Some features to consider

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debenriver
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Some features to consider

Post by debenriver » Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:58 pm

Hi Eric

These are a few features and minor changes that you might like to consider in the next version of RealCADD:

Parallels dynamic mode: It would be better I think if this defaulted to "Single Offset" at boot, rather than Interactive offset. What happens now is that you set an offset, but forget to change it to single offset – and then have to go back and set it to single. Of course this only happens after starting or restarting RC, so it's pretty minor.

As an alternative, even better, if Parallels in interactive mode were to feature in the command line so you could simply type in a parallel distance and hit Enter. That would be a near-perfect situation. :D

Command line: It would be nice if this could include rounded rectangle – setting dx, dy radius (same radii both or possibility of different radii as now??).

Command line again: When drawing a line perpendicular to something it would be nice if you could just enter the length (L) in the command line and nothing else. Not terribly important, but it is something one does all the time and at the moment it's two operations minimum – draw the line and then edit the length. Would it need a new command line item – Perpendicular line?

Cutting tool: This is used so much (at least by me anyway) and is so convenient that it would be good to have a keyboard shortcut – perhaps Y or C?

Tangents: Tangents would be much improved if they could be tangential to a second circle or arc – so you could draw a typical 'bicycle chain'.

It would also be very helpful if the Shift key were operative with tangents, so you can draw a tangent at any of the constrained angles.

At the moment 0º - 90º etc seem to select accurately with a circle, but the other constrained angles don't.

With an arc neither 0º - 90º etc. nor the other constrained angles, seem to select and it gets very difficult – well impossible with any accuracy unless you do a lot of preparation lines first, like draw a line somewhere, align it to the arc (left or right; or top or bottom). Then draw the tangent from the arc to the end point (or centre point) of the aligned line. Even then it's not always quite accurate and only works for 0º - 90º.

And a new feature: A "View" feature. So you can set several views which saves a huge amount of scrolling, zooming etc. on a big drawing. So you would have the ability to set several views, numbered say, 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... and so on. Each view would take you to a bit of the drawing at a specified zoom. You set the view by going to the appropriate part of the drawing and setting the zoom you want and then clicking, say, Set View. Then to return there you enter the view number on the keyboard – so entering "2" would get you to View 2 and so on. Sometimes I am working on a large (say A1 or A0) drawing solidly for a week – being able to flick around like this would save a lot of time (and fatigue). Would it be independent of Layers? I think so. Currently I mostly use layers to break a large drawing up into sections, so the drawn material on each layer is in different places on the drawing, rather than the more conventional use, which is the drawn material largely on top of other layers. This is purely to speed things up, as once the drawing gets very large, it gets quite slow to scroll to different places because there is so much screen refresh going on. View might do it better and faster, leaving Layers for its more conventional use.

Cheers -- George

Eric Pousse
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Re: Some features to consider

Post by Eric Pousse » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:01 am

Bonjour George,
debenriver wrote:Parallels dynamic mode: It would be better I think if this defaulted to "Single Offset" at boot, rather than Interactive offset. What happens now is that you set an offset, but forget to change it to single offset – and then have to go back and set it to single. Of course this only happens after starting or restarting RC, so it's pretty minor.
Parameters of dynamic mode are now (next beta) stored in prefs.
debenriver wrote:As an alternative, even better, if Parallels in interactive mode were to feature in the command line so you could simply type in a parallel distance and hit Enter. That would be a near-perfect situation. :D
But you have to choose the side...How do you think this can works?
debenriver wrote:Command line: It would be nice if this could include rounded rectangle – setting dx, dy radius (same radii both or possibility of different radii as now??).
Yes I will add it. -> Done
debenriver wrote:Command line again: When drawing a line perpendicular to something it would be nice if you could just enter the length (L) in the command line and nothing else. Not terribly important, but it is something one does all the time and at the moment it's two operations minimum – draw the line and then edit the length. Would it need a new command line item – Perpendicular line?
But from where will start this line? Last point and perpendicular with last line?
debenriver wrote:Cutting tool: This is used so much (at least by me anyway) and is so convenient that it would be good to have a keyboard shortcut – perhaps Y or C?
Y is for polygon and C for attirance center, it could be U? -> Done
debenriver wrote:Tangents: Tangents would be much improved if they could be tangential to a second circle or arc – so you could draw a typical 'bicycle chain'.
Almost finished
debenriver wrote:Tangents: It would also be very helpful if the Shift key were operative with tangents, so you can draw a tangent at any of the constrained angles.

