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81st message | this message only posted: 31 Jan 2018 21:04
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from:
Trevor Walling
United Kingdom

 

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Hello,
And me too.
Regards.
Trevor.:)
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82nd message | this message only posted: 1 Feb 2018 06:09
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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FraserSmith wrote:I fully understand your need to do this only once and I think you could (should) freeze Templot in its present state. Others may like to offer their support for this idea. It currently allows users to do everything that they could possibly want to do now that you have automatic slip and tandem turnout functions. I can't imagine what else people could possibly want.Hi Fraser, and everyone,

Thanks for that. :)

I said I needed to do a think and I've thunk. I'm not going to change Templot's working method to make it more like Microsoft or Apple or Unix or anything else. Mainly because I have been unable to properly understand what that would mean in relation to model track planning. Templot developed the way it did because it was the best way I could find to carry out the desired task.

So yes I'm going to try very hard to freeze it in its present state, at least as far as any changes which would affect the Templot Companion and videos. Adding the second row of beginner buttons and the STOP button on the mouse action panel made it necessary to redo the first Templot Explained video, and mean that a lot of quite recent screenshots etc. are already out of date.

The two big questions you have to deal with are a) whether you can ignore the lure of another bit of programming and b) can you ignore at least some of the requests for help? That doesn't mean there won't be additions, rather than changes. I do need a programming fix occasionally. :)

There are plenty of things still on my NOD list. Make outside slip and make scissors crossover would be nice. Of course those and the slips and tandems are not really new functions, just a convenient shortcut to using the existing ones. In a similar vein would be an easier way for narrow-gauge modellers to get started.

In the entirely new category would be more up-to-date support for flat-bottom track. At present we stop short at renewals before about 1970. The vertical 1432mm designs aren't covered at all. When I started on Templot that was so recent that only a very few were modelling it. Nowadays it is ancient history.

Then there is the embarrassingly primitive BGS background shapes format, which has been pushed beyond what was sensible. It should have been scrapped and replaced with something more capable years ago. The sketchboard was an attempt to do that, but missed the mark in many ways, so that we now have the two running side-by-side without any proper integration between the two.

Yes I do often ignore requests for help, especially if they come as direct emails. I haven't got time to write explanations which can't be seen by everyone. Also there are many requests for help on RMweb and other forums where the style of modelling or prototype are beyond anything I know about, and I don't feel I can say anything useful. Getting the Companion up to date will make it a lot easier to deal with other requests, if I can simply post a link. That was generally the case in the early years of Templot, I want to get back to that happy state if I can.

Thanks again for the feedback. February already. I need to get on with the Companion before the sun starts shining.

cheers,

Martin.

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83rd message | this message only posted: 1 Feb 2018 08:42
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from:
Charles Orr
Leicester, United Kingdom

 

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Martin,

That is really good to hear.  

I think you have made a very sensible decision.

Charles

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84th message | this message only posted: 1 Feb 2018 11:08
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from:
Godfrey Earnshaw
Crawley, United Kingdom

 

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Martin,
Let me second that.
I have just subscribed to Spotify and believe me there is nothing natural about it, despite it being made for mobile phone, PC etc
You just have to get to it and learn all the moves.

Godders
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85th message | this message only posted: 1 Feb 2018 12:14
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from:
Phil O
Plymouth, United Kingdom



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Martin,

Glad to hear that you have made a decision on the way forward and I hope that you don't get to side tracked until you think you have made sufficient progress.

Phil
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86th message | this message only posted: 1 Feb 2018 15:28
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Martin,

I am in 100% agreement with your plan. I am also in hope that you are right and we do get some sun this year !

Good luck

Rob


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87th message | this message only posted: 1 Feb 2018 18:23
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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When Martin started developing Templot I doubt if he was expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

:D
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88th message | this message only posted: 1 Feb 2018 19:00
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Andrew Barrowman wrote: When Martin started developing Templot I doubt if he was expecting the Spanish Inquisition. :)

I don't remember "expecting" anything at all. Except perhaps eye-strain.

