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Development Tasks.... GUI Standards?


Hi Dick, J.P., Wayne, et. al.,

I'm most interested in some changes (hopefully improvements) in the area 
of adherence to GUI standards, especially ones that will allow my 
students to more quickly and easily learn Kicad, with less frustration. 
I'm still reading the code and learning the program myself, so I'm not 
going to get any many changes done quickly, but I have interest.

The first thing I would like to do is make the select code work better. 
Presently you need to select a block by drawing a rectangle around the 
components you want include. Often, I find myself getting more 
components than I wanted because I am cramming a lot onto a one page 
schematic diagram, so that I don't have to flip back and forth to see 
everything. If the set of components in your desired block aren't in a 
rectangular shape and with the correct orientation, it means you have to 
do operations with smaller blocks which is more effort and time. I 
propose that when you single click on a component, it becomes selected 
(and highlighted). You could then control click on another component 
and it would be added into the selection block. If you got a component 
you didn't want you could control click on it and it would be removed 
from the selection block. (On OS X, you would use the command key 
instead of the control key.) The present method with dragging a 
rectangular selection area would also be allowed for adding or removing 
items from the selection block. I think this should work okay, because 
presently single clicking on a component just prints its information in 
the status bar, but nothing else I could detect.

Additionally, with this more traditional selection paradigm, the 
traditional copy and paste methods could be used, and learners would 
benefit from their previous experience with other applications that use 
this standard paradigm.

There are other areas that need this kind of attention, and it appears 
that Wayne and J.P. in particular are working on some of them.

All the above would help make Kicad more like other computer 
applications, and so much easier and quicker to learn. More users means 
more contributers to parts libraries, and to the code.

Is this the right direction to go?

Thanks for your thoughts!


P.S. If others of you who are more up to speed on this want to work on 
this area, by all means do! Like I said, it will take me a good while 
before I'm up to speed.

Rob Frohne, Ph.D., P.E.
E.F. Cross School of Engineering
Walla Walla University
100 SW 4th Street
College Place, WA 99324
(509) 527-2075	http://people.wallawalla.edu/~rob.frohne

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