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LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Printable Version

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LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Roland Melkert - 2015-05-15

With the 1.5 version of LDCad I decided to take another approach then my usual beta versions followed by a 'stable' one.

I wanted to give people the opportunity to play with some of the new features while other are still under construction. Downside of this all is an Alpha version might be less stable then beta ones.

This 1.5 Alpha version houses 2 of the 4 planned major features. Both are pretty much 100% complete but might need some additional fine tuning, so any feedback is appreciated.

The features are:
Window overlay / docking

LDraw source window

Note: To undock a window grab it by some of it's 'dead space', To dock a window hold down the ctrl key at the location you want it to be. Optionally you can also lock the configuration (from the gui menu) to prevent accidental unlocking.

There are also many small features / tweaks, like:
improved scroll bar behavior
Part bin appearance tweaks (allows for a much smaller bin width and horizontal orientation)
And may of the smaller feature requests made in the 1.4b forum thread.

For a full list of all changes read the changeLog.txt file.

You can download the latest Alpha version (from now on) at:
http://www.melkert.net/LDCad/nextVer

Please let me know your thoughts.


Re: LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Merlijn Wissink - 2015-05-15

Nice!

I'm going to try it out this evening or tommorow.
At the moment I'm not working on any instructions though, so I can't test the new features in some real-life scenario.


Re: LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Willy Tschager - 2015-05-15

Just some impressions from a quick look:

* I really hoped the LMB click somewhere where there are no bricks would unselect all.
* I find it odd that the access to the Color, Parts and source window is somehow hidden in the contextual main menu you get only by the "Go main menu".
* I wish the Edit, About, ... had a mirror in the menu bar by default, not forcing me to dive into the "Menubar config..."
* I'm fine with the floating windows following your cursor immediately but the need to press STRG to dock them was unexpected.
* I love the transparent arrows in the brick categories
* I wish the "Small menu font" setting would also apply to the Menubar and the status bar itself
* I expected that I would be able to resort the order of brick sequence in the source window by drag'n'drop.
* I wish a single or double click in the color history bar would not only change the color in the part bin, but also in the selection, making a cursor shift+click to the "Use current color" box obsolete ... just to speed up building.

w.


Re: LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Philippe Hurbain - 2015-05-16

Quote:* I really hoped the LMB click somewhere where there are no bricks would unselect all.
Initially that was my opinion too, but the way it currently behaves avoids to accidentally deselect a complex multi-selection, so I came to like it as is.
Quote:* I find it odd that the access to the Color, Parts and source window is somehow hidden in the contextual main menu you get only by the "Go main menu".
Agreed, well hidden. Too well!
Quote:* but the need to press STRG to dock them was unexpected.
Thanks for the tip Willy, dunno if I would have found it on myself! Just had to figure out that "STRG" was CTRL key Wink

Otherwise... I guess this was an already existing feature, but I just discovered the split screen feature and swap to unsplit using space bar. Really great stuff, but I also foung a big bug: when I am in full scren mode, the mouse focus remains on the lower right split screen area (except if the full screen view is a zoom of the lower right pane, in this case it works normally).


Re: LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Roland Melkert - 2015-05-16

Willy Tschager Wrote:I really hoped the LMB click somewhere where there are no bricks would deselect all.
I'm considering dropping the current left mouse button handling to make room for multiselect. This also means a left click anywhere would reset the selection unless you hold down ctrl. But I also agree with Philio about the loosing your seleciton by mistake. So I'm looking for a way to keep both methods open.

Willy Tschager Wrote:I find it odd that the access to the Color, Parts and source window is somehow hidden in the contextual main menu you get only by the "Go main menu".
The toplevel partbin, etc menus aren't just specific to the part bin window, they are for the bin itself which the windows only visualize. I did consider adding open new part/color/source window items to the view menu but as that menu is actually the 'edit views' menu I thought it would be messy. Maybe I have to reorganize the view menu so it becomes a more generic view menu like in most programs.


Willy Tschager Wrote:I wish the Edit, About, ... had a mirror in the menu bar by default, not forcing me to dive into the "Menubar config..."
I guess it's a personal thing as I initially intended not having a menu bar at all as the application is context driven menu wise (e.g. a right click in the edit edit area while no selection is active will open the edit menu and when a selection is active it will open the selection menu.).