Bear in mind that the internet hadn't been invented (or at least, we knew nothing about it), and the program code was stored on an audio cassette tape. That in itself being a huge leap forward from the punched paper tape I had been using a few years earlier. I remember buying a brand new cassette player and drilling a hole in the side for a DIN socket.

Here's something I have posted before:



WEST MERCIAN EM GROUP NEWSLETTER, SEP 1980

"Our last meeting, held at Broadwas Village Hall on 7th Sep 1980, was one of the liveliest we have had. Ten members were present and among matters discussed were
....
....

A most interesting development was then described by Martin Wynne.

Neville Fairbairn had asked Martin for help in setting out a turnout from a curved road. From this request Martin had gone on to devise a system for enabling any turnout to be drawn out on 1mm graph paper by even the most inexperienced.

Given the radius of the main line, the crossing angle and switch type, Martin can supply the X and Y co-ordinates of the rail running face at every chair position. From this data it is easy to construct a turnout template, indeed Martin did it in about 20 minutes, explaining as he went.

Thus the days of track plans being juggled to suit the templates available from commercial sources are over - pointwork can now be made to suit the site as was done in full-size practice.

Needless to say the figures for the various offsets are produced by a micro-computer, using a program written by Martin. This must be one of the most interesting developments in modelling in recent years.
"



Kind words there from the late Roy Miller. What would Roy have made of Templot today? But 20 solid minutes poring over 1mm graph paper! For one template! With my eyes nearly 40 years older I can understand why there were so few takers at the time.

By the way, Roy was the inventor of "EM minus 2", now popular as 00-SF (4-SF in Templot).

cheers,

Martin.

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89th message | this message only posted: 1 Feb 2018 20:31
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from:
Charles Orr
Leicester, United Kingdom

 

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Martin,

That is classic content.

Coincidentally exactly the same scale that I am currently using to construct my Magnum Opus.

Charles

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90th message | this message only posted: 27 Feb 2018 09:50
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from:
Mark Barry
Australia

 

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This is definitely an interesting thread.  As a relative new comer to Templot (and model railways) but experienced computer user (1979-) I also have a few observations that you may find interesting.

When first working with a specialist application I find it critical to understand the fundamental 'building block'.  Maybe an example will help understand what I mean; a 2D CAD application 'drawing' is made of 'objects', where an 'object' is ; line, arc, polyline, circle, NURBS curves, etc.  There could also be 'objects' that contain other objects, groups of objects (arranged in layers?). The 'object' is the fundamental element.

Fraser's comments on the WordPerfect (WP) Vs Word word processors bought a smile to my face - I remember those wars!  The fundamental building block of MS Word is the 'paragraph'.  A Word document is a collection of 'paragraphs' which are made up of 'characters' and arranged in 'sections'.  There are also special 'paragraph' cases, e.g tables.  Once you understand this structure controlling the 'formating/look' of a document is much simpler. If you apply a 'font' to a 'paragraph', it affects all characters in the paragraph whereas if you apply font to a 'character' it only affects that character. This has remained unchanged in MS Word since the very beginning (I remember teaching MS Word v3 and v4 in the 80's).  WP worked more like a typewriter [mode-on] type [mode-off].  In my experience, this was easier for the typists and secretaries but much more difficult for the part-timers (=academic faulty staff I also trying to introduce to 'word processing').  The shortcuts where there if you knew them, but there was also a menu if you forgot or wanted to see the options available.  By the way the shortcuts are still there just nobody bothers to remember them. :)

I've explained the above to some very clever 30ish tech savvy IT guys, who have told me that it was the first time they had heard this and explained why they had difficult 'controlling' Word.  Then again they are programmers not secretaries.

Back to Templot ... does this description hit the mark and help any??

The fundamental 'building block' of Templot is the track 'template'.  There are several types of templates; turnout, plain track, half diamonds, ... .  Multiple templates can be arranged together to make track arrangements from simple crossovers to complicated double slips or tandem turnouts.  There are also additional tools like the 'sketchpad' can be used to import a plan to guide track layout or add descriptive text, or the 'storage box' for organising collections of templates ready to be used multiple times.