At the moment 0º - 90º etc seem to select accurately with a circle, but the other constrained angles don't.

With an arc neither 0º - 90º etc. nor the other constrained angles, seem to select and it gets very difficult – well impossible with any accuracy unless you do a lot of preparation lines first, like draw a line somewhere, align it to the arc (left or right; or top or bottom). Then draw the tangent from the arc to the end point (or centre point) of the aligned line. Even then it's not always quite accurate and only works for 0º - 90º.
A tangent of a circle (or an arc) is also perpendicular of one of its radius.
Therefore if you want a tangent on a circle with a fixed angle :
- draw with line near the circle,
- draw a perpendicular from this line to the center of the circle,
- take the first line by attraction on center or end
- drag it on attraction to intersection between the circle and the perpendicular radius.
debenriver wrote:And a new feature: A "View" feature. So you can set several views which saves a huge amount of scrolling, zooming etc. on a big drawing. So you would have the ability to set several views, numbered say, 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... and so on. Each view would take you to a bit of the drawing at a specified zoom. You set the view by going to the appropriate part of the drawing and setting the zoom you want and then clicking, say, Set View. Then to return there you enter the view number on the keyboard – so entering "2" would get you to View 2 and so on. Sometimes I am working on a large (say A1 or A0) drawing solidly for a week – being able to flick around like this would save a lot of time (and fatigue). Would it be independent of Layers? I think so. Currently I mostly use layers to break a large drawing up into sections, so the drawn material on each layer is in different places on the drawing, rather than the more conventional use, which is the drawn material largely on top of other layers. This is purely to speed things up, as once the drawing gets very large, it gets quite slow to scroll to different places because there is so much screen refresh going on. View might do it better and faster, leaving Layers for its more conventional use.
Yes why not, again how do you think this can works? With a new menu "View"? other?

Thank you very much George for your help!
Eric Pousse

debenriver
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Re: Some features to consider

Post by debenriver » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:17 pm

Good morning Eric
But you have to choose the side...How do you think this can works?
But from where will start this line? Last point and perpendicular with last line?
I have been thinking a lot about the design of the command line – which is a powerful and very useful feature for advanced drawing. It might (I think! :D ) be better if it were to display in a series of little interactive boxes (say along the bottom of the screen with the other small icons). It could have a X and Y box, which would be the Mouse position, then a series of other boxes some of which changed according to the tool selected.

So for a line you could have X, Y (for the start co-ordinates), H (for dx), V (for dy), A and L. To enter, say a length, you hit the L key and the L box becomes active, type in the length you want and hit Enter. Done. To add the angle (before hitting Enter) you also hit A and type in the angle. Hit Enter.

This would work regardless of any Snap choices. So it would work with perpendicular lines as well as those drawn from centre or end snaps – or freely drawn lines.

The important thing is that the data doesn't have to be entered sequentially like it is now – so now for instance you can't enter dy until you've entered dx.

To draw a line by coordinates you would hit H and type the dx distance, and then V and type the dy distance and then hit Enter. Or you can do V before H – it doesn't matter. This would put the choice with the user, rather than it being hard coded in. So it would suit drawing by absolute co-ordinates equally with drawing by relative distances.

For a parallel line you would choose the Parallel tool and start to drag – so the command line would know which side of the original object you were going. The L box would maybe display as D (for distance) or it could stay as L – doesn't really matter. After you have started to drag, you hit D (or L) and enter the parallel distance you want and hit enter.

