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                                       Hiding the control template when storing
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 18 Jun 2012 01:44
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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I've felt for some time that it's confusing for beginners that the control template is hidden on doing a store & background (INSERT key).

The effect is that the template has simply changed colour, rather than been stored.

We can't not hide the control template on store, otherwise it's not apparent to beginners that anything has happened at all.

I've now made a change which I've been intending to try for some time. The control template will remain hidden only briefly, and will then reappear over the background template. You can of course hide it again if you wish (HOME key).

For more experienced users there is a new option not to have the control template hidden. It's on the options menu on the storage box. Untick this menu option:



This setting is included in the program preferences.

Note that even with this option unticked, on a large track plan the control template will disappear momentarily while Templot re-draws the screen with the new background template.

Note also that this option is ignored when working in Quick Mode.

This change will be in the next Templot2 update.

regards,

Martin.

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2nd message | this message only posted: 6 Nov 2012 21:56
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Simon Dunkley
Oakham, United Kingdom



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Hi Martin,

Have found that the new store and reveal function has a minor problem, which may cause confusion for newcomers getting up to speed with Templot.
Basically, if I ctrl-V to store a template, and immediately click on another template and delete to control, then I delete the template and meanwhile the "animation" in the background carries on as the control template.

You can guess how I found this out!
And yes, I can modify my settings, but I am thinking of tyros who may get frustrated...

Simon
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3rd message | this message only posted: 7 Nov 2012 16:39
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Simon Dunkley wrote:Basically, if I ctrl-V to store a template, and immediately click on another template and delete to control, then I delete the template and meanwhile the "animation" in the background carries on as the control template.Hi Simon,

I'm surprised you can click on a different template and delete to the control in the couple of seconds it takes for the animation to finish. I tried it and found it quite tricky to be quick enough. :)

If someone is adept enough at Templot to do that they can hardly still be called a beginner, and they would probably want to change their setting:



which is saved in the program preferences.

However, I can see that it could cause problems. I will add some form of interlock in the net update so that nothing can happen until the animation has finished.

What I have noticed is that the animation runs much more slowly on Crossover/Linux/Wine than on Windows. My Linux system is dual-boot with Windows 7, so is using the same hardware and graphics card. The difference must therefore be in the Wine system timers or graphics code.

p.s. Ctrl-V is now deprecated in favour of the INSERT key for store & background. Also the corresponding  tool-button is now orange so that it can be quickly found in the row.
 
regards,

Martin.

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4th message | this message only posted: 7 Nov 2012 21:21
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Simon Dunkley
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Martin Wynne wrote:
What I have noticed is that the animation runs much more slowly on Crossover/Linux/Wine than on Windows. My Linux system is dual-boot with Windows 7, so is using the same hardware and graphics card. The difference must therefore be in the Wine system timers or graphics code.
Got it in one - it causes a few other minor niggles, too, but as it is my choice to install on an unsupported operating system, I haven't raised them as that would be unfair.
(I am not sure what the keyboard mapping is for the insert key, for example, on a Mac with Crossover, hence the use of Ctrl-v.)

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5th message | this message only posted: 7 Nov 2012 21:32
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Simon Dunkley wrote:but as it is my choice to install on an unsupported operating system, I haven't raised them as that would be unfair.Hi Simon,

It's true that I can't support Macs as I know nothing about them, but I am testing Templot in Linux/Crossover/Wine and there is some Wine-specific code for font substitution. So although Templot is a Windows program, it is intended to at least run on Linux, and I would try to help with any problems.

I am not sure what the keyboard mapping is for the insert key, for example, on a Mac with Crossover, hence the use of Ctrl-V. Presumably Macs have a key to toggle between Insert and Overwrite modes in a word processor?

regards,

Martin.