All editing of track templates is done using the 'control template'.  To 'save' the 'control template' you need to 'store' it on the 'background'. Think of the 'background' as a pin board to which you have attached all your templates (and carefully arrange them). You can't modify any of the templates on the pin board without first selecting one and 'making it' the 'control template'.  This can be done with a range of options. 
[I'm not anywhere experienced enough to describe the differences between delete to, copy to, wipe, etc and when to use which?]


Once I had this firmly in my head things started to click and watching the videos made a lot more sense.  

The GUI style is definitely 'old school' and could be a refection on the tools Martin is using as well as history. Some softer colours (i.e. not saturated 8 bit colours) would improve the visual appeal but that is also not an easy task and there are options to change if you want.  Constructing and maintaining a 'modern' GUI is a LOT of work and largely cosmetic.  Sure, I'd love a customisable toolbox menu that I could put my favorite menu/tools on.  Then again Martin has provided so many 'hotkey' shortcuts that I just need to learn them if I don't want to use the menus.  I'm sure if we watched over Martin's shoulder it would be a blur of key strokes :-)

I hope this is of some assistance.
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91st message | this message only posted: 27 Feb 2018 14:55
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Thanks Mark.

I don't know if you have seen this page? I have posted the link a few times:

 http://templot.com/martweb/templot_history.htm

Written in 1999 when Templot was first released for others to use.

Although Templot never was "released" in the usual sense. I first showed the Windows version in development at the Gauge 0 Guild's annual exhibition at Telford in 1998, to see if there was enough interest to warrant spending more time on it.

After that I received occasional emails asking when it would be ready and if a pre-release version was available. At first I said no, but eventually gave in and starting supplying early versions (on floppy disk) to anyone who asked, from about August 1999. It never did get a formal launch with a press release, advertising, etc.

Looking through some old correspondence recently I came across this, written in July 2000:

"Strictly speaking, Templot has not yet been launched, and is still in development. I started off believing that it would one day be "finished”, and could then be announced to the world. It has slowly dawned on me that that day is never going to arrive, as there is always one more change or upgrade to make. Not to mention the major challenge still ahead of getting the slips and crossings done. And I’ve been working on it in one form or another for 20 years already!

In the meantime I started supplying it “as is" to anyone who asked, with the result that it has more or less launched itself. One day soon l shall bite the bullet and actually announce the fact in the magazines. One reason I have been holding back from this is that l am acutely aware of the lack of a proper tutorial sequence on the web site. I have been trying to get this done for over 12 months now, but every upgrade to the program can mean a re-write with new screenshots."


18 years on from that, will I ever get there? :)

cheers,

Martin.

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92nd message | this message only posted: 28 Feb 2018 09:40
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from:
Bill Eaton
Ivybridge, United Kingdom

 

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I found that the most difficult aspect of Templot when I got started was the concept of the control template and the background. Once I had got into the habit of clicking on "delete to the control" before doing anything with a template and always clicking on "store and background" before moving on then it all started to work for me. I have prepared some quite complex track plans recently but, even now, I don't have a clue as to the difference between "delete to", "wipe to" and "make" the control and I just cannot understand the concept of an unused template. Why would one need or want an unused template, what purpose might it serve? I still sometimes get duplicate templates underlying the ones I want to keep and I delete them, sometimes they go and sometimes they magically reappear again and have to be deleted again. Occasionally I go to the storage box and delete a background template from the file in there, I get the impression this is heresy but it works for me. I suggest that all of this needs to be covered in some detail in the instructions for beginners, as if I had grasped this a bit better when I was getting started then I would have found Templot a lot easier. Also, the instructions say you cannot save a template but only the data and that there is no file system as in Windows applications. This may be strictly true but the storage box looks to me a lot like the file system I use in Word and Excel, I save lots of "stuff" in the storage box, I copy over then rename files to make up a trackplan based on a previous one, and I delete those I will never want again. I'll finish by saying that Templot is a fabulous resource, we are all fortunate to have it and a big thank you to Martin for all his hard work
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93rd message | this message only posted: 28 Feb 2018 11:54
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Bill Eaton wrote:I have prepared some quite complex track plans recently but, even now, I don't have a clue as to the difference between "delete to", "wipe to" and "make" the control and I just cannot understand the concept of an unused template.Hi Bill,

You have summed up what has been a constant problem to me over the years. The entire working concept of Templot is summed up there, and to me it is so simple and blindingly obvious that I can't understand why everyone else, yes everyone, finds it so difficult to grasp. I have tried dozens of times over the years to explain it, and always failed. Because it is a concept it can't be easily explained using screenshots or videos, it has to be done in words. And it seems I just don't have the right words.

