kicad-developers team mailing list archive
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Re: Layers visibility
Brian Sidebotham <brian.sidebotham@...>
Mon, 8 Jun 2009 23:35:56 +0100
2009/6/8 Dick Hollenbeck <dick@...>:
> Gabriele Oberhammer wrote:
>> Fist of all I apologize for the late reply, I was on vacation till today
>> and so you will forgive me if I'm still in brainstorm-mode.
>> I red all the replays and comments and I think they are all useful.
>> Ok, let me summarize:
>> - everyone agrees that Kicad needs a more powerful and modeless(floating) layer properties
>> editor (from now on called *LPE*)
>> - this will suffice to power users and/or users with dual head configurations, but
>> - will be unfriendly to users with small screen and to new users
> No, because the screen real-estate for this feature is not necessarily
> permanently reserved. One icon on a tool bar can bring a modeless
> dialog or large floating toolbar to the top, and then clicking on the
> main PCBNEW frame or drawing can put the modeless dialog (large floating
> toolbar) into the back of the stack. At least the main frame can be
> put in front of it with this action. So the screen real estate is then
> available for use by the small screen user. Summarizing concept: a
> modeless dialog or large floating toolbar can be open but not on top,
> and clicking a Desktop GUI toolbar button or a Kicad toolbar icon can
> bring the dialog or floating toolbar to the top.
> I like your idea of the larger toolbar with the additional color box.
> It shows the layer names and has great potential. From there you can
> provide a path to a layer specific dialog window at which point you can
> offer layer naming on the chosen layer (only) and if one of the 16 or so
> copper layers, what type of layer it is.
> In such a drill down, layer specific dialog, we have to decide what can
> be allowed for non-copper layers. There currently is no provision in
> the board file for layer names other than copper layers. However, I am
> not fond of "copper" and "component" as layer name elements. See I
> have already used "copper" for two distinctly different purposes in this
> Maybe we take the name the user assigns to the copper layer, and the
> name the user assigns to the component layer, and simply automatically
> append hard coded suffixes onto the end of them. In my case I would
> have a "front" layer and "back" layer for my component and copper
> layers. Front and back are what the Specctra DSN spec uses. I like
> them. They tell me something. So then I would automatically get
> front-silkscreen, front-soldermask, etc.
> So when a user pulls up the drill down, layer specific dialog window,
> (from the large floating toolbar) he cannot edit the layer name for any
> layer that is not a copper layer, nor set the layer type field, but only
> change the color. The other controls in that dialog for that layer
> type could be there but disabled. This dialog should not come over the
> large floating toolbar, but off to the side, so that the user can see
> what colors other layers are using. Which brings me to my last idea,
> perhaps your floating toolbar should have a tab, one for copper layers,
> and one for technical layers. Then below you can put any common
> buttons, like say a help button or a close button.
Renaming layers would be nice as I also don't get on with Component
and Copper. Actually, the main thing I don't get on with is pressing
Page Up selects the bottom layer (Copper) and Page Down selects the
top layer (Component). That seems totally backwards to me, as well as
Copper being an ambiguous layer name.
A close button on a toolbar sounds a bit bizarre, as does tab pages.
Surely this is a dialog and not a toolbar? I think a floating,
modeless dialog would work well but I would personally really like to
be able to dock the thing. I don't suffer screen real estate issues
and I would rather have the convieniece of having this properties
dialog docked to the right of the screen area.
Secondly, I would like to reinforce my thought that this dialog should
not just be thought of in terms of layer properties, but also other
object properties in the future too. It would seem much nicer to
select an object, say a via or a track or drawing and go to an "Object
Properties" tab on this dialog where one can edit the object
properties, say drill size, width, etc.
I'm sorry if this seems to start straying off-subject. There is of
course no reason why these features can't be added in the future. I
hope to have some proper time over the summer where I can contribute
to KiCad. Good Luck Garbriele, I look forward to the results.