kicad-developers team mailing list archive
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Re: Re: pin 'connection bubble'
Dick Hollenbeck <dick@...>
Sat, 14 Feb 2009 10:47:41 -0600
Thunderbird 184.108.40.206 (X11/20090105)
Like a popup list box (in a small modeless dialog) which lists the nets
by "net name" , and with a checkbox to the left of each net name. If
the check box is selected, then those nets (and attached pins) are
highlighted. If several nets can be highlighted, then one net can be
highlight as a simpler case. Then with this feature, maybe indeed the
missing bubble is not needed. I don't know that bubbles are a universal
feature of all pin types, are they?
Power pins don't have the connection bubble so you wouldn't get any
indication for power and ground components. Doesn't running the DRC
highlight unconnected nets? Rather than a popup dialog, a more flexible
solution might be a docking panel (like wxAUI) that displays a tree view
of all the drawing objects. You could expand the drawing object and
view all or some of its parameters. If you really wanted to be clever,
you could allow users to modify the editable parameters in the tree
control. This way you wouldn't have to open an individual dialog box to
edit the parameters for each drawing object.
A tree is nice for document navigation. But for object (tree node)
inspection and modification, I prefer an object specific dialog.
wxAUI sounds reasonable if it does both docking and floating. I have a
dual screen so I like to be able to put ancillary, persistent popups on
the other screen, not having to give up space on my primary work area.
i.e., I would not tend to use the docking feature since it makes the
primary work area smaller.
Been sitting at a computer now for 40 hours per week for 25 years, most
of that time writing C++ code. So I have no shortage of UI "user
experience" nor any shortage of opinions on which aspects of the user
experience were pleasant or not. But I guess that went without
The kicad user experience is something that needs continued focus.
The benefit of the wxAUI
type design is that you can undock the panel from the main window
effectively making it like a modeless dialog or turn if off when it
takes up too much of the drawing area. It's just something to think
about for some future improvements. In the short term, you could
provide net connection information in the message panel. When you
select a component by left clicking, some of the parameter information
about the component is displayed in the message panel. Something
similar could be done for wire and bus nets by displaying the net name
an all of the connection points. You also could display the same
information in a tool tip when the cursor hovers over the net. I
generally like to avoid dialog boxes (even modeless ones) unless the
application cannot continue without some user input. I just wanted to
throw out some other ideas for consideration.