Author Topic: Point Relative Command  (Read 1543 times)

bdeck

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Point Relative Command
« on: October 18, 2018, 09:12:22 AM »
Point Relative Command:

Point Relative Command should always, always, ALWAYS default to "Last Point," regardless of the previous setting used.

"Last Point" should be made available for doing point moves in point select mode.

bd

Rob S

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 09:19:13 AM »
Agreed, this should be the default.  Way too easy to make drawing error if cursor position happens to be selected when you don't realize it.


ps.  Except maybe there should be the option to retain last used setting for users who are so inclined.   :)
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Dr PR

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2018, 06:04:23 PM »
Personally, I prefer to use the "Reference Point" mode, and I wish the program always defaulted to this.

But I do agree that the default "out of the box" mode should NEVER be "Last Cursor Position" because cursors can wander from where the user left them.

I agree that the program should remember the last mode the user used and default to this at program start up. That way it would default to whatever the user prefers.

Phil
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JJG

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2018, 03:16:23 AM »
Agreed with Dr PR :  the program should remember the last mode the user used and default to this at program start up. That way it would default to whatever the user prefers.

adriank

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2018, 04:18:17 AM »
I agree with JJG. - which means 'always do what the Doctor says'!
Currently the command always defaults to 'last point', but I only ever use the command to find the drawing origin, so I want it to default to the origin.

As we are always finding, we all use this program in different ways. Having the program remember the last used (beyond the current session, as it does now) seems like it'd satisfy all of us.

Adrian

Rob S

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2018, 08:35:41 AM »
I can see from the above confusion the devs will have a hell of a time figuring out what we want, and will therefore be inclined to leave well enough alone.

A user configurable default setting might be the only possible improvement.  If last used is included, it should only persist for a short time, and then revert to the preset default.

There, I have my feet firmly down on both (or all) sides of the fence, at great risk to myself...  :)

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bdeck

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2018, 07:25:34 PM »
EDIT 12/12/2018
A user configurable default setting might be the only possible improvement.  If last used is included, it should only persist for a short time, and then revert to the preset default.

Hi Rob,

Agreed.

(Longer reply removed here after rereading Rob's suggestion)   


For probably the vast majority of users, the three most common uses for the Point Relative command are
   Set the second point when drawing an entity  (line, box, or circle)    
   Set the destination when moving points in point select mode.
   Set the destination control point when moving an entity

In those cases, the "Last Point" option is needed more often than not, and should be the default, as it is also the option requiring the fewest mouse clicks. But I would be happy with a new setting (in menu/Options/Options?) to allow the user to choose the default.

Just about the only time some of us use the "Reference Point" optlon is when forced to do so by DC (ie when doing point moves in point select mode.)

DC's crime here is that, after briefly changing the option to "Reference Point", the average user needs to reset the option to  "Last Point" on the very next use of the Point Relative command. For those who do not get paid by the hour, this requirement is downright  oppressive.

[rant removed]
 
I agree that the program should remember the last mode the user used and default to this at program start up. That way it would default to whatever the user prefers.

Hi Dr PR,

In fact both Rob S and I have suggested that DC do the exact opposite, UNLESS  a new [check box] is set to that functionality.

Rob's suggestion is the only way to get what every user prefers.

I presume that is what you meant to say.

Currently the command always defaults to 'last point', but I only ever use the command to find the drawing origin, so I want it to default to the origin.

Hi Adrian,

The "Origin" option is in the Point Relative dialog only for convenience. DC has a dedicated command to perform that function if you need it for repeated operations. See the PointXYZ command.

Best Regards,
BD
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 04:42:47 PM by bdeck »

bdeck

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2018, 10:19:04 AM »
Hi Rob S, Dr PR, JJG. Adrian, etal,

Here's an even better alternative that would work for all users, even if they are totally blind.

And it guarantees the absolutely lowest possible number of mouse and key clicks overall.

1)  Point Relative always defaults  to "Last Point" option, with all numeric input fields cleared.
2)  If the user hits the same keyboard shortcut (eg apostrophe) a second time, the option changes to "Reference Point"
3)  The "O" key changes the option to "Origin"
4) The "C" key changes the option to "Last Cursor Position"
5)  If the user hits [F12], all the numeric fields are restored to their prior values.
6)  In all cases, initial focus is set to the first numeric field, as it is now.

No Checkbox required!   Ever!
User never has to look at the monitor.

Eh?

bd


Dr PR

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2018, 12:35:36 PM »
I guess I am not the "average" user because I started using only the "Reference Point" option many years ago.

I use the command to set points relative to just about any place in the drawing, and this is certainly not relative to the last drawing operation or the last object selected. That's the beauty of the "Reference Point" operation - the past drawing history is irrelevant.

A big virtue of the "Reference Point" option is that you do not have to select anything or do anything prior to starting the command. Then you can set the reference point anywhere. The suggestion that "Reference Point" should default to "Last Point" essentially eliminates the "Reference Point" option. I never want it to work that way! Having to press the apostrophe key twice increases the work load!