But I do have to find them soon, because I can't progress the "Templot Explained" beginners guide on the web site without them.

I'll have another go later today and post it here. Instead of screenshots I will perhaps try drawing pictures. I'll leave big spaces between the words, so that others can fill in the ones I'm obviously missing out. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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94th message | this message only posted: 28 Feb 2018 13:17
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from:
JFS
United Kingdom

 

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Hmm,  how many times we have been here over the years!  

At risk of creating even more confusion, I wonder if it helps to suggest that it is not actually that "we" don't understand the [basics of] the concept, but rather that translating it into an effective method of working is non-obvious? And therein lies the route to all those unexpected duplicate templates.

Perhaps the trickiest bit for me was understanding that the control is "active" even when it does not "appear to be".  If for example, if I open Templot at the default start screen, and hit "Insert", then the control "disappears" because the only template has been "Stored" and is visible on the background.  If however, I hit F7 and drag, suddenly there are now two templates - one of which is obviously the control (because it is "lit up") and one is stored ('cos it is "dark"). Were I to hit Insert again, I would have "created" a second (identical) template without having knowingly done anything to do so.

However,  If instead, I now highlight the background template and hit "T", the second template disappears and the first one "becomes" the control.

This for me is the non-obvious bit - the concept seems to imply that you must "do something" to choose which of the "background" templates you want to work on. But actually you do not - ONE OF THEM already is the control - you just don't know which it is until you do something - at which point it will make itself known.

 For me, this illustrates how the concept works, and once I had my head round that, my working method evolved into "only" using the T and Insert keys, to "select" the control out of the background.

I also developed a habit, after "inserting", of always hitting F7 and dragging to create a "dummy control" so that I could see it "disappear" when I highlight, then hit T.
Of course, there are plenty of times when I NEED to create a duplicate, when I have to think about it, but working that way avoids creating unwanted piles of duplicates which always used to plague my Box!   (and yes, I do occasionally need to "undelete" a template!!"

Sorry if there seems to be a lot of "shouting" in the above - I'm not really shouting - just trying to help my own deafness :D

At risk of bringing high hell, fire and brimstone on my head, I would propose that the concept would be easier to grasp (and work with) if the normal state of play was that all templates were "stored" until such time as one of them were "selected" to be the control.  But I already know why that is not going to happen,  so given that the concept is as-it-is, my suggestion would be to explain the consequences of the various alternative Methods of Working.

Hope that helps!

Best wishes,

Howard

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95th message | this message only posted: 28 Feb 2018 13:47
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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JFS wrote:If for example, if I open Templot at the default start screen, and hit "Insert", then the control "disappears" Hi Howard,

That's an option. There are several others. Try the reveal option, you may prefer it:



Try storing a template after each of the options, see which one you prefer. There are some notes on the help menu item.

cheers,

Martin.

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96th message | this message only posted: 28 Feb 2018 13:53
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JFS
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... just to to amplify a point in my post above ...  Mark, above, drew an analogy with CAD programmes (dangerous Mark!) and to build on his analogy, we can compare the behaviour of Templot to that of a typical CAD programme.

So, to build on Marks analogy, If I open up a drawing in my CAD programme, (or even a Powerpoint file, etc etc), there are all my "objects" - lines, text boxes and so on - and, if I click on a command such as "Move", the programme asks me which object I want to move and I have to "select" an object (effectively to be the "control") before anything else will happen. 

By contrast, If I am working on a project in Templot, and all the Templates are Stored and I click on the "Move" command (ie hit F7), not only will one of the templates "Move" when I drag, but it it will create a copy of the original without me making any selection at all.