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6th message | this message only posted: 7 Nov 2012 21:38
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Simon Dunkley
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Martin Wynne wrote:
it is intended to at least run on Linux, and I would try to help with any problems.A lot of my "problems" are due to keyboard mappings, which I could get to grips with if I overcame my innate inertia!
Presumably Macs have a key to toggle between Insert and Overwrite modes in a word processor? Probably, but it is not something I use very often on either Macs or PCs, and nor have I in over 2 dozen years of intensive computer use!

I say inertia, but indolence might be more accurate... ;)

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7th message | this message only posted: 8 Nov 2012 09:31
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RT
Doncaster, United Kingdom

 

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Hi Martin,

Just some feedback for you, and also a question, I appreciate the you can't please all the people, all the time, but im running templot on a new (well 3 months old) Windows 7 laptop, which is relatively fast in all respects, but the new animiation that has been added I found highly frustrating and unwanted, within five minutes of starting to use templot today.

I appreciate it can be turned off (Im coming to that!) and as a beginner with templot I did find the previous operation confusing for about 20 minutes until I guessed what was happening.  I think that, from my viewpoint, if I was coming to Templot now, and learning to use it the way I did, I wouldn't understand why things appear offset then move over the top of something that is already there.  Being brutally honest, I personally would have ended up either with several identical sections onto of each other, or would have given up trying to work out how it works and resorted back to pencil and paper. 

Reading the conversation on here, on my PC it takes a lot longer than yours! The animation takes between 5-8 seconds to complete and this morning have found myself waiting for it to finish everytime, which after 3 inserts, resulted in me becoming frustrated and swearing at the machine, followed by a very quick trip on to here to find out how to turn it off!  Which brings me to the query - it took a while for me to find the correct options menu (Just for your reference) but which of the options puts it back to the previous way of working?  There used to be about a 1 second gap before the new control appeared on top of the old one, which was a visual indicator that it had stored and I could move on - I cannot seem to get back to that with either of the four options?

Cheers

Rich

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8th message | this message only posted: 8 Nov 2012 09:59
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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RT wrote:Reading the conversation on here, on my PC it takes a lot longer than yours! The animation takes between 5-8 seconds to completeHi Rich,

Many thanks for the detailed report.

In that case there is something seriously wrong with the code. It is intended to take 2 seconds maximum. It is based on a timer rather than processor speed, so it should be the same for everyone and simply run more smoothly on faster systems.

I tested it on 5 different systems, old and new, desktop and laptop, Windows XP, Windows 7 and Linux/Wine. It worked fine on all of them, although Linux/Wine was obviously slower than the rest.

If it is taking 5-8 seconds on your system that is clearly no good at all. :( I will upload a new program update later today with this feature no longer the default, while I have a fresh think.
 
which of the options puts it back to the previous way of working? There used to be about a 1 second gap before the new control appeared on top of the old one, which was a visual indicator that it had stored and I could move on - I cannot seem to get back to that with either of the four options? briefly hide the control template is the option which corresponds to the default in version 205d. The code for that is unchanged in 206b so should be working the same now. I just tested it, and it seems fine. :?

hide the control template is the option which corresponds to the default in versions before then. The code for that is also unchanged in 206b so should be working the same now. I just tested it, and it seems fine. :?

I'm now at something of a loss. :? Suggestions welcome for how to indicate to beginners that store & background does not merely change the colour of the template, but creates a copy of it, leaving the original control template unchanged ready for the next operation. I wish I had a pound for every time I've tried to explain that in emails over the years. Permanently moving it isn't an option, because it would make working with multiple partial templates a nightmare.

regards,

Martin.

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9th message | this message only posted: 8 Nov 2012 10:06
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RT
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Martin Wynne wrote: In that case there is something seriously wrong with the code. It is intended to take 2 seconds maximum. It is based on a timer rather than processor speed, so it should be the same for everyone and simply run more smoothly on faster systems.


Maybe its just my laptop? I can see that being timer based, the computer shouldn't affect it, but its definately taking more than two seconds here!