I don't want the values to reset to zero (we currently have this option and I don't use it). First of all, we will never do a point relative operation with XYZ offsets of 0,0,0, so those values will always be the wrong values. Second, I sometimes want to repeat the same XYZ values, so having them remembered is useful. Third, in most cases we will have to enter new values in one or more fields, so it doesn't matter if they are the old values or if they are reset to zero.

I think the "Last Cursor Position" option should be eliminated. Since the cursor can (and will) move without the user noticing it, this is just asking for errors.

I do not recall ever using the "Origin" option.

"Last point" ties us to previous drawing operations. When I change to working on some new part of the drawing it would be a big nuisance if it defaulted to the last point.

I like it to work the way it does - remember the user's last option, not only for the current drawing, but every time the program starts up and a new drawing is opened.

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987

Dempsey

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2018, 07:16:12 PM »
I agree with Phil, most of the time I use "Reference point".

BTW, due to severe health issues of my wife since March I have only been able to followed the discussions on the forum occasionally, and had no time to really participate. Keep up the good work.
Dempsey

Rob S

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2018, 07:25:30 PM »
We've missed you, very sorry to hear the reason why.

Best wishes to the both of you.

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bdeck

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2018, 10:32:23 PM »
I use the command to set points relative to just about any place in the drawing, and this is certainly not relative to the last drawing operation or the last object selected. That's the beauty of the "Reference Point" operation - the past drawing history is irrelevant.

Hi Phil,

"Last Point" has nothing to do with past history. In fact, if there are currently no points in the point buffer, DC will gray out the "Last Point" option and slam you into the dreaded "Last Cursor Position" option. (The one benefit from using "Reference Point" exclusively is that you will never get slammed into "Last Cursor Position".)

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with how the "Last Point" option works. Here's an example:

To draw a circle of radius 4 using "Last Point", you would simply:
   1)  Hit the "O" key       (to start the circle command);
   2)  set the center point of your circle by any means you desire;
   3)  hit [Apostrophe]    (to start the Point Relative command);
   4)  key in the X value of 4; and
   5) hit [ENTER]           ( the Point Relative command ends as it sets the final point for your circle).

Voila. You are done. The center point of the circle (set in step 2) is the "last point" set prior to using the Point Relative command.

If this operation had been performed using the "Reference Point" option, the Point Relative command would not have ended or set a point at step five. Instead the dialog would have disappeared, requiring you ( without any prompting ) to find the center point that you already set in step 2, and then to try to set another point on top of it, without accidentally snapping to another nearby point. Why would anyone choose that as his exclusive mode of operation?
 
We all use the "Reference Point" option,  sometimes because it is the best tool, and mostly because DC forces us to use it during point moves, but few of us would choose to use it exclusively.

Quote
I don't want the values to reset to zero (we currently have this option and I don't use it).
 
Good point.  I wouldn't use it either, if I had no way to restore the cleared values, as I had proposed. But you've persuaded me that it might be better to make the Restore function available to users who select "reset values to zero", and not to zero values default.

Quote
First of all, we will never do a point relative operation with XYZ offsets of  0,0,0, so those values will always be the wrong values. Second, I sometimes want to repeat the same XYZ values, so having them remembered is useful.  Third, in most cases we will have to enter new values in one or more fields, so it doesn't matter if they are the old values or if they are reset to zero.
 
Here's an example of how those of us who work in 2D would benefit from keeping the "Reset values to zero" box always checked, so long as a "Restore" key were available.
 
Imagine that you are following the steps above to draw a circle in 2D. After you hit [ENTER], you discover that the second point is not horizontally disposed from the center point, and the radius is larger than 4 units. The error is because you failed to clear the Y numeric field after entering 4 in the X field, and now you have to redraw or edit the circle. This error could never have occurred if all the fields had been zeroed previously.

Having a "Restore" key available makes it practical to keep "reset values to zero" checked unless you plan to do multiple operations with the same offsets.

Quote
Having to press the apostrophe key twice increases the work load!

OK, How's this?

1 )  Each instance of Point Relative defaults to the "Reference Point" option.
2 )  If the user hits the same shortcut key (eg apostrophe) again in the same instance, the option changes to "Last Point"
3a) If  the "Always reset values to zero" box is checked, all numeric input fields are cleared, as they are now.
3b) If the user hits a Restore key, for example [F12], all the numeric fields are restored to their prior values.
4 )  The "O" key changes the option to "Origin"
5 )  The "C" key changes the option to "Last Cursor Position" ( alternatively, this option could be eliminated from the dialog )
6 )  The "R" key changes the option back to "Reference Point" (using the apostrophe as a toggle would force user to look at screen to avoid errors)
7 )  The "L" key also changes the option to "Last Point" (useful in the event that  the command someday allows user-selected defaults)
8 )  In all cases, initial focus is set to the first numeric field, as it is now.
9 )  Point Relative command should be fixed to allow Last Point option in point moves.
10) At the very least, DC must stop slamming users into "Last Cursor Position" when they have chosen the "Last Point" option for a point move.

