Script attached: box joints

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Re: Script attached: box joints

Postby matthiaswm » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:47 pm

Cool! Thanks. I am happy that I was able to contribute something useful :-)
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Re: Script attached: box joints

Postby caigner » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:30 am

It's great to see good scripts being incorporated into a new version of QCAD. It's now under menu Misc - Drawing.
But I would also like a button in the left-side line drawing menu bar. (it was there, when I installed the script by hand)

Can I do that on my own?
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Re: Script attached: box joints

Postby andrew » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:28 am

You'd have to change the contents of the script to add it to the lines tool bar menu.

It's open for discussion where such tools should be in the QCAD menu / tool bar hierarchy.

My reasoning for not putting it together with the line tools was that the existing line tools are completely generic - they are not specific to any particular industry or solving a particular problem.

The box joint tool is specific to creating box joints which are typically used in woodworking or similar industries (correct me if I'm wrong).

In the future, many more such custom-tailored scripts are likely to be added to QCAD and the question arises how and where to fit them into the user interface. At the moment I put this tool under Misc to make it available without nailing down the user interface yet.

I can think of these options:

- Industry specific tool buttons in the CAD tool bar at the left (e.g. architecture, mechanical engineering, wood working, textile industry, ...).
Pros: makes room for very industry specific tools such as a cog wheel generator, or architecture wall tools.
Cons: overlaps, tools that are not 100% generic but not very specific either such as the box joint tool.

- Make the tool more generic. For the box joint tool it would mainly mean to rename it. We'd have to come up with a name for the tool that does not imply usage for a specific industry. Something similar like 'zig zag line' or 'meander' but then not quite - ideas anyone?
Pros: avoids overlaps, no new user interface concepts needed
Cons: this will not work for all tools (think of a tool that generates a cogwheel or a staircase.

- Based on user preferences. A user would have to spend some time to arrange these additional tools in his/her own preferred way.
Pros: makes everyone happy
Cons: users have to invest time, every QCAD installation will look different from every other one, users might loose their own configuration on major updates of QCAD

What's your take on this problem?
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Re: Script attached: box joints

Postby Husky » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:56 pm

andrew wrote:It's open for discussion where such tools should be in the QCAD menu / tool bar hierarchy.

I would prefer a separated menu/Toolbar, maybe called "C-Tools" (Customized Tools) with the possibility of sub-menus like Architecture, walls, Electronic, G-Tools, Misc etc.

andrew wrote:The box joint tool is specific to creating box joints which are typically used in woodworking or similar industries (correct me if I'm wrong).

This is one of the oldest Pattern ever - don't worry to much for what it can be used ;-)
(Architecture, Woodworking, Art, stitching, crochet, stained glass, paintings, quilting etc. etc. etc....)
"Zig zag line" sounds just good to me 8)

andrew wrote:In the future, many more such custom-tailored scripts are likely to be added to QCAD and the question arises how and where to fit them into the user interface. At the moment I put this tool under Misc to make it available without nailing down the user interface yet.

I can think of these options:

- Industry specific tool buttons in the CAD tool bar at the left (e.g. architecture, mechanical engineering, wood working, textile industry, ...).
Pros: makes room for very industry specific tools such as a cog wheel generator, or architecture wall tools.
Cons: overlaps, tools that are not 100% generic but not very specific either such as the box joint tool.

- Make the tool more generic. For the box joint tool it would mainly mean to rename it. We'd have to come up with a name for the tool that does not imply usage for a specific industry. Something similar like 'zig zag line' or 'meander' but then not quite - ideas anyone?
Pros: avoids overlaps, no new user interface concepts needed
Cons: this will not work for all tools (think of a tool that generates a cogwheel or a staircase.

Referring cons: Solution? C-Tools / Sub-menu: G-Tools (Generator tools) ;-)

andrew wrote:- Based on user preferences. A user would have to spend some time to arrange these additional tools in his/her own preferred way.
Pros: makes everyone happy
Cons: users have to invest time, every QCAD installation will look different from every other one, users might loose their own configuration on major updates of QCAD

Referring cons - that doesn't works in the long run!
I see one option to avoid this problem. Provide to the user the possibility to choose by himself the "C-Tool Sources" like the Library Browser what means he can decide the path to his own tools. This path should be outside of any QCAD installation what means he will not loose his own configuration on any QCAD update.
Of course - this has all to be saved in the CAD3.ini what can't be difficult because it would work on the same way like the paths for the Library Browser or to the templates. :wink:
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Re: Script attached: box joints

Postby Clive » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:36 pm

Okay now that I have had time to think about this properly, these are my thoughts about this.

