Author Message
 Post subject: Usability improvement
PostPosted: 22 Aug 2011, 07:38 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: 22 Aug 2011, 05:29
Posts: 60
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
I've been tracking Diptrace from version 0.3, all the major functions in it work, but the interface is downright horrid, although better than most, still not as good as Sprint Layout (its the king, learn from it).
There is a huge load of lame interface solutions and it just drags on and on from version to version.

1) Fix the goddamn search, first thing first, top of the priority, NOW.

2) Scroll with mouse wheel here.
Image

3) Default rotation is clockwise. Shift CTRL + R is counterclockwise.

4) Bigger windows with less clicking around, its 2011 and 800x600 isn't the default resolution, though I'm not saying it shouldn't be supported.
Image
Image

5) WTF is with the type and value ?
Image
Why is that value for LM317 is blank (or any other IC) but its type is its value, but for any resistor it is just RES ?
Much more logical layout would be:
Type - what ever it is, U, R, IC, resistor_network, voltage_regulator
resdef - leave it as it is, works just fine.
Value - 10k, or LM317 or what ever it is
Additional field - to be used for something like order code, like LM317-EMP-NoPB, those get hairy real quick, so lets just leave it hidden.
Comment field - to be used for something like 'See farnell catalog'
Creating any additional fields is optional, but the following 5 are mandatory, and displayed every time I open component properties, its the thing any designer always works with.
Default display for any component goes as following
1) Its ResDef - R1 or IC1 or U1
2) Its Value - LM317AH
Any other fields should be optional.
About moving these around in the schematic capture - click once(red arrow), its selected, click second time(blue arrow), it becomes movable, instead of pressing F10.
Image

Also, this should be done in the single window, and there should be a button - Edit this components' schematic pattern and the land pattern, not just library search, and yeah, fix that too, also the list box should have primitive search too, instead of only searching by the first letter - ie if I type 'TO' quickly it should stand on first component starting with 'TO', if I type it slowly - it first goes to the component which starts with T and then the one that starts with 'O'.
Image

6) When I scroll my mouse in the blue field, it zooms around, but when I scroll my mouse in the red field it should automatically scroll the component list
Image

7) When wiring things - double click on empty space should start a new wire, right click should do the same as enter - ie finish the line, delete or backspace should undo the last segment.

8) Net editor - double click on the units (blue circle, and elsewhere in the program) to change them, some times I want mils, sometimes mm, sometimes inches, saves time converting units, or running around menus, changing settings.
Why do we need red buttons at all - double click on items in the list - item gets inserted, click on the other list, item gets removed.
Image

9) Component creator - why do I need additional layers while placing lines and whatnot?

10) Pin Editor - place a little image (in the blue circle) near the type, for a quick reference.
Instead of dropdown list use a simple list with a bigger window, now setting types and electrical designations will take 2 clicks instead of 4.
Image

11) Why can't I edit the text I've typed in the editor ?

12) Can we have a normal footprint and component wizards ? Hint hint - the one in the Sprint Layout is really really good.

13) Can we have a duplicate button ? Select, press CTRL + D - bam, same component.

More to come, there are loads of this small stuff.
Comments are welcome.

-- 26 Aug 2011, 08:57 --

Can we have UTF ? Sometimes people need to prepare documents in 3 different languages, so flipping code pages everytime is not an option.

Image

Single window yet again, less clicking around

Image

Can we have more buttons here ? Like the one that sets/removes ALL the borders, clicking 4 times for a single box gets annoying real quick.

Image

Clicking at node with a blue arrow starts wiring automatically, whilst clicking on the one with red circle doesn't.

Image

Depending on the drawing order I can drag only the node in the red, but not the ones in the blue, though I can drag the ones in the blue and the whole line gets dragged, but if I try to drag up, it only allows to drag the segment in the red. Can we have that dragging any segment drags the whole straight line, but dragging with shift drags only a single segment ?

Image

_________________
My rhombicosidodecahedron is bigger than yours.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Usability improvement
PostPosted: 29 Aug 2011, 09:05 
Offline
Technical Support

Joined: 14 Jun 2010, 06:43
Posts: 2178
Hi,
Thanks for the suggestion. We will consider them with our team.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Usability improvement
PostPosted: 02 Sep 2011, 08:42 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: 22 Aug 2011, 05:29
Posts: 60
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Alex wrote:
We will consider them with our team.


Can you elaborate on what you are planning to implement and on your thoughts on this subject?

Some kind of component grouping is needed, for example if I want to move 4 pads to the side precisely 0.123mm its downright impossible, either I select each one and input coordinates manually or I have to input some obscure grid value, can we also have a modifier(ctrl/etc) that allows to move components regardless of grid value ?

Relative coordinate display also needed while dragging stuff around.

Object explorer is awkward too - instead excel-style worksheet logic you have to constantly click between select/edit.

Layers are still useless - I can group them, but cannot split or move things between the layers.

Image

_________________
My rhombicosidodecahedron is bigger than yours.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Usability improvement
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2011, 09:17 
Offline
Technical Support

Joined: 14 Jun 2010, 06:43
Posts: 2178
We do not plan to add any new features in the upcoming version 2.2. We collect all suggestions and will investigate them when planning features for the next 2.x version.
I think it is not big problem to input pad coordinates manually or set specific grid size and move pads by grid. But it would be better to select some pads and change single coordinate for all of them at once.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Usability improvement
PostPosted: 07 Sep 2011, 07:22 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: 22 Aug 2011, 05:29
Posts: 60
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Alex wrote:
We do not plan to add any new features in the upcoming version 2.2. We collect all suggestions and will investigate them when planning features for the next 2.x version.