Apologies, maybe I should have kept quiet!! :)  Didnt wish to cause you headaches!  I can see what your trying to achieve, two suggestions (although like you've done I would suggest that they can be switched off by experienced users).  When the INSERT key is pressed and the copy template is created, why not just display a one/two line message box, that says something like "your template has been copied and the new 'copy' template is now active." That way the user is left in no-doubt as to what is happening, and experienced users can turn the message box off.

Alternatively, when you press INSERT, the template is given its number.  Could the new template not be given a label in the same colour as the 'live copy' that just says 'COPY TEMPLATE' until it is changed, or INSERT is pressed again?

Does that help?

Rich

 

PS Yes, the 'Briefly Hide' setting has put it back as it was :)  I must have either mis-clicked or just didnt see the brief hide!  Thanks for your help on that.

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10th message | this message only posted: 8 Nov 2012 20:41
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Simon Dunkley
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Just a thought, Martin, but on store and background, why not have the control template reappear slightly to one side of the recently stored template, i.e. what you have done, but without it moving back over the most recently saved template?
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11th message | this message only posted: 8 Nov 2012 21:10
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Martin Wynne
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Simon Dunkley wrote: Just a thought, Martin, but on store and background, why not have the control template reappear slightly to one side of the recently stored template, i.e. what you have done, but without it moving back over the most recently saved template?Hi Simon,

Because that makes an absolute nightmare of using multiple partial templates -- where you want to keep storing a modified control template in the same location. That's the entire reason for the control template / background templates mechanism.

regards,

Martin.

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12th message | this message only posted: 8 Nov 2012 21:13
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Simon Dunkley
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Fairy nuff.
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13th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 05:24
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Paul Willis
 

 

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I'm now at something of a loss. :? Suggestions welcome for how to indicate to beginners that store & background does not merely change the colour of the template, but creates a copy of it, leaving the original control template unchanged ready for the next operation. I wish I had a pound for every time I've tried to explain that in emails over the years. Permanently moving it isn't an option, because it would make working with multiple partial templates a nightmare.

regards,

Martin.
Hi Martin,

As someone that is finally getting to grips with Templot, after many years of struggling, as it just "clicked", I feel that you have answered your own question.

Why don't you just change the menu description to what you have actual described yourself?

Instead of "Store & background", change it to "Copy to Plan".

As you said, the activity of "Store" is really to create a copy, and the "Plan" is a more intuitive phrase (we are building a track plan, after all) than "Background".

And it is not as though Templot users aren't adaptable to changes in the terminology used in the program, so they should easily get used to the new names in the same way that they do new/changed menu items.

HTH
Paul

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14th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 08:52
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Les G
 

 

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Paul Willis wrote: Martin wrote...I'm now at something of a loss. :? Suggestions welcome for how to indicate to beginners that store & background does not merely change the colour of the template, but creates a copy of it, leaving the original control template unchanged ready for the next operation...Paul wrote:   Hi Martin,
As someone that is finally getting to grips with Templot, after many years of struggling, as it just "clicked", I feel that you have answered your own question.
Why don't you just change the menu description to what you have actual described yourself?

Instead of "Store & background", change it to "Copy to Plan".

Hi Martin,

I think that Paul is on to something here. Implementing the change as he suggests would eliminate the unsettling mental disconnect between the present background [track plan], and background shapes which are stored in a different file.

Where the word background appears in help texts, it could then, unambiguously, be referring to the shapes rather than the track (templates layer), and for the beginner, be easier to visualise the difference.

regards,

Les G


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15th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 09:44
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Paul and Les,

Hmm. Thanks for that, some food for thought there.

Choosing the right words has been a constant problem for me. Those who can remember back to the first versions of Templot will remember that the storage box was called the "keeps box" and a background template was called a "keep". The menu wording was "keep & show".