Willy Tschager Wrote:I'm fine with the floating windows following your cursor immediately but the need to press STRG to dock them was unexpected.
Sorry, I forgot to mention this Smile The first versions used ctrl to 'flip' the state (undock while docked, dock while undocked). But I found it to behave very annoying while moving a docked window around.

Willy Tschager Wrote:I love the transparent arrows in the brick categories
Me too, you can thank Owen for that idea Smile.

Willy Tschager Wrote:I wish the "Small menu font" setting would also apply to the Menubar and the status bar itself
It actually does scale but the icons keep it from getting smaller. Maybe I'll add a second set of icons for use with the smaller menus.

Willy Tschager Wrote:I expected that I would be able to resort the order of brick sequence in the source window by drag'n'drop.
You mean while dragging form edit area to the source window? You are right it should reset the position and start a source insert while inside a source window. I will add it in the next version. In the meantime dragging inside the source window itself does reorder the lines (in selection order) even if you drop it at the same place.

Willy Tschager Wrote:I wish a single or double click in the color history bar would not only change the color in the part bin, but also in the selection, making a cursor shift+click to the "Use current color" box obsolete ... just to speed up building.
This would break the working color concept as you will never be able to just change the working color (in order to add a new part) while a selection is active. I could however add a ctrl+click in order to apply it to the selection (dbl click might be a problem as the fist click might change the color below the cursor) .

Philippe Hurbain Wrote:I guess this was an already existing feature, but I just discovered the split screen feature and swap to unsplit using space bar. Really great stuff, but I also foung a big bug: when I am in full scren mode, the mouse focus remains on the lower right split screen area (except if the full screen view is a zoom of the lower right pane, in this case it works normally).
The zoom feature is present in 1.2 and up, but you are right I broke it while working the docking stuff in. It's an easy fix though.


Re: LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Merlijn Wissink - 2015-05-17

I think I've found another bug (if it wasn't already mentioned).

When I split the editor (either horizontal, vertical or 4-way) and I swap to full screen (using the menu or spacebar), only one of the editor windows is behaving correctly. So, for example, when I swap to full-screen from the left window, everything works fine, but when I swap to full-screen from the other window, the editor behaves very weird (I can't rotate the camera, new bricks follow the mouse pointer etc. etc.)

You should maybe try it out yourself, it's a bit difficult to explain.


Re: LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Roland Melkert - 2015-05-17

Philo also found this one, it got broken while adding the docking feature it should work just fine in 1.4b though. It will be fixed in Alpha 2/Beta 1


Re: LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Willy Tschager - 2015-05-19

Roland Melkert Wrote:
Willy Tschager Wrote:I find it odd that the access to the Color, Parts and source window is somehow hidden in the contextual main menu you get only by the "Go main menu".
The toplevel partbin, etc menus aren't just specific to the part bin window, they are for the bin itself which the windows only visualize. I did consider adding open new part/color/source window items to the view menu but as that menu is actually the 'edit views' menu I thought it would be messy. Maybe I have to reorganize the view menu so it becomes a more generic view menu like in most programs.

Agree.

Roland Melkert Wrote:
Willy Tschager Wrote:I wish a single or double click in the color history bar would not only change the color in the part bin, but also in the selection, making a cursor shift+click to the "Use current color" box obsolete ... just to speed up building.
This would break the working color concept as you will never be able to just change the working color (in order to add a new part) while a selection is active. I could however add a ctrl+click in order to apply it to the selection (dbl click might be a problem as the fist click might change the color below the cursor) .

Thanks.

w.


Re: LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Milan Vančura - 2015-05-20

Roland, MANY thanks for LDCad 1.5! (even I know it is still alpha)

This is not just a new version of one editor. This is the first ldraw editor on the world(*) which knows to open a model already edited in another SW like LPub and do not mess it. All comments stay OK and at the correct place, no lines are reordered, no meta information is lost. This is great result, great move forward in the world of ldraw editors. Congratulations, Roland, and many thanks again.