That, I suggest, is a "unique feature" of Templot, and lies at the root of why it is difficult to "get yer 'ed round it".

Best wishes,

Howard

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97th message | this message only posted: 28 Feb 2018 14:03
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from:
JFS
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Martin Wynne wrote:

That's an option. There are several others. Try the reveal option, you may prefer it:


Indeed so Martin - but is it not the default option (or have I somewhere made it one of preferences?)

I confess I hesitate to change my method of working now - I am too easily confused these days!

Best wishes,

Howard

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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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JFS wrote:Indeed so Martin - but is it not the default option (or have I somewhere made it one of preferences?)Hi Howard,

No, the default option is this. And yes you have changed it in your preferences -- see the bit boxed in red:

 

cheers,

Martin.

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99th message | this message only posted: 28 Feb 2018 14:37
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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JFS wrote:By contrast, If I am working on a project in Templot, and all the Templates are Stored and I click on the "Move" command (ie hit F7), not only will one of the templates "Move" when I drag, but it it will create a copy of the original without me making any selection at all.

That, I suggest, is a "unique feature" of Templot, and lies at the root of why it is difficult to "get yer 'ed round it".
Hi Howard,

Well, I couldn't understand a word of that, and I suggest no-one else tries to. :(

As I replied to Bill, I'm going to have yet another go at explaining it from the beginning later today.

cheers,

Martin.

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from:
JFS
United Kingdom

 

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Well, that was a surprise - and it shows that now I automatically always start from my saved preferences, as when I just tried the default, things were very different including a tricky dialogue at the "quit"

I am also reminded just why I find the default way so confusing...

Would you prefer that I delete my post above as it could be misleading?

Best wishes,

Howard
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101st message | this message only posted: 28 Feb 2018 15:14
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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JFS wrote: Well, that was a surprise - and it shows that now I automatically always start from my saved preferencesHi Howard,

Which illustrates why I resisted for a long time providing any means to save preferences.

a) folks forget what they have changed, sometimes making things unnecessarily difficult for themselves, and b) try to explain things to others, who not having made such a change are mystified.

cheers,

Martin.

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JFS
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Martin Wynne wrote:
Which illustrates why I resisted for a long time providing any means to save preferences.

Well, I for one am very glad that you gave in to the pressure - going back to the default method was pretty horrible - and I am very pleased that I do not have to change to "my" way every time!

Re-trying myself of the default behaviour, reminds me why it originally confused me - when the Control Template "hides" your background template by sitting exactly over it, it is even easier to forget you have made a duplicate. Of course the dialogue box helps - at least to the extent that the reader understands it.

And good luck with your task - we feel your pain Martin!

Best wishes,

Howard



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103rd message | this message only posted: 28 Feb 2018 18:33
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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Martin Wynne wrote: JFS wrote:If for example, if I open Templot at the default start screen, and hit "Insert", then the control "disappears" Hi Howard,

That's an option. There are several others. Try the reveal option, you may prefer it:



Try storing a template after each of the options, see which one you prefer. There are some notes on the help menu item.

cheers,

Martin.
Martin,
I think the reveal option is best and is what I use. With this you can at least see that something has happened as a result of pressing the INSERT key. Some of the other options would probably leave a new user ( and some older ones ) wondering if anything had actually happened.

Saved preferences are a godsend as far as I am concerned provided you realise that future sessions may start up with odd effects. I can understand why you resisted implementing it but you can't back off now :)

Rob


Rob


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104th message | this message only posted: 28 Feb 2018 19:30
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Phil O
Plymouth, United Kingdom



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There are over 2000 of us on here and I expect that there are probably nearly as many different ways of reaching the same result. Unless starting from scratch I normally go to 'trackpad' and hide the control template, until I get going.

Cheers

Phil.
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105th message | this message only posted: 2 Mar 2018 08:18
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Mark Barry
Australia

 

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Martin,

To me it reads well and is capturing a number of things that have been mentioned in the discussion. Most of which you already knew anyway based on the long experience of helping people for a long long time. 