I was persuaded to change it by Brian Lewis of C&L, who said "keeps box" sounded too schoolboyish and no-one would understand it.

I used the words "keep" and "store" to emphasize the permanence of the process over the transient nature of the control template. I'm not sure that "copy" does that. We also have the options to store the template as unused, or as a library template, and it's not easy to see "copy" working for those.

Also, "copy" does not specify a direction -- we already have "copy to the control" for transfers in the reverse direction. We could end up with too many copies to make sense.

On the other hand, I have never liked "store & background" -- it is too much of a mouthful, it's too long to fit easily on menus and buttons, the meaning is far from clear to beginners, and it is too easily confused with the background shapes functions.

But the term "background template" is now scattered throughout the program, videos and help notes. Changing it to something else would be weeks of editing work.

Also, although I doubt many have noticed, there is a subtle difference between "track plan" as two words, meaning the collection of background templates; and "trackplan" as one word, meaning the trackplan item on the sketchboard as a single object. If we start using the term "track plan" instead of "background templates" more generally, there seems a greater risk of confusion there.

I promised version 206c last night, with a change to the default "reveal" animation. In the event I didn't get it finished. I want to get it uploaded today, but "store & background" will have to remain for now. I will expand the mouse-over on the tool-button, but that's about all I can do in the short term.

regards,

Martin.

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16th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 11:04
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Nigel Brown
 

 

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Hi Martin

Must confess I've never had a problem with any of the methods you've used when storing a template.

Cheers
Nigel
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17th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 11:22
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Les G
 

 

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Hi Martin,

I wonder if thinking in terms of layers may be helpful.  eg:

Control = control layer

Background = track plan layer ( or completed template layer?)

background shapes = shapes layer

Sketchpad =  Sketchpad layer
Also having an indication of which layer is active could, perhaps, help the user.


Library and box are self explanitory containers for files

I take your point about background being so thoroughly embedded; on the other hand, a revised terminology at the user face would be better implemented now (with so much helpfile material still to update) rather than later when the task would be so much bigger.

Regards

Les

PS. I am about to have some time available to help with trawling the data, are there a subjects you would like me to focus upon first?
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18th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 11:23
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Simon Dunkley
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How about,
"Copy control to background (add to trackpad)"?
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19th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 11:34
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Martin Wynne
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Nigel Brown wrote:Must confess I've never had a problem with any of the methods you've used when storing a template.Hi Nigel,

I don't believe there is a problem -- in truth it's all quite simple. :)

But some beginners do seem to have a mental block in grasping it. The challenge is to find a way of explaining it using words which convey the same meaning for everyone. So far I have failed to do that, and I'm not sure I'm any closer now.

Everyone was a Templot beginner once -- except me. That makes it very difficult for me to see Templot as others do. I'm the wrong person to write the Help notes, but there isn't anyone else.

regards,

Martin. 

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Martin Wynne
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Instead of defaulting to the "reveal" animation (which is causing problems), I have now added this option as the default. After doing store & background beginners see this:




Clicking the white bar shows this:




This will be in an update later today.

Any more substantial changes will have to wait a while.

regards,

Martin.

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21st message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 12:42
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from:
Paul Willis
 

 

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Les G wrote: I wonder if thinking in terms of layers may be helpful.  eg:

Control = control layer

Background = track plan layer ( or completed template layer?)

background shapes = shapes layer

Sketchpad =  Sketchpad layer
Also having an indication of which layer is active could, perhaps, help the user.


Library and box are self explanatory containers for files

I take your point about background being so thoroughly embedded; on the other hand, a revised terminology at the user face would be better implemented now (with so much helpfile material still to update) rather than later when the task would be so much bigger.
Les is absolutely on the right track - first of all with the opportunity to make a "generational" change in terminology that will lift your workload for the future.  After all, the everyday English language has changed substantially in the 33 years since Templot started, so it hardly surprising that there are different concepts in everyday use.

