apple thinks of the application as feature complete and uses it to have new hires to practice updating software. The properties to update intersections could use a little bit of pizzazz. As well as the inspector.

Line inspector in grapher

There are some other issues as well, where the main window goes completely blank if I click the graph area after doing an integration and information not showing up if I pick one line over another. I think Apple probably has the QA team on other stuff.

All in all, making graphs isn’t something that I’m trying to do at this point in my life, but I think my daughters could probably use it to make their homework look a little nicer if they wanted to.

Mandaris Moore @mandaris