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Author Topic: Floating displays.  (Read 20464 times)

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Floating displays.
« on: April 18, 2015, 09:45:18 AM »
So after much testing with Mach 3 here are a few observation on the UI. These are coming from a software engineer with over 40 years of architecture, design and development experience.

1. There is way too much redundancy in some of the screens with result ins a substantial amount of wasted space. Prime example is the too path views. My suggestion is that several of the frames such as tool path should be dock-able/floating.. You could "un-dock" the tool path and  let it float as a non-modal frame. This would allow a single scalable window that could be moved to a second monitor or left to float. The way it works now, is every time you switch to a different control tab, you loose the paths that have been completed.. My objective is to be able to have a separate floating paths up while I am able to switch between control tabs.

2. Elapsed time...The fundamental problem I have with this display is that every time a script completes, the clock resets.. I run multiple scripts on the same piece and need to know the total production time to figure costs.. I would suggest you add a second "run till stop" time display and if you couple it with the dock-able path display you could just add the two timer displays in the upper or lower corner of the Path window (always visible).. The "run till stop" can be implemented as a toggle button that has a "pause-->Reset" behavior.

3. The correct way to design the UI layout is to look for those things the operator needs to be watching, or have control off,  at all times and design those into a single screen/tab/display.. Other functionality that is occasionally  required can be implemented  on secondary screens/table/.

My true fear is that Mach 4 will be utilizing the same "tired" UI that Mach 3 has...I haven't had a chance to look at it beyond the screen shots however rewriting 99% of the code doesn't imply that the UI has been improved.. If they implemented a Model-view-controller architecture then the View should be simple to "jack up" and "slide in" a new and improved UI.

R. Prichard

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Re: Floating displays.
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 10:14:11 AM »
UI design is not Artsoft's strong suit. The default Mach4 screen is laid out almost exactly like Mach3.

However, the Mach4 screen is customizable from within Mach4, with a drag and drop type interface.

I don't believe that you can have floating windows, but I could be wrong.

But you can place the toolpath on the main screen, and have independent tab groups so that the toopath never changes as you use different groups of controls.

Other than that, you can do just about anything you want with it. Just be aware that some modifications can require a lot of Lua scripting.

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