Personally I like the history - it deserves to be told.  Some of us are relative youngens, and have missed a lot of the long journey.  It also helps to see why some things developed the way they did given the context at the time.  That helps to remind the real youngens that many ideas are not actually new ones, others have often been there before - we just didn't have the means to implement them :D.

Looking forward to the next installment.

Mark

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106th message | this message only posted: 2 Mar 2018 19:44
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Thanks Mark.

I've now added some more to this:

 http://templot.com/companion/basics.php

I'm going to wait for some feedback before deciding what to do with it. At present it is far too long and temporarily inserted as section 99 of Templot In Full. It needs breaking into smaller sections before continuing, and some indexing.

I have written the stuff there several times over the years. Is it now intelligible? What needs changing or expanding? Or is it the same failure to get things across as before?

It's an attempt to explain only the working of the storage box and background templates, not all the adjustments to the control template, radii, crossing angles, pegs, timbering and the like. That will be on other pages.

p.s. note in passing that I didn't create any duplicate templates. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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107th message | this message only posted: 2 Mar 2018 19:57
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Martin Wynne
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Bill Eaton wrote: I have prepared some quite complex track plans recently but, even now, I don't have a clue as to the difference between "delete to", "wipe to" and "make" the control and I just cannot understand the concept of an unused template. Why would one need or want an unused template, what purpose might it serve?Hi Bill,

I hope I have answered some of this at:

 http://templot.com/companion/basics.php

The explanation of unused templates is towards the end.

There will be more stuff there soon.

cheers,

Martin.

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108th message | this message only posted: 3 Mar 2018 08:00
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Dave Searle
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Hi Martin,
This is very helpful. 

When I first started with Templot (sporadically, many years ago, without a particular plan in mind) I found the terminology such as "delete to control" confusing, and tended to forget how to use it between sessions.  This is explaining the context very well.

I am now using Templot in earnest for a particular project and this discription in one place is making it much clearer.  Along with the new make options for slips and tandems, I am making good progress.

Many thanks. 

Cheers, 

Dave 

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109th message | this message only posted: 3 Mar 2018 09:13
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Phil O
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Hi Martin

I think that what you have produced is very much along the right lines and I have learnt a couple of things that I didn't know, so this old dog has learnt some new tricks.

Thanks

Phil
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Charles Orr
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Martin,
I've read through that a couple of times now and it does read well.

It's also clarified a couple of things  for me .  :)

You are right though in so far as it does need breaking up  into smaller sections

and some sub-titles/section titles adding.

Persevere, I think you are nearly there.  :D


Regards

Charles





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from:
madscientist
 

 

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The basics piece is fine but as you say needs to be broken up , the history piece is rather a nice to have , but not essential , the elaboration of background and control is a key piece

My own general comments are well known , my biggest issues like many remains the creation of duplicates ( it would be useful if the numbering scheme had suffixs to easily see duplicate. ) I tend to create duplicate because I forget the sequence of background to control actions.

I do think more consideration should be given to sequences that produce duplicates , templot has a habit of doing “ clever “things without telling you. I suspect the duplicates issue is the single most confusing thing for beginners, this is complicated by the fact that templot offers multiple ways to do the same thing , which makes it harder for beginners.

So in my case , I understand all the “ theory” behind templot , still doesn’t mean I don’t produce duplicates simply because I forget some sequences in templot.

The other thing that would be useful is preferences were saved to the box , file , it can be very confusing remembering what preferences were activated when you return to templot after a break. I now have to write down a paper list.


As a final general comment on basics.php , it’s rather wordy , quite a lot of text has to be read to extract information. 
Dave
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112th message | this message only posted: 4 Mar 2018 13:12
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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madscientist wrote:my biggest issues like many remains the creation of duplicatesHi Dave,

I've been thinking about that. I'm working on something right now.

I think it would be helpful if the most recently created background template was marked in some way. Preferably visible through the control template. It would then be more obvious that the background template exists, and folks would be less likely to store another one. I'm currently working on a hatched background behind the most recent background template. It would appear immediately when doing a store, and be more obvious that something has happened.

Experienced users get into the habit of dabbing HOME before storing a template to see if it has already been done, but beginners don't acquire such tricks straight off.