Perhaps you can post a list so we can view and vote on priorities ?

Alex wrote:
I think it is not big problem to input pad coordinates manually or set specific grid size and move pads by grid. But it would be better to select some pads and change single coordinate for all of them at once.


Actually it is, and takes time, its either that or add object grouping to pattern/component editor.

More to that:

Is there a list of shortcuts ? Help doesn't provide any.

About rotation - instead of setting fixed angles of 90/45/30/15° let us choose a rotation step instead so the object can be rotated in increments of said angle - for example rotation step of 15° will cover most of angles needed, so instead of fiddling with menus, press space a few times and you're done.

This:
Image
Should have shortcuts for every button, or even better abolish 3 different modes, leave one or two, use shift/ctrl/alt modifiers, edit without any modifiers edits traces and with shift it switches to free edit mode.

Somewhere in the menus should be a function to edit current components pattern or schematic symbol (more to that it should open the library from which the component is taken), and upon editing the component in the schematic or pcb should reflect the changes immediately, its just that it takes a lot of time locating component in the libraries, editing, refreshing (does it work ?).

Its impossible to place a round copper pour, it would be nice if it could share the interface of board outline or be similar to it.

Some kind of rule set editor/viewer is needed in the future.

Higher hierarchy project file is needed, to manage all the settings, pcb's, schematics, rules, etc.

Component neck-down is a bit broken - when starting a trace it works perfectly, when approaching end it doen't appear to align with component land pad, perhaps a modifier key can be used so editor automatically grabs the pad ? Also it breaks down if I try to drag the component (most logical solution would be that neck-down locks when I drag the component, and the trace that goes after if gets edited ?)

Routing
Image
To draw a nice looking route like the one on the top I have to start two different tracks and join them in the middle, if I want to do it in one go I get the track in on the bottom, sure I can click through all the routing modes so it finishes as the track on top, but instead of spacebar scrolling through all the routing modes it should mirror between two alike (90>45 and 45>90, straight > arc and arc > straight, etc) and another key should change the modes themselves.

_________________
My rhombicosidodecahedron is bigger than yours.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Usability improvement
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2011, 05:13 
Offline
Technical Support

Joined: 14 Jun 2010, 06:43
Posts: 2178
We will publish list of features and everyone will be able to vote.
List of hot keys is in help files. It is in "User interface" section. Also you can see most hot keys from main menu on the right side of menu command.
We plan to add customizable hot keys in future.
Round copper pours are impossible now, but you can approximate circle with straight lines. Also if you need a copper pour for circular board, go to "Border" tab on copper pour properties and enable option "Depending on board". It creates copper pour border automatically.
While routing, use hot key "S" and "M" to switch between segment modes.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Usability improvement
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2011, 06:02 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: 22 Aug 2011, 05:29
Posts: 60
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Congratulations on the new release!

Alex wrote:
We will publish list of features and everyone will be able to vote.


Super!

Alex wrote:
List of hot keys is in help files. It is in "User interface" section. Also you can see most hot keys from main menu on the right side of menu command.
We plan to add customizable hot keys in future.


Weird, search is not able to find it, nor it in the index, thanks for the info.

Alex wrote:
Round copper pours are impossible now, but you can approximate circle with straight lines. Also if you need a copper pour for circular board, go to "Border" tab on copper pour properties and enable option "Depending on board". It creates copper pour border automatically.


Superb, solves all of my issues just right!

Alex wrote:
While routing, use hot key "S" and "M" to switch between segment modes.


Oh, it was a bit trickier than that, to use that mirror thingie, you have to select custom mode, and then flip between two selected settings, got that figured out!

Do you plan in some near future adding the ability to connect hierarchical blocks with some corresponding bit of a prerouted pcb board, so when we can reuse certain schematics features, like power supplies and such ?

_________________
My rhombicosidodecahedron is bigger than yours.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Usability improvement
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2011, 08:53 
Offline
Technical Support

Joined: 14 Jun 2010, 06:43
Posts: 2178
Quote:
Do you plan in some near future adding the ability to connect hierarchical blocks with some corresponding bit of a prerouted pcb board, so when we can reuse certain schematics features, like power supplies and such ?


I see what feature you mean, but we do not plan to implement it in near future because it is quite complex. But it may be possible in further future.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Usability improvement
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 08:37 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: 22 Aug 2011, 05:29
Posts: 60
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Import export of sheets from schematics or PCB.
Sheet rearrange function, insert sheet prior/post current sheet.

Also there is a bug - you cannot make first sheet a hierarchical block.

Another thing that constantly bugs me - component editor - why can't I insert component into existent library after I save it, no I have to open the library I want to insert it to, and edit it there.

_________________
My rhombicosidodecahedron is bigger than yours.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Usability improvement
PostPosted: 21 Sep 2011, 05:44 
Offline
Technical Support

Joined: 09 Jun 2010, 06:24
Posts: 190
Quote:
Also there is a bug - you cannot make first sheet a hierarchical block.

This is not a bug. First sheet is always top-level of hierarchy.
Quote:
Another thing that constantly bugs me - component editor - why can't I insert component into existent library after I save it, no I have to open the library I want to insert it to, and edit it there.

You can edit the opened library only. It is not possible to add component to the file as well as editing layout without opening it.

Sheet rearrangement is in the nearest plans (I suppose 2.2.1.0). 2.2 already has layer rearrangement feature.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group