Again, this scheme eliminates all mouse operations and hence the need to look at the screen while executing the command.

Although the "Origin" option is dupicative of the PointXYZ command, I'm OK with the redundancy, as it eliminates the need to remember the shortcut for the rarely-used PointXYZ command (semicolon). And it is immediately available if one hits the apostrophe in error while reaching for the semicolon.

Our single point of agreement so far is that "Last Cursor Position" is a terrible option to have on the dialog, and we'd both like to see it gone. But I guess it's possible that someone, somewhere has found a valid use for it, although I cannot imagine what that use might be.  ( Even you used "Last Cursor Position"  exclusively until mid 2012. Since then you have used "Reference Point" exclusively. Yes, you are "not the average user." But statistically speaking, who is? )

So there; we agree on two things already. At least that's a start !

Best Regards,
bd

"So you're telling me there's a chance!" Jim Carrey, 1994


PS: Hi Dempsey, Good to hear from you, even if infrequently. Best Wishes
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 09:04:27 PM by bdeck »

Dr PR

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2018, 09:26:57 AM »
bd,

Having to press the apostrophe key twice wouldn't be a big problem. However, you have been arguing for a method that minimizes work, and I was just pointing out that having to press the key twice - for those of us who always use the "Reference Point" option - is twice as much work. Likewise, having to press additional keys (C, L, whatever) increases the work load when just remembering the last way the user used the function minimizes it.

What you are really trying to do is make the program default to your work style, to do everything from the keyboard. You want to avoid using the mouse.

I do not want to have to do everything from the keyboard. I use a good trackball and I like working that way. I use the trackball because it is much less work than using a mouse (move the fingers only, and not the entire arm). While my hand is on the trackball I want to do as much as possible from the screen,and minimize moving back and forth between the trackball and the keyboard (moving the cursor across the screen is much faster than moving my hand to the keyboard). I have created custom toolboxes with the commands I use the most so I don't have to waste time typing in a command name, wading through menus, using shortcut key combinations or function keys.

There is one other thing I do to minimize the workload. DesignCAD has a plethora of commands, but I use only a subset of them. For example, "Intersect 2" will accomplish the same thing as "Intersect 1" and more. I do not ever recall using "Intersect 1." I minimize my effort by just using the one function and not having to remember both. I have used only one "Trim" command - I think it is the "Trim Two Lines" function, but it has been decades since I developed this habit and I am not sure what the actual command name is. I never use any of the ortho functions or any of the little arrows at the bottom of the "main" window. I can set ANY angle with the "Point Relative" function so I don't need any of those other options. I have never used a grid. In fact, I have modified my keyboard file to eliminate many of the keystrokes because they are a nuisance if I accidentally press these keys and it shifts the program into some limited mode (ortho, grid, etc.).

With the "Point Relative" function the "Reference Point" option works for ALL uses of the "Point Relative" command that I want to use.* So just using only this mode eliminates having to think about it - less work. That is why I want the program to always remember how I have used the command. I will never use it in any other fashion.

Phil

* Note:  In all of the 30 years I have used DesignCAD/ProDesign I have never paid any attention to the origin when I am drawing. When I start a drawing I set the first point for the first object and work from there. It has always been obvious to me that EVERYTHING in a drawing is positioned relative to everything else. There is no need for an origin. So I never use the "Origin" option in the "Point Relative" command.

After the drawing is finished I can set the "origin" anywhere if it is needed. And it is needed only if I will use the drawing to control NC milling machines, for 3D printing, etc. Often the origin will not be on any part of the drawing, but must be positioned at some offset relative to drawing entities to meet the needs of the specific milling or printing machine. This is different from machine to machine.

DesignCAD user since 1987

Bob P

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2018, 03:19:28 PM »
bd,

* Note:  In all of the 30 years I have used DesignCAD/ProDesign I have never paid any attention to the origin when I am drawing. When I start a drawing I set the first point for the first object and work from there. It has always been obvious to me that EVERYTHING in a drawing is positioned relative to everything else. There is no need for an origin. So I never use the "Origin" option in the "Point Relative" command.
I frequently digitize paper patterns by taping them down to the corner of a square layout table. Then I measure each point's distance from the left edge and the bottom edge, giving me a nice X-Y plot.

*I looked into the macro documentation for a way to enter the relative values from the command line. No such luck. Weird that DC doesn't include that.

Lar

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Re: Point Relative Command
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2018, 05:35:53 PM »

I haven't read through all this thread so I don't know if this point was already made but, dcad can't always default to 'Last Point' as long as we can start a command by calling up Point Rel before setting the first point (eg, when we comma to an existing point to set the first point a desired distance away). If that were the case then 'Last Point' would have to reference the last point set in the last command, and we don't want that.



Lar