What has dawned on me is that Templot is a young person's program. You need to be able to go off and make a coffee, or answer a phone call, without forgetting what you did 10 minutes ago. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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113th message | this message only posted: 4 Mar 2018 18:28
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from:
madscientist
 

 

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What has dawned on me is that Templot is a young person's program. You need to be able to go off and make a coffee, or answer a phone call, without forgetting what you did 10 minutes ago


Very true very true , there was a time I could remember by heart the octal boot programne for a DEC PDP 11/66 and flip the switches to load the boot program.

These days I spend most of my time trying to remember where I left my glasses
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114th message | this message only posted: 5 Mar 2018 09:54
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from:
Mark Barry
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Martin,

I have quite a few suggestions as I worked through the page, feel free to ignore :).  Hopefully these are in order - your words are in italics.

As always, really appreciate your effort - I learnt heaps reading through this.  I did wonder if there was room at the top to add a little more of a description of the 'task', maybe with reference to a rough sketch of the 'plan' your about to construct.  The downside of that is not showing the 'organic' way that things can evolve as you get ideas - it is usually way easier to do things when you already know where your going to end up, but not always as much fun :D.

Mark
Looking in the storage box I can see that my track plan so far consists of just this one stored template:
Add the menu and shortcut, [program > open storage box] or Ctrl-B - sadly it took me a while to find it!
...currently being displayed on the trackpad. (The button is also red, but note this is not an error or warning, it simply means the stored template is a background template.)
The only 'red' button is 'wipe from background' - is that the one you are referring too?  I'm not sure what you are attempting to point out with the comment.  After reading further, I see that the colour of the template is indicative of its status, red for background and blue for 'unused'.
Notice in all these screenshots that the PHASE 1 control template is never part of the PHASE 2 track plan, it exists only in front of it on the screen as the current output from the template generator. It can only become part of the track plan if I do a [ store & background], or Templot does it for me as part of a make function.
Would 'it is displayed' rather than 'it exists' better describe the situation in terms of what you see?  I would also suggest that the last sentence begin with 'The control template' instead of 'It' - this would be a little easier for non-native English speakers and removes any doubt as to what you are referring to.
But the first turnout has been removed and replaced with the plain track template PR003 (Plain track Right hand).
I'm concerned with the phrase 'removed and replaced'. This suggests there is some link between these two templates, but I think you are really referring to two operations, 1. removing the first template and 2. saving the plain track template. 
And I can now do some work on the plain track in the control template. I want to insert a turnout in it and create a siding. So that's another make tool, [ make branch track], and I now have 4 background templates in my track plan:
I think you skipped a step or two.  Won't you need to first [template > insert a turnout in plain track] and ensure that it is the correct hand and position.  Then follow this with the [ make branch track]
...So clicking on the turnout, I do [ make the control] again to swap it back into the control template:
As this is a 'tutorial', I'd suggest repeating the lesson again to hopefully help it stick, ie ... I do [ make the control] which instructs Templot to 1. [store & background] the plain branch track template, 2. remove turnout template TR005 from the storage box, and 3. copy TR005's settings to the control template ready for editing/modifying.
Unfortunately that has also removed the wing rail from the V-crossing. To get it back, I need to split this turnout into 2 partial templates, and store each one separately.
It would be nice to have a link here to a diagram with the various rails labeled - yes I know if you've gotten this far you should already have the knowledge - but links are cheap :)