Les's ideas of layers (or locations) is excellent.  I would go further:

"Control" doesn't actually mean anything, which can be a hurdle for beginners.  I'm not even sure if it should be used as a noun or a verb.  I would change "control" to "live template", because in everyday usage, it is the template (the *only* template) that you make changes to.

"Background" becomes "trackplan" (and let's put to one side the use of that term on the sketchboard as the basis against which you overlay a trackplan.

"Storage box" isn't too bad, but I would prefer "Library" as this reflects the fact that you have a reference set of templates that are then used in one or more trackplans, or indeed none at all.  You already have the main/menu item "store as library template", which to be internally consistent with the existing structure should surely be "store as storage box template", so the terminology is confused already!

"Store as unused" is confusing.  I know what it does, but the words are counter-intuitive.  You would have to understand (and implicitly mentally translate) that "unused" actually means "remove".What the command actually means is "remove [live template] from trackplan and put in [library]".  Then it becomes obvious what is done, and that you cease to have a "live template".

I'm afraid that I can't make a suggestion about "re-store and background" as despite having just played with it, all it seems to do is to generate multiple copies of the same template in the same place.  Can someone give a plain English description of what the command is intended to do?

And I think that "store as library template" means what I would know as "save live template and continue editing".  The existing description is again counter-intuitive as it describes what happens to the "parked" template, and not the one that you are actually (still) working on.

These are just a few of the thoughts on how better descriptions (without doing *anything* to change the coding or functionality of Templot) will help solve your problem of beginners' questions.

By the way, now that I've been assimilated and know the "Templot meanings" and not the "English meanings", I'm appreciating more and more what a superb program Templot is.  But it's still a bloody difficult learning curve to get your head around the terminology - NOT the functionality, which is actually pretty damn easy :-)

Cheers
Paul














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22nd message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 12:45
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Paul Willis
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: I used the words "keep" and "store" to emphasize the permanence of the process over the transient nature of the control template. I'm not sure that "copy" does that. We also have the options to store the template as unused, or as a library template, and it's not easy to see "copy" working for those.
Sorry, I missed this.  What is the difference between "unused" and "library"?

And (the important question) in the real-world practical use of Templot, does it make any difference at all?

Cheers
P.

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23rd message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 12:48
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Paul Willis
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: Also, "copy" does not specify a direction -- we already have "copy to the control" for transfers in the reverse direction. We could end up with too many copies to make sense.
"Copy to Live Template" and "copy to Library".

You don't need anything other than that.  A to B, and B to A. 

A user knows where they are coming from, so in a binary system they also know where they are going.  If I'm at Waterloo, I can only go to Bank, and if I'm at Bank I can only go to Waterloo :-)

Cheers
Paul


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from:
LSWRArt
Antibes, France

 

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As a relative newcomer to Templot who manages to use the system, but with some difficulty, my wish would be that Martin would absolutely freeze the program and not make a single change for at least the next year (unless there is a significant bug found, which has to be fixed).
I struggled to learn the program and every time there is a change I have to learn something new.
Because the documentation is incomplete, it is even difficult to remember what the changes are, unless I  file every change note that appears on the web site.
Please, Martin, think about freezing the design, no matter what requests you get for creating anoather short-cut key, using Templot on i-phones, for making monorail track, or for making a dual gauge scissor crossing with only one button push   :D.
Please then help all of us beginners by spending your precious time on documenting the system as-is before accepting another request for changes. 
Maybe you could have a folder into which every can put their wish list and when, and only when the documentation is complete, then is the time to trawl through the wish list and think if any of the requests would really enhance Templot.  if yes, then the documentation change and the program mod should appear at the same time.
Thank you
Arthur

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25th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 14:24
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JFS
United Kingdom

 

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LSWRArt wrote: my wish would be that Martin would absolutely freeze... 
I am not sure that we are really talking about substantial changes to the programme here - I thing we are talking about tweaks to terminology.
I am ALL for the kinds of changes being discussed - I have been using Templot for YEARS to do all kinds of stuff and I have NEVER got to grips with the terminology - which is not because it is poorly thought through by Martin, nor because the functionality is poor. It is just because the language is counter intuitive.
Go for it Martin!
best wishes,
Howard.
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26th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 15:42
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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JFS wrote:It is just because the language is counter intuitive. Go for it Martin!Hi Howard,

The difficulty is that one man's counter-intuitive is another man's logical.

