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Screen Design - where is it going?
« on: December 14, 2006, 03:56:08 PM »
Hi Guys

I am currently in the process of developing some new wizards. Up until now I have been using screen 4, and it is driving me mad. Everytime I make the slightest change I loose button transparency, background images dissapear, background images hide toolpath displays etc.

I decided to give the Jetcam screen designer a go. It is fantastic, picked it up in minutes and I have done what took me 4 evenings in Screen4 I have just done in a couple of hours.

But my question is where is scrren design going. There is a lot of talk about flash screens, but I've yet to see a flash screenset. How easy is it to develop flash screens, can you get free flash editors and when is it going to happen?

I know Stan is reluctant to do too much work on the Jetcam designer as he doesn't want to spend time on something that is soon to be replaced.

If you haven't tried the Jetcam Screen designer I would strongly reccomend that you try it. If you like it then let Stan know.




Re: Screen Design - where is it going?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2006, 05:38:19 PM »
David, From my understanding, the conventional screen system will always be around. Art is always conscious about backwards compatibility. Any work you put in will always be supported. Your screens will not become redundant.
The reason you have not yet seen a finished flash screen is because this feature is still in developmental / experimental stages. These screens will be just another option, and not the default method. You will need third party software for these sorts of screens.

I know your pain about using the conventional screen designers, and the flaws. This is one of many reasons why Flash screen will be so good. They will overcome many of the problems you are experiencing, and also add a lot of features not yet available with the conventional system.

In the end it is easier for Art to simply add in the ability to display flash, and then let the flash creation tools do what they have had a multi million dollar team design.

If you read the flash threads you should see some working files that you can build from. Beware there is a learning curve.

I suggest you and Stan still work on what you are currently doing. There will be a hoard of users who will appreciate your contributions.

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Re: Screen Design - where is it going?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 05:43:52 PM »

 Yeah, just to kick in, I can use Screen4, (course it was written for me by me, but it is hard to handle. Bitmap
order and such is a pain, Stans is far better, but Ive found each program has its specialty.

  The Flash interfac ewill really be for Quantum, the next generation of Mach , but Mach3 will always use
the screen designers present for it. Allot has yet ot be decided in the area of screens, still too many experiments to
do to confirm the way we need to go.. Allot depends on thos tests..

Re: Screen Design - where is it going?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2006, 04:26:10 AM »
Hi Guys

Thanks for your replies. It's good to know that the 'traditional' screen development will remain. Having spent some time last night watching the videos on flash I can see that it is going to be a very impressive tool. However I still feel that the traditional screen designer is great for quick development, while still looking good.

Obviously, Screen 4 is now getting to the point where it needs major work to keep up with the features in Mach, and the appearance of the Jetcam designer is particulalry timely, especially as it is a 'clean sheet'implementation. Personally, I am really keen to see the jetcam designer develop further, possibly even replace Screen4.

At the end of the day this all depends on the user base, hence if your interested in screen design then have a play with teh Jetcam designer and let us know what you think. How many people are using it? What have you done with it?