I'm writing this post in English so that more people can understand it, so that this message can be relayed to the people it might be interesting for. If some people think translating it can help, please do!
I go by the name of Thomas Touhey, a.k.a Cakeisalie5. I'm a French programmer on Planète Casio, and the author of the P7 project, a project around all protocols, file formats and encodings around CASIO calculators, a project that includes libcasio, a C library attempting at implementing those, and the FONTCHARACTER reference, a reference for CASIO's proprietary encoding through their calculator's history.
In March 2019, I learned about a programmer in Japan named Takumako who developed for the fx-5800P. By going through his work, I realized most of what he did, i.e. reverse engineering of the protocol, was already done by a german developer, Simon Lothar, back in the beginning of the 2010s. That event made me realize how much understanding (by reverse engineering or other methods) and programming for CASIO calculators those days feel like building the Babel tower
: each of us do and re-do the same things all over again, in its own community, and although there is some documentation gathered all around the Internet, searching and reading all of it is time-consuming and most people don't have the time to actually do it.
Just think about how many communities there are: Planète Casio, TI-Planet, Casiopeia, the Universal Casio Forum, Code Walrus, Cemetech (there still are a few CASIO enthusiastics there), cnCalc, and probably others I'm not aware of. Scattered around in these communities are many people with their own pieces of knowledge and some common ones, and although some people try to reduce the gaps, such as Critor, a French teacher, who cross-posts most of his research and others' on both TI-Planet and Planète Casio, and sometimes some other communities, or sentaro21, who is the bridge between cnCalc and us, we do not have any international committee or organization with representants of all of these communities.
How many times have you thought “wow, has nobody done this before?” or “hey, I've already done what he has!” when working on tech related to CASIO calculators? Don't you think it's time to define a committee with at least one expert from each community to reduce the amount of efforts and regroup all the knowledge we have? To communicate on our projects and research in a global way, so that we don't do things twice?
Now, let's suppose we want to form an international committee. There are many questions that one might ask:
- Who would be part of it, and who wouldn't?
- What would the criteria be, one person per community or more?
- What communities could be represented in this committee?
- What governance do we want for it?
- Which language(s) shall we use?
- How would we communicate between us? To the rest of the world?
I need your opinion on this. Please share this message with your community, ask them (and yourself!) these questions, find out what you can share and ask yourself what it could bring to you.
We can only win from such a committee. Please spread the word!
» “Towards an international committee?” (Universal Casio Forum)
» “Inter-community research effort” (Casiopeia)