I can see some of the suggestions causing more confusion than they cure, when you get to the detail of applying them to all the menus and buttons.

And implementing such a change is a nightmare:

It would involve several weeks or even months of program work, delaying even longer the time when I can begin the creation of a new Templot Companion. And after such a set of changes in terminology, the existing Templot Companion would be almost completely unusable -- so new users at that time would be far worse off than they are now. In practice Templot would be effectively unusable for new users for months or even years until I can remake the Templot Companion in its entirety.

There are several hundred screenshots in the tutorials. At present they are way out-of-date, but just about capable of being followed. After changing the terminology they would be useless. All would have to be remade.

There are several hours of screen video in total. All rendered largely meaningless by a change of terminology. Making the videos is incredibly time-consuming and I'm not sure I have enough lifetime left to remake all of them.

In total on this Templot Club web site and the Templot Email Group before it there are over 21,600 searchable messages. After major changes in terminology, about 50% of that resource would become unusable.

The task of changing all that lot in one go just doesn't bear thinking about. The only possible way is piecemeal updating, and that can only be done if the existing terminology is continued.

So I'm sorry if this seems to be pouring cold water on the ideas, but the practical difficulties rule out making major changes now. It's too late.

regards,

Martin.

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27th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 16:27
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from:
Paul Willis
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: JFS wrote:It is just because the language is counter intuitive. Go for it Martin!Hi Howard,

The difficulty is that one man's counter-intuitive is another man's logical.

I can see some of the suggestions causing more confusion than they cure, when you get to the detail of applying them to all the menus and buttons.
...
The task of changing all that lot in one go just doesn't bear thinking about. The only possible way is piecemeal updating, and that can only be done if the existing terminology is continued.
Hmmm...  Someone said a month or two ago:

"What really prompted me to start this topic, is the nagging feeling that my time spent on this will be wasted because so few users will ever actually read it. The message on the 3rd PlanIt group simply confirmed that. Quite often when I have posted a link to a page which has been on the Templot web site for 10 years, the response from many users indicates that they have never seen it before.

The task facing me now, of updating the entire docs for Templot2 and remaking all the screenshots and videos, is so great that I'm not sure I can manage it.
:("

So it looks like everything was going to be re-written anyway.  If re-writing Templot in a way that permanently reduces the number of ad-hoc queries would be even worse than that alternative, there seems a logical disconnect somewhere...

Or is discussing Templot documentation a bit like the British obsession with the weather?  If it was always nice and sunny we'd have nothing to moan about. 

Cheers
Paul





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28th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 17:02
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Paul Willis wrote:The task facing me now, of updating the entire docs for Templot2 and remaking all the screenshots and videos, is so great that I'm not sure I can manage it. :("

So it looks like everything was going to be re-written anyway.  If re-writing Templot in a way that permanently reduces the number of ad-hoc queries would be even worse than that alternative, there seems a logical disconnect somewhere...
Hi Paul,

I do intend to rewrite all the docs, re-make all the screenshots and tutorials, re-record all the videos.

But not all in one go, while in the meantime Templot remains bafflingly unusable for new users because all the terminology has changed.

It is going to take me months or years to re-write it all. The only practicable way is to do a bit at a time. Changing all the terminology would not only significantly delay making a proper start on it while I rework the program code, but also render all the old stuff immediately meaningless in the interim.