I also thought about improvements (listed below) but I must say the above is the main feature. So my wish #1 is "do not break this functionality, please" Smile

More ideas/wishes:

Source window:

* I'd prefer if a double-click on line "0 STEP" does "Go to that STEP"
* also, it would be nice to have a number of step shown, for example an icon at the beginning of the line (i.e. white ellipsis with a step number)
* an indicator/icon showing the piece on this line is hidden
* a hot key with a function scrolling the source window at the position of the current step (of current (sub)model)
* highlight the current step in the source window (lighter background etc.)
* double click on a submodel reference line should open that submodel
* double click breaks the selection which is annoying - can you distinguish between click and double click so double click does not do "click" action?
* ROTSTEP support: double click opening a subwindow where one can rotate the model and a radio-button "absolute/relative turn".

More advanced - for next versions:

* "color arrows hot keys": using 'p' in move mode one can see a cross of arrows and the "toolbox arrow" in the third direction. I wish those arrows were colored (red, green blue) and there were hotkeys for move in red, green and blue directions. This speeds up the final positioning of the brick. These keys should work regardless of the mode (move/rotation), CTRL+those keys for rotations around those color arrows.

* local grid ('o' key) improvement: local grid is a big help in many cases but it works only for a center of brick and default direction. The great improvement would be to be able to set local grid to place+direction of defined special points, like points of snap. For example a side stud of 'headlight brick', rotation/snap point of hinges etc.
* next question would be how to specify the same for the other ("placed") piece. But I do not have any idea how the UI should look like for that.

---
*) other than dead, Windows-only and 1980-like MLCAD, of course Smile


Re: LDCad 1.5 Alpha 1 (win+linux) - Roland Melkert - 2015-05-20

Thanks

Milan Vančura Wrote:All comments stay OK and at the correct place, no lines are reordered, no meta information is lost
Only lines you actually changed during editing will be reformatted all others will use the cached original line string. So you might loose (some) indenting etc on type 1 lines, although I'm considering making improvements on that front too Smile

And a second side note: the source window currently uses separate formatting (more efficient for OpenGL prepping) code so it will format all lines uniformly (indenting wise etc) but only for display purposes.

Milan Vančura Wrote:* I'd prefer if a double-click on line "0 STEP" does "Go to that STEP"
* double click on a submodel reference line should open that submodel
* double click breaks the selection which is annoying - can you distinguish between click and double click so double click does not do "click" action?
I'll implement this, I've been thinking to drop the current double click to open props anyway as it contradicts the 3D double click behavior.

Milan Vančura Wrote:* also, it would be nice to have a number of step shown, for example an icon at the beginning of the line (i.e. white ellipsis with a step number)
* an indicator/icon showing the piece on this line is hiddenl
I was thinking about adding icons to indicate grouping/hiding but thought it would take up to much space like the col/exp indent does while no submodels are used. I could however gray out hidden lines.

Milan Vančura Wrote:* a hot key with a function scrolling the source window at the position of the current step (of current (sub)model)
'Scroll to selection', and 'follow selection' will be available in Alpha 2.

Milan Vančura Wrote:* highlight the current step in the source window (lighter background etc.)
I was thinking about adding an option to limit the rendered source to the 'current step' or 'up to current step'.

Milan Vančura Wrote:* ROTSTEP support: double click opening a subwindow where one can rotate the model and a radio-button "absolute/relative turn".
Once things are a bit more stable/finished I was planning to fully support some thirdparty meta highlighting and property wise. First on the list are the LPub ones.

Milan Vančura Wrote:* "color arrows hot keys": using 'p' in move mode one can see a cross of arrows and the "toolbox arrow" in the third direction. I wish those arrows were colored (red, green blue) and there were hotkeys for move in red, green and blue directions. This speeds up the final positioning of the brick. These keys should work regardless of the mode (move/rotation), CTRL+those keys for rotations around those color arrows.
New in 1.5 is the option to do keyboard move's while the pin is in rotation mode by using ctrl+arrows. You can also disable the projection mapping so up/down is always the y-axis etc. I like the color coding suggestion might take that up in a future version.

Milan Vančura Wrote:* local grid ('o' key) improvement: local grid is a big help in many cases but it works only for a center of brick and default direction. The great improvement would be to be able to set local grid to place+direction of defined special points, like points of snap. For example a side stud of 'headlight brick', rotation/snap point of hinges etc.
* next question would be how to specify the same for the other ("placed") piece. But I do not have any idea how the UI should look like for that.
Yes using the snap info pos/ori would be nice to have indeed, but like you say it's difficult to implement gui (indication) wise. Although I'm thinking tab key for controlling it would probably work.


Thanks for your input.