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Author Topic: New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)  (Read 8652 times)

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ynneb

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New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)
« on: December 05, 2005, 08:44:16 PM »
Art has told me that when he retires he will soon start on building a new screen designer.
He tells me his plan is it phase it in, so that the old screens will still be usable, but in additian to the old designer a new one will be built into Mach 3/4 itself.

I really like this idea of the phasing in, and intergration of the new designerinto Mach iteslf. This way, no one will be caught out with what they have at present suddenly not working.

I have started this thread so as to help Art with some ideas of what you feel should be included.

Dont hold back with your suggestions, no matter how far out they may seem, so long as they would be usefull for CNC related machineing.

ynneb

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Re: New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2005, 09:06:50 PM »
Some of the things I would like to see included in the new desiner mode.

Moveable floating frames that can be opened and shut at any time. Similar to what you may find in a program like Photoshop.
The floating frames would be dedicated to different functions in Mach.
A pictorial task bar that had easy to identify icons that would allow the user open and close the floating windows.
A way of remembering a previous setup you have made, and saveing that setup and recalling it.

There needs to be a small section in the screen that floating windows cannot cover. ( A no go zone) This no go zone will contain things like axis Dro displays and obviuosly the Reset/Stop button.

ynneb

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Re: New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2005, 09:23:07 PM »
Axis modules. You can bring up axis modules depending on the sort of machine you have.
Each axis module contains standard all the controls for it, Like "DRO," "go to zero"," zero""scaling", etc.
This way any screen can easily be suited to any machine without a need to rebuild a complete new screen for your machine.

ynneb

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Re: New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2005, 09:25:42 PM »
I am working on a mockup Flash simulation of all the things I am thinking of. Hopefully this will do better at explaining what I am talking about.

Art

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Re: New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2005, 09:31:46 PM »
HI Guys:

 Ill monitor this and try to incroporate at least the ideas behind them.. We'll see whats possible...

Art
Re: New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2005, 04:08:42 AM »
I think we need to be clear that there are two distinct issues here:

(1)  Features in a new Screen Designer that would make it easier to design screens whose runtime functionality is the same as Mach3 now.

(2)  New runtime features.

If I understand the suggestions, Benny's suggested Axis modules seem to be in the first group. Floating pallets in the second.

I am very much in favour of (1). It is hard work putting a collection of related controls on more than one screen and then maintaining them. It is difficult to keep track of the use of User LEDs, DROs etc. Screens for displays other than 1024 x 768 are difficult. Issues like Undo and cut-n-paste between two screens would help life a lot.

I am generally against (2). Perhaps availability of cosmetic features like different fonts and colors would improve usability but there is a point were too much customisation is a disadvantage. Many CAD programs exhibit this. As soon as one customises toolbars the program is hard to learn and hard to teach. Things get hidden in fly-out tools and in support the user has a different mental model of the program to the person offering support.

At a more practical level, the investment in experience, documentation and training videos is such that a very compelling case would be needed for a drastically new runtime look and feel.

My view FWIW

John Prentice

ynneb

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Re: New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2005, 05:32:57 AM »
Thanks John, for your feedback.  I guess the thing we must keep  in mind  is the fact that the old will not be done away with.
People can keep the status quo if they want. Even if the current screen setups were default, and it was the choice of the user to implement the new screen features. That should work well.

The thing I have heard from many people is that the screens are confusing. The new default screen has done a lot to fix this issue. However I believe a lot more can be done in the future.

Personally I would like to see the loss of multiple screens in one screen set, and an efficient way to include all the features on just one page, where the user can bring in and out the tools of choice. The pop in and out jog window is well on track to the sort of thing I am hoping for. The only thing it lacks is a onscreen button to initiate it, and the user must previously know that the TAB key opens it.

I would like to also see just one settings page that was scrollable, instead of having to open seperate winodows for "Logic", "motor tuning" etc. this would simplify looking for items.

I also want to see a teach mode for new users, where every item had a question mark on it, and the new use could just put his mouse over it and a popup screen would give a detailed explanation of the setting, along with referal links. By saying this, I do not mean it just opens a HELP menu.

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there is a point were too much customisation is a disadvantage.
I couldnt agree more. Actually I am thinking of less customization features and more management features. Been able to manage what we already have in a quick and easy to understand way. This is primarily what I am on about.
Re: New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2005, 07:25:55 AM »
All good points :-)
Back when I was using SD a lot, I posted a bunch of suggestions (many of which I suspect I've forgotten).  A few stick in mind:

Having the ability to have buttons change function (from "cycle on" to "cycle off" or from "coolant off/mist/flood" on a contextual basis would save screen space without giving up content.  Only those buttons which were live at a given time would be bright, the unusable ones would be greyed out (or disappear completely).  While it is important for a physical push button station to have both buttons, a "toggle" approach would be more efficient for a display.

Having text linked to (but not part of) the bitmap of a button would allow buttons to be re-scaled without distorting the text.  It would also allow contextual changes of the text without changing the underlying button.  In addition, foreign language screens could be much more quickly created without a complete re-design.

As I remember them, I'll post my old suggestions.

Jeff

 
Re: New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2005, 08:15:09 AM »
I would like to see a sliders for overriding data :) Scripts that will run after you press enter in a DRO:)

This would cut down on buttons that Mach3 needs.

Thank you
Brian
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com
Re: New forthcoming screen designer. ( Your input needed)
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2005, 01:11:12 PM »
Just a thought on Benny's remark:

"I also want to see a teach mode for new users, where every item had a question mark on it, and the new use could just put his mouse over it and a popup screen would give a detailed explanation of the setting, along with referal links. By saying this, I do not mean it just opens a HELP menu."

It is little known that a right click on a built in control generally gives quite a good summary. I find the animation a bit irritating and think that the conventional "tool-tip" on mouse hover would be better (and work with a touch screen where right click is hard or impossible) but thehard work documenting the controls has been done.

One can document user controls this way too.

John Prentice