And even if it is possible, we would first have to agree on the new terminology. I'm not sure we can manage that. :(

For example, "the control template" was for many years called the "current" template. We had long discussions on here about a better term -- active template, working template, live template, main template, basic template, generator template, ... I did actually try "active template" and changed a lot of the code, but when updating the notes I ran into a lot of confusion between that and the currently selected background template. The same happened with most of the other suggestions. In the end after a lot of thought I settled on "the control template" which although not perfect has worked out quite well and does reasonably express my mental image of its function and usage.

regards,

Martin.

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29th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 17:08
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from:
Paul Willis
 

 

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For example, "the control template" was for many years called the "current" template. We had long discussions on here about a better term -- active template, working template, live template, main template, basic template, generator template, ... I did actually try "active template" and changed a lot of the code, but when updating the notes I ran into a lot of confusion between that and the currently selected background template. The same happened with most of the other suggestions. In the end after a lot of thought I settled on "the control template" which although not perfect has worked out quite well and does reasonably express my mental image of its function and usage.

No worries - I'm enjoying exploring Templot now, and I have no ambition at all to be a "Power User" - I have little enough time for modelmaking to try and do that - so I'll learn it on a Need To Know basis.

So I appreciate your explanations of your thought process and concerns, and I'll slink off into the background again now...

Cheers
Paul


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30th message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 21:42
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from:
JFS
United Kingdom

 

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Hello Martin,

I well take the point that updating the documentation is a much bigger job than changing the code, and if things can't be done then so be it. At the end of the day we can all live with these thing given that the pain is tiny compared to the gain. I suppose I was (only half) hoping that a tweak in terminology might not be such a big deal - but you know that we will be happy to accept things as they have to be!

best wishes,

Howard.
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31st message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 21:55
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from:
Les G
 

 

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Hi Martin,

I too take your point about not wishing to make a wide ranging change to terminology in the menus.

My layers suggestion could be taken as more of response to your request for ideas about explaining how things are related, rather than as a call for fundamental changes to the program.

Cheerydo:)

Les

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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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JFS wrote:I well take the point that updating the documentation is a much bigger job than changing the code, and if things can't be done then so be it. At the end of the day we can all live with these thing given that the pain is tiny compared to the gain.Hi Howard, Les,

This reads as if you think there is a serious problem with Templot's terminology?

Is this really the case? I was asking for ideas about how better to explain things as they stand to beginners, but I've been rather taken aback by these suggestions that I need to change everything.

Apart from the almost impossible task that would represent, is the question of what I should change it to? To be frank, nothing I've read in this topic today has been the least bit convincing. I have over the years spent hours agonising over the best wording to describe what is actually going on in the program, and nothing suggested here really does that.

regards,

Martin.

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33rd message | this message only posted: 9 Nov 2012 23:50
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from:
Les G
 

 

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Hi Martin,

I am always happy to contribute to your requests for ideas. If, as it appears, that the recent wee debate has firmed up your view that you have the terminology how you want it, then it will have served something of a useful purpose.

My offer to help trawl the data for the index stands.

regards

Les 

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34th message | this message only posted: 10 Nov 2012 10:41
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Les,

Sorry if I seemed a bit churlish last night. I am indeed grateful for all ideas and suggestions. For example yesterday Julia reminded me that I hadn't yet added the custom gauge/scale settings to the saved program preferences, and I have now done that.

Templot doesn't work in layers. Things get drawn on the trackpad in an order based on context. For example while a mouse action is in force the drawing order is different from when it isn't. Another example would be adding a sketchboard rectangle item. On the sketchboard it would normally be in front of the trackplan item. But when shown on the trackpad it would be behind the track templates.