I also think you need a little more explanation up front on what it is you are about to do - effectively make two copies of the one template (TR005) so that you can apply different 'display' setting to each part in order to achieve your 'special decommissioned turnout'.
So after remembering to move the peg back to the CTRL-0 position (click the peg position indicator), I have shortened this turnout (F4 mouse action) to the wing-rail front rail joint:
This is the first mention of the 'peg' - which you can't actually see in the accompanying image but you can the 'notch' - that could be confusing.  Maybe a link to the 'peg' explanation page and a zoomed out view would help.  I appreciate the current image is zoomed in so that the tips of the 'check rails' are just visible.
Now I need to undo the shortening of the control template, and the removal of the crossing rail, until it is back to how it was before I did those things. The easy way to do that is to click the blue left arrow a few times [ undo changes], or SHIFT+CTRL+ROLL the mouse wheel back, until you find the control template which you are looking for. If you don't feel happy relying on the 80-slot rollback register, you could be ultra-cautious and park a copy of the control template in the [ do > parking bay] before making those changes. Or you could use the the [ do > omit rails and joint marks...] function again to restore the missing rail.
I found this description a little difficult to grasp what and why you were explaining.  I think you've chosen this 'method' as a way of introducing the 'undo' functionality as well as a chance to mention the 'parking bay'.  I guess there are lots of ways to do this depending on how you think about the task.  To me, I would make two copies of TR005, modify one part then modify the second.

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Mark Barry
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madscientist wrot
Very true very true , there was a time I could remember by heart the octal boot programne for a DEC PDP 11/66 and flip the switches to load the boot program.

These days I spend most of my time trying to remember where I left my glasses
I learnt BASIC on a DEC PDP 11/70 - never saw the actual machine as we had DEC WRITER and VDU terminals connected via 300baud modems!  Nobody liked using the VDU's as you couldn't gather up the paper at the end of the session and take it away with you to work on :D.  The speed wasn't really an issue either - we could type very fast :(

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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Mark,

Many thanks for that. I will make some of the changes to the wording that you suggest.

However, I think you have misunderstood the purpose of that page. It is not intended to be a beginners guide, explaining pegs and inserting turnouts, where to find the storage box, etc. All that is, or will be, in the Templot Explained section:

 http://templot.com/companion/0_for_beginners.php

The page we are discussing is for users who have got beyond that stage and are actually using Templot. It is a suggested way of working to avoid creating duplicate templates and other problems which often crop up, and to explain why Templot is the way it is for those who keep suggesting it should be different.

Clearly I didn't explain that properly, either. Sorry.

It was prompted by this post from Bill, and is primarily a reply to that:

 http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=3197&forum_id=1&page=3#p24017

cheers,

Martin.

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117th message | this message only posted: 5 Mar 2018 18:10
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Martin Wynne wrote:I think it would be helpful if the most recently created background template was marked in some way. Preferably visible through the control template. It would then be more obvious that the background template exists, and folks would be less likely to store another one.The hatched background idea didn't work out very well. The Windows GDI is fickle about displaying bitmap and pattern fills, they vanish at some zoom settings. And the appearance wasn't very appealing.

But this looks promising:

The most recently stored background template is drawn with the timbering in bold:



I've been trying this and it is very handy to have your work progress highlighted in this way on the trackpad. You can easily see where you have got to in the track plan. The difference is quite visible at all zoom levels.

But the main reason for it is to provide a very obvious visual change when the control template is stored:



To me the visual effect is very clearly that the control template is now in front of another template. So hopefully anyone seeing this is unlikely to store it again.

And it is not too much of a distraction when working zoomed in over it to align rails:



Just to be clear, only one background template is displayed this way, the most recently stored* one. All the others are displayed normally. And so will this one be, when the next one is stored.

This is on the trackpad screen only, there is no effect on printing or exports.

I'm quite pleased with this idea and minded to include it in the next program update. I will provide a switch to turn it off. Comments welcome.

Of course, it means almost every Templot screenshot and video ever made will be out of date, including the ones I just made at:

 http://templot.com/companion/basics.php

:(

*strictly speaking, it is the one at or nearest the bottom of the list in the storage box. If you sort or re-arrange the order in the box, that won't necessarily be the most recent one. But if you have got that far in Templot, you know what you are doing.

cheers,

Martin.

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Phil O
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Martin,

I think that is an excellent idea and will help me to remember whether I have stored a template or not.

Phil
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Nigel Brown
 

 

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Just bought a new Golf and am looking at the manual. Believe me, compared to this Templot is a doddle!

The previous, not too different, Golf had a pretty good manual. This one connecting what can be done with how you actually do it isn't really apparent :(
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Martin Wynne
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I have added the setting for this to the background detail dialog:



(All these settings are included in your saved program preferences.)

cheers,

Martin.

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