The X, Y, H, V, A and L boxes would always be there (when Command line was selected) just tracking the mouse position and movement. I don't think they need show the units (like the current Mouse position pallet does).

The L box would change to (say) R (radius), with an extra box D (diameter) when drawing a circle, and so on with other shapes. Perhaps when a regular polygon tool was selected an S box (for number of sides) would appear which you would enter before you started to draw?

And when drawing a Tangent, perhaps the A (and L) boxes could be used to control the angle (and length if desired), which is much easier than construction various lines to control what happens.

For a rectangle you would use the H (dx) and V (dy) boxes pretty much as now, for the length (Horizontal distance) and height (Vertical distance). For a rounded rectangle the L box would change to an R box for the corner radii. Or possibly a Rx and Ry box, though a rectangle with elliptical corners is a rather esoteric, if interesting construct!

I guess you can enter positive (+) distances (the default - no need for a + sign) or negative (-) distances to control which direction you are drawing, in the H and V boxes.

Used like this, the command line would be a alternative to, not a replacement for, some of the existing double-click pallets. The essential thing about the command line is that to use it, you hold the mouse button down while you are entering data and hit the Enter key before releasing the mouse button. This is in contrast to the alternative means of entering data, via pallets, double-clicks etc.

For example, with parallel lines, if you wanted to draw 50 lines parallel to another line, you would use the double-click parallel pallet; if you just wanted one line, then the Command line is quicker. If you are drawing lots of parallel lines at differing distances from different lines, which is a very common construct, then the Command line is a very quick and flexible tool.

The Mouse position pallet wouldn't really be needed any more. It is a bit of a nuisance as it is now, because it gets in the way and you can't move it

View
Yes why not, again how do you think this can works? With a new menu "View"? other?
I thought this might be a sub-menu item under the Window menu – or perhaps better be a separate main menu item of its own. I'm thinking it would have Set View and a Delete View, and when created, a List of Views.

So you go to where you want to set a view, at the zoom you want and hit Set View. A pallet comes up where you can Name the View (defaulting to, say View 1) – but if you wished you could type in a name for the view which is more descriptive for you. The View would be assigned the keyboard shortcut, say, ⌘1. When you set a second View (which would default to View 2, but you could name it what you wished) it would be assigned the keyboard shortcut ⌘2, and so on. So you can swap views either by going to the View menu and selecting the view you want, or hitting the keyboard shortcut.

I don't think the Views need to worry about Layers – they are just a screen location and zoom factor. If you go to a view on a layer that is hidden, you won't see that particular material. They really are a means of moving swiftly about the drawing, rather than through it.

This is a rather long post! Hope it is of some use.

Cheers -- George

Eric Pousse
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Re: Some features to consider

Post by Eric Pousse » Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:03 pm

George,

To create objects as you ask with the command line can (almost) be done with the Edit pallet.
After begun to create an object with the mouse, you can go to the edit pallet with the Tab key and fix the length and the angle of a line for example.
But you have to begin with the mouse...
A command line as you want would be very near to the Edit pallet.
I have to think more about this idea.

The view menu is a good idea.
Also I have to think how I can do it.

Thanks again.
Eric Pousse

debenriver
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Re: Some features to consider

Post by debenriver » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:03 am

Good evening Eric!
To create objects as you ask with the command line can (almost) be done with the Edit pallet.
After begun to create an object with the mouse, you can go to the edit pallet with the Tab key and fix the length and the angle of a line for example.
But you have to begin with the mouse...
A command line as you want would be very near to the Edit pallet.
The big difference is that, with the command line, you can edit on the fly all in one fast, smooth operation, using keyboard and mouse co-ordinated together.

Whereas, with the edit pallet (as it is now) you have to draw the object roughly the size you want and then go back and edit it to get it to the exact size you want. It's nowhere near such a smooth operation. And it's considerably slower. It also gets quite tiring when you are drawing all day.

