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bitgui: A graphical explorer of the IEEE 754 floating point formats

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This graphical tool displays an editable binary representation of the two floating point formats used in MATLAB, namely single and double.

For the selected number three displays are available:
* The value as formated by the MATLAB software
* The analysis of its segments: sign, mantissa and exponent
(The hidden bit is also taken into account)
* The binary representation of the number in the form of filled (active bit) or empty (inactive bit) boxes, accordingly coloured to distinguish the parts of the representation (sign, mantissa and exponent).

There are two ways to input the number:
* Click on the separate fields of the binary representation
* Provide an expression to be evaluated in the base workspace.
Regardless the method, the value is also stored in a variable named "res" residing in the base workspace.

NOTE: Using the stored value "res" allows the user to explore how the consecutive applications of an operator affects the binary representation.
Consider for example starting by evaluating "1" and consequently evaluate many times the expression:
* "res / 2"
* "res * 2"

To retrieve the binary representation file I/O is used. The file is created in the temporary folder (using the tempname function) and then unlinked/deleted. As a result the user must have the write permission on that folder. This was essential for retrieving the representation of single precision numbers (for doubles hex2num is provided, which is not required by this program).

The program has been developed and tested under a linux distribution, it should however work on windows/Mac machines. Should the case be otherwise, feel free to inform me or provide a patch for the solution of any bug.

Known bugs:
* The length of the text in the numeric expressions is fixed and does not shrink expand as the gui is resized.
If you know of a way to calculate the amount of characters that fit within a text box, please inform/fix.

This application uses uint64 addition. Since MATLAB versions older than 7.11 do not support this operation, a new class named uint64plus was developed which extends uint64 class with addition functionality. If you use MATLAB version 7.11 or newer you may safely delete the uint64plus.m file.

TODO:
* The bits in the binary representation are only toggled in a one-by-one basis. A click-and-draw approach should also be possible. One way could be messing with the mouse events of a figure and maintaining the state of the mouse button. The implementation, however, was considered too complex for the intended usage, so it is left for the courageous programmer with intent to improve the code.

Feel free to use or redistribute: the code is available under the BSD license and was developed mainly for teaching/demonstration purposes.

Free download from Shareware Connection - This graphical tool displays an editable binary representation of the two floating point formats used in MATLAB, namely single and double.

Publisher: Janis Kalofolias | License: Shareware
Version: 1.0 | Size: 10 KB | Platform: Matlab, Scripts
Released Date: 11-05-2013 | Rating: 0 | Title: bitgui: A graphical explorer of the IEEE 754 floating point formats

Author Url: http://www.mathworks.com
Program Info Url: http://www.mathworks.com
Download Url: http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fx_files/33874/1/bitgui.zip

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