I agree that there is sometimes confusion between "background templates" and "background shapes". But the latter is due for the chop because the primitive BGS file format doesn't allow for any development. I invented it in about 2 minutes flat 15 years ago and it is well overdue for something better. I want to replace the background shapes with a proper CAD-style editor. The name I have provisionally in mind for that is "frame" shapes, a word which

a. is short -- important to fit it on menus and buttons,
b. suggests the idea of an underlying foundation or container structure,
c. helps to understand picture shapes (an image in a picture frame), and
d. reflects the main use of the function in laying out the baseboard frames.

The use of the background shapes to represent model items -- structures and scenic features -- is no longer needed now that we have the sketchboard for that.

I was minded to base the new frame shapes on hongbin fei's CAD component, but he seems to have abandoned it. So I will have to write something myself.

However, Arthur is right to suggest that Templot now needs a period of consolidation rather than further changes, so this and other ideas will have to wait until I have made some solid progress on the new Templot Companion.

regards,

Martin.

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35th message | this message only posted: 10 Nov 2012 10:58
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Paul Boyd
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Hi Martin

Just to stick my tuppence ha'penny's worth in - I personally believe that the terminology should stay as it is as I think there will be more confusion caused if you keep changing the names of things.  It's easy enough for new users to get used to what a particular word means in a given context, surely.  The vital thing then, of course is to document what those words mean and do in that context...

I agree with Arthur, and I've said before that I feel that Templot ought to be frozen, apart from bug fixes, to give you a chance to sort out the documentation.  Mind you, if you had done that before we wouldn't have the excellent tabbed labels feature, amongst others, just yet!

Cheers

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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Paul Boyd wrote:I agree with Arthur, and I've said before that I feel that Templot ought to be frozen, apart from bug fixes, to give you a chance to sort out the documentation. Mind you, if you had done that before we wouldn't have the excellent tagged labels feature, amongst others, just yet!Hi Paul,

I'm glad you like it. :)

The thing to bear in mind is that I do find writing the docs very tedious and tiring, and unbelievably time-consuming, and I'm dreading having to do the whole thing again from the beginning. But there isn't really any choice now after 12 years of development since most of the original stuff was written.

On the other hand I still enjoy writing bits of code and get a buzz when it works and does something useful. Guess which wins when I sit down at the computer with half an hour to spare? :)

regards,

Martin.

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37th message | this message only posted: 10 Nov 2012 12:06
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from:
Les G
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: Hi Les,

Sorry if I seemed a bit churlish last night. I am indeed grateful for all ideas and suggestions...     No worries:cool: 
...Templot doesn't work in layers... I realised that, but it seemed like it might be a way of thinking, to help eliminate the " background"  confusion.                                                            ...I agree that there is sometimes confusion between "background templates" and "background shapes". But the latter is due for the chop because the primitive BGS file format doesn't allow for any development...  ... I want to replace the background shapes with a proper CAD-style editor. The name I have provisionally in mind for that is "frame" shapes, a word which...
That would be an excellent feature to include:thumb:
The use of the background shapes to represent model items -- structures and scenic features -- is no longer needed now that we have the sketchboard for that...Ah, for, me a penny drops:)
       However, Arthur is right to suggest that Templot now needs a period of consolidation...   ... rather than further changes, so this and other ideas will have to wait until I have made some solid progress on the new Templot Companion.   :thumb:


Thankyou Martin,

Please drop me a PM, if you wish, to indicate where help would be most useful.
regards,

Les

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38th message | this message only posted: 10 Nov 2012 12:26
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Paul Boyd
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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On the other hand I still enjoy writing bits of code and get a buzz when it works and does something useful. Guess which wins when I sit down at the computer with half an hour to spare?Hi Martin

Somehow, I thought that might be the case :D

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39th message | this message only posted: 10 Nov 2012 19:33
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Martin Wynne wrote: Instead of defaulting to the "reveal" animation (which is causing problems), I have now added this option as the default. After doing store & background beginners see this:


And for experienced users there is an undocumented alternative -- use CTRL-V instead of INSERT and you won't see this.

Well, it was undocumented. :)

Martin.

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