I was suggesting (and it really is only a suggestion!) that instead of the command line order of entry being hard coded in like it is now, and strictly sequential, you be able to select, on the fly, which element you want to use, with a dedicated, easily memorized, keystroke. And that the commands be expanded to include absolutes like Length, Angle and so on, rather than just relatives like dx and dy. Then it suits all styles of drawing and is very flexible and fast.

If you modified the top part of the Edit panel to do just this it would be great :D . And in fact better, because it would be one less pallet on the screen. All the information is already there – you just can't get to it at the moment until after you have drawn the object. Perhaps, in this scenario, the Mouse position could, when selected, sit along the bottom of the screen, rather than being stuck sort of mid left.

Maybe you don't need two sets of numbers like there are now in the top part of the Edit panel – just one set of boxes that showed information as it does now, but which was also editable, and selectable by hitting its mnemonic shortcut.

I know there are already similar keyboard shortcuts (A, L, D, R, S etc) for accessing the various tools, but I don't think this would be confusing as these new uses would only be available after a tool had been selected.

Being able to edit on the fly as you draw doesn't mean that you can't, or won't want to, go back later and change something, like you can now. It just adds another whole means of drawing faster for those who need to.

Don't think I'm dissatisfied with RealCADD – I'm not – nothing could be further from the truth – I love it :mrgreen: - it's a great program.

Cheers -- George

debenriver
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Re: Some features to consider

Post by debenriver » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:25 pm

Hi Eric

Here's a screenshot of the old ClarisCAD Info box - the equivalent of RealCADD Edit panel:
Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 08.09.55.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 08.09.55.png (13.97 KiB) Viewed 14119 times
Just single editable boxes.

Additionally, when drawing you could enter any dimension on the fly by using it's mnemonic keystroke and then the numeric you wanted (Length, Angle etc.). These were displayed in separate boxes, but if they could be combined into the one Edit pallet that would be great.

As far as I remember, when drawing, my practice was to use the "on the fly" for simple things like lines, arcs and circles – not bother so much with more complex shapes like rectangles, rounded rectangles, polygons etc., though the facility was there. Possibly because one draws many more of the simple lines, arcs and circles, rather fewer rectangles and so on.

ClarisCAD was a big advance over MacDraw, which I also used in the early days.

Cheers -- George

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Re: Some features to consider

Post by Mikerosen » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:10 pm

Although most of what you men are discussing is far over my head, I have been trying to follow this thread.

My biggest take on the edit frame (whether ClarisDraw or RealCADD) is that I would like to see the dimensions as the first entries, to facilitate tabbing into those frames to enter numbers. I think that size is more important than location, and having to jump through those initial boxes slows me down, because I have to look up into the corner, and make sure I'm in the right box.
Mike Rosen
Seattle, WA, USA

Mac OS 10.14, iOS 11.4.1 on iPad Pro

Eric Pousse
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Re: Some features to consider

Post by Eric Pousse » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:42 pm

Bonsoir George,

The Edit pallet of RealCADD has editable and not editable boxes because of speed to display datas.
But perhaps, it is no more necessary.

I have made a test for a new command line system here :
RealCADD4.51b6
to see if it is a good way.

Only the command "Line" works in the new system.
There is many editable boxes :
x0 y0 x1 y1 dx dy L A WL CL (L is length, A is angle, WL is width of line, CL color of line)
x0 y0 must be entered or = = to continue from previous end
after you can choose to enter x1 y1 OR dx dy OR L A

Tangent between 2 circles is done.
Tools "Chamfer" and "Fillet" have been update.
Eric Pousse

debenriver
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Re: Some features to consider

Post by debenriver » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:34 pm

Hi Eric

Tangent to two circles/arcs is a great improvement. Thank you :D

Fillet update is also great – the fillet going the wrong way had me knashing my teeth with frustration sometimes :mrgreen:

I must be stupid or something but I can't see how to make the new command line work!

I think that I have not really explained well what I was suggesting and created confusion in the process, for which I apologize. So I'm going to start again!

Take the simplest of drawing tools – Free Line:

When you start drawing a line, the Edit panel comes alive and all the data about the line is flickering away as you draw.

