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Re: Layers visibility [1 Attachment]


Ing. Gabriele Oberhammer wrote:
Thanks for all the replays :-)

Based on all the replies considerations, what do you think about the following compromise?

- a slightly larger toolbar with two columns, see screenshot (note this is a mockup made with wxFormBuilder, it's not working code!)

- only the available layers are visible on the toolbar

- with the first columns you select the current working layer (obviosly only one layer can be selected at the same time).
Using a toggle button makes it easy to see which is the current layer.

- with the second column, made of check boxes, you choose if the layer is currently visible or not (obviously an hidden layer cannot become the current working layer)

- with a right click on a layer button, you can bring up a popup menu with several options:

'Edit name...' which opens a dialog for....(suspense...)... changing the layer name

'Edit color..' " " " " " color
(Maybe the color could be selected with a ColourPickerCtrl)

'Change button position' which allows to move the button to another position on the toolbar (the position will be saved with preferences)

'Anything else'

- on the bottom of the bar, there is an 'Undock' button. Pressing this button hides the LyersToolbar and opens up a *modeless* version of it which can be moved anywhere (even on another monitor). Or insted we can label the button 'Switch to advanced mode' (or anything similar) and display a new version of the 'Pcbnew Layers color' dialog, enhanced with controls for all the functions present on the tollbar popup menu, so you can select them immediately without right-clicking anywhere. ....mmm, maybe this is a better idea, because on this 'advanced' dialog we could also choose which technical/other layers will be present in the 'docked' LayersToolbar

- remove the layer selection drop-down menu

I know that simulating the docking/undocking mechanism is not elegant, but I guess this is the only multiplatform compatible solution without switching to wxAUI. Moving to wxAUI will be a really big improovment for UI usability, but I guess this would need a huge kicad UI rework.

Again, best regards :-)

I'm glad to see you and others are still in brain storm mode. To review that process:

1) all must know the steps of the brainstorm process and agree on which step we are in.

2) during the first phase, it is important to not be critical of suggestions, so as to not thwart creativity.

3) then after a number of ideas have been gathered, and all agree that it is time, then the next step is to offer clarification of each idea as needed by the submitter.

4) then after all ideas are exhausted, likes and dislikes are offered for each suggestion and a final solution is chosen.

This is tough to do by email. But to jump in too early with criticism can thwart creativity. I am happy to see that Gabriele is still brain storming. It is her brain child, and I am happy to see that the few judgments offered have not thwarted her creativity.


Please add "provide a type of layer" for copper layers, to the list of layer functions I offered earlier.. If you look at the board files, you can see I put a "copper layer type" in there in addition to the layer names. The layer type is useful for the export to SPECCTRA. There are only about 3 or 4 types as I recall. It would be nice to handle that also in our design. Someday maybe PCBNEW can use the copper layer type setting also. It is used by any specctra router so it can know which layers are power planes.


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