For me at the moment I have moved and added the 'Box joint' tool script to the line tools, only because I find it more convenient for me. But I totally agree with Andrew, this specific specialized tool is not a 'general' generic tool and if QCAD starts to expand and develop more and more 'industry' specific tool sets (as mentioned like Mechanical, Architecture etc. etc.) well then I agree with Husky, these non-generic specialized tools should have their own place - their own sub-menu from the main menu and not be part of the generic CAD tools on the left hand side!

As regarding re-naming tools, no I think any new specialist tools should keep their proper names (like 'Dovetail' or Box joint tool etc.) as they always have done throughout history.

How do I see it working - well for me I think that if new industry specific tool sets are developed (which I'm sure they will be ) they will be additional 'Pro' tools so the easiest way to handle this would be to offer them in the same way as the current additional pro tools (dxf/dwg enhanced support,enhanced power user tools and QCAD-CAM) are offered! This method would then give users the choice as to which additional industry specific tool-sets they want.
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Re: Script attached: box joints

Postby caigner » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:50 pm

From my perspective I can say: I would like to be able to build my own toolbars. I want all the tools which I need for the project to be just one (or two) mouse click away.
So it would be nice to be able to arrange the buttons as I see fit. And save these arrangements for later use.

In this way I could create toolbars specific to my projects which would greatly enhance workflow. What do you think about that? Could that be done?
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Re: Script attached: box joints

Postby caigner » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:53 pm

Regarding menu structure I agree with Andrew. Specialized tools should be grouped and not be mixed with the generic ones.
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Re: Script attached: box joints

Postby Clive » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:37 am

caigner wrote:In this way I could create toolbars specific to my projects which would greatly enhance workflow. What do you think about that? Could that be done?

I would think that it could be done but only Andrew can answer that. I guess any QCAD development depends upon popular demand and where Andrew needs to spend the development time.
Its an interesting discussion this one and it makes me consider why I started to use QCAD in the first place! For me I was looking for a straight forward 2D CAD program with all the generic tools I needed and QCAD fitted the bill for me. I am used to using other bigger CAD programs, some specifically tailored to Architecture drafting and it makes me question myself again about this - do I want QCAD to go that way? part of me does and the other part of me wants QCAD to remain reasonably generic and not too specialized also.
Of course we have the wonderful thing that people can contribute great customized scripts as the 'Box or Dovetail' joint tools by Matthias and I would imagine that there will be more scripts in the future by others.

Would QCAD ever develop such complex 'industry - specific' tool sets as what I have access to at the moment, maybe - maybe not! Do I really want QCAD to go this route, in my heart of hearts - probably not.
Why - because I think QCAD is unique in what it has to offer, not to only Architects or engineers but to everyone who is looking to get away from using 'over the top' bulky CAD programs.

That all being said, let it be understood that I am incredibly excited for the continuous development of QCAD and future 'plug-ins', but maybe plug-ins like a cog wheel generator or a hatch generator or a 'dynamic multiple copying' tool etc. etc..
I personally see the real beauty and development of honing and adding fantastic 'generic' tools - that we all would probably use and not just a few 'specialized' users.
So to finish, it leads me back to your question again - the option to customize and make your own tool bars would probably be more favored by more people than one or two 'industry' specific tool sets.
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Re: Script attached: box joints

Postby Husky » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:35 pm

Clives big picture is very close to my opinion about how I see QCAD suits in my daily live!

To say it straight - just a couple specialist tools e.g. a staircase, architecture wall -tool (etc.) doesn't makes QCAD to a full Architectural (or what ever) program!
Do I would like to have a staircase etc. tool - yes, I like to have the choice to put it into my personal Tool-bar ...
Do I like to have it mixed up with the generic tools - no! In my opinion QCAD would drive in a wishy washy direction - neither Fish nor Flesh :wink:

To make it short - here are the main points what I like to see in the future of QCAD (and I have the feeling that I'm not alone with this opinion ... )
More plain generic tools - fine tuning on existing tools - just to make the daily routine task easy,
Possibility to set up a customized tool bar / menu for Industry specific tools (apps, plug-ins etc), Update save!,
Open to the world = export / import like sketch up etc., etc., etc.,

QCAD is already a really really good 2D CAD program but I also think there are still many possible improvements what could be done ...
... before QCAD has to walk on new trails ... 8)
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Re: Script attached: box joints

Postby J-J » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:40 am

I have been reading the posts in the background (vacation period!) and I just wanted to say that I agree with you that QCAD ought to stick to its current philosophy: a cad program that is easy to master (I gave up on Drafsight). On the other hand, its architecture opens the way to specific plug-ins for personal customization as Husky described so well...
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