At the moment you have to draw the line approximately as you want it and then GO BACK after you have drawn it and Edit it to get exactly what is wanted.

What I am suggesting is that you can edit AS you draw by using a simple keystroke to define which element you want to control.

I've sketched a new Edit panel to show what I mean. I am wanting to draw a line 100mm long perpendicular to an object. Just that. Nothing else. Not fussed about line weight etc. The angle will be set by the object I'm drawing perpendicular to.
Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.48.34.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.48.34.png (62.58 KiB) Viewed 14113 times
I have started to draw and the data is in the boxes as now (currently outside the boxes). I hit the L shortcut for the Length box. The box is now editable as you can see on the sketch. While continuing to hold down the mouse, I type 100, which goes into the Length box, replacing the current 60 shown. I hit Enter and let go of the mouse. I have a line 100mm long. All the other attributes of the lines are as the data in the boxes.

For a Free Line from a centre or end point, you would (if you wished) hit L to enter the Length and A to enter the Angle. It doesn't matter which you do first – they are not sequential. Hit Enter and let go of the mouse. You have a line drawn from where you want, with the length and angle you want.

And so on .... Other objects - circles, rectangles etc., work just the same.

Note for Mike: I see no reason why the most common attribute (such as Length for a line, Diameter for a circle) shouldn't be pre-selected by default. That would save hitting the L key (or D key in the case of a circle). You would simply start to draw, type in 100 (for the line length), hit the Enter key and let go of the mouse.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I originally suggested that this be done with the Command Line, because that is already two-thirds of the way there. Works for circles and rectangles. Doesn't work for Free Lines (I realize that dx and dy can produce a desired Length and Angle, but it's pretty hard to figure out on the fly).

So it would look something like this, as near as I can sketch it.
Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.06.22.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.06.22.png (64.58 KiB) Viewed 14113 times
Exactly the same process to draw my perpendicular line. Start to draw it perpendicular to my object. The command line has all the live data (just like the Edit panel has). I hit the L key, type in 100 to replace the 60, hit Enter and let go the mouse.

I suggested that the Command line just be boxes along the bottom of the screen to save space, no other reason.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The problem as I see it with the Command line at the moment is that sequence of entries, and which are optional and which are not, is hard coded in, so Eric has to second guess how users may work. I'm suggesting that there is no pre-ordained sequence and no options – it is all controlled by keystrokes by the user.

Personally I don't vary my line widths and I'm not fussed about color – but for users that want to enter this information, it would be easy to add the additional boxes. But it shouldn't have to depend on something being entered in any pre-ordained sequence. So for example you should be able to draw a line 100mm long and 5mm wide – no other requirements. Hit L and type 100; hit W (say for width) and type 5; hit the Enter key and let go of the mouse.

The new system wouldn't replace the existing one – just add another possibility to it.

I'm hoping this is a bit less confusing. And it is only a suggestion.

Cheers -- George

Eric Pousse
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Re: Some features to consider

Post by Eric Pousse » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:07 am

Thank you George for your explanation!
With some little drawings, I understand.

With your suggestion, the difficulty is to have many different letters to edit datas and with some of them affected to other actions.
For now with the mode "clic and clic", you can do almost the same with the Tab key to edit and fix the datas when an object is begun.

What I try to do with the new command line :
Image

For now, only "Line" and "Line by center" work.
Select one of this tools, with a clic or l or l l or the menu of the pallet
You can create a new line only with the keyboard or, if you are in mode "clic and clic" do a first clic to fix x0, y0 or xc, yc
To finish the line, you choose to enter either x1, y1 or dx, dy or L, A, enter or return to valid.
For x0, y0 or xc, yc you can enter = to fix them with the values of the end of the previous line.

Instead of hit the keys L or A or other to choose the data to enter, you navigate between them with Tab or Shift-Tab.

You can test this with the new beta : RealCADD4.51b7

Mike, there is also the Esc key in this version to select the selection tool.

And, George, a new menu "View"...

Cordialement.
Eric Pousse

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