husky command line calculator

Author: Markus Dittrich
Version: 0.4 (04/04/2009)


husky is a command line calculator with a small memory footprint. It can be used in a fashion similar to the interactive shells of python, octave, or ghci.


Husky presently can be used as

  1. calculator
  2. unit converter

The following sections describe in detail each functionality.


Basic Functionality

Currently, the mathematical operations "+", "-", "*", and "/" are supported with arbitrary nesting of parenthesised expressions. All calculations are performed in double precision. In addition to the standard operations above, the following functions are currently supported:

  • sqrt : square root
  • a^n : exponentiation (n can be arbitrary double)
  • exp : exponential function
  • ln, log2, log10 : natural, base2, and base10 logarithm
  • cos, sin, tan, acos, asin, atan: trigonometric functions and inverse
  • cosh, sinh, tanh, acosh, asinh, atanh: hyperbolic trigonometric functions and inverse
  • fact n: factorial function. NOTE: n has to be an integer or be convertible to an integer type, i.e., fact 2 and fact 2.0 are fine but fact 2.1 is not.


Users can define any number of variables via

variable name = value

where variable name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters but has to begin with a letter. Hence, foobar1 is fine, but 1foobar is not. Defined variables can be used in expressions and definition of other variables. Users can list all currently defined variables via \v (see Command Shortcuts)

Since husky uses the GNU readline library all readline related functionality is available at husky's interactive prompt (including command history). See [1] for more detail.


Users can define their own custom functions via the syntax

function <function name> <list of variables> = <expression>

Here, the list of variables can either be a comma separated list of variable names enclosed in parentheses or a simple list of variables separated by whitespace without parentheses like in Haskell. The following expressions are valid and equivalent function definitions

f(x,y) = x * y
f x y  = x * x

Several restrictions currently apply to function definitions:

  • <expression> can only span a single line and will be parsed until the end of the line.
  • <expression> has to be a single expression, i.e., it can not contain a list of semicolon separated expressions.

Functions which have been defined can then be called according to the same conventions used for function definitions. Hence, function f as defined above can be called via

f(3,2) or f 3 2

Here, the calling method does not depend on the way the function was defined, i.e., a function could be defined the Haskell way and then be called via f(x,y). The function arguments can either be literals or constants that have been defined previously. Hence, the following husky session is valid

a = 3
b = 4
function f x y = x * y

will yield the value "12.0".

Users can list all presently defined function via \f (see Command Shortcuts).

Unit Converter

The unit conversion functionality of husky can be used via the command

\c[onvert] <unit value> <from unit> <to unit> [ :: <unit type>]

Here, we convert <unit value> in units of <from unit> to the target unit <to unit>. In addition, the user may further specify the unit type (e.g. Length, Time, ...) to disambiguate a unit conversion request. The space between <unit value> and <from unit> is optional. E.g.:

\c 1m yd
\c 1 m yd
\c 1 m yd :: Length

will all convert 1 meter into yards. Please type:

\h[elp] units

for a list of all unit conversions.

Command Shortcuts

The following commands are available at the command prompt:


Please report all bugs to <>. Thank you!


[1]The GNU readline library