interface

For Flowcode users to discuss projects, flowcharts, and any other issues related to Flowcode 6.

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interface

Postby greentech » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:11 am

Hi coders

FCV5.5 have a better and user friendly interface. please don't change that. I thought that the focus will be on simulating those components which do not simulate in fc.

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Re: interface

Postby Benj » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:09 am

Hello,

Flowcode v5 and previously used VB components which were very hard to maintain and also difficult to impossible for anyone else to create components. The v6 interface has more features which allow users to create their own components. We still have a bit of work to do and are planning a kind of complexity wizard which allows features to be enabled / disabled. Hopefully this type of thing will allow the interface to become easier to use for beginners but then much less restrictive for more advanced users.

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Re: interface

Postby JonnyW » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:20 am

Hi. Can you be more explicit? A lot has changed in v6 and we are always keen to build up so it is more user friendly and easy to use.

Any specifics you can provide of your first impressions will help us to improve the product.

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Re: interface

Postby wayne millard » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:40 am

i dont like there are now two panels what is what?.
I dont have much feel for it and easy to use.

Wayne :shock:

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Re: interface

Postby Benj » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:19 pm

Hello Wayne,

Here is a brief description of the panels. There is probably a better description in the v6 help Wiki.
http://www.matrixmultimedia.com/wiki/in ... =Main_Page

Dashboard panel - 2D panel similar to v5 - Ideal for displaying 2D things like dials, meters, scope traces, buttons, LEDs etc.

System Panel - 3D panel - Ideal for displaying real world mechanical systems or complex moving components like formula flowcode, 3D printers, component housings etc.

Both are completely interchangeable - i.e. you can drag components from one panel to another.

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Re: interface

Postby Brendan » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:29 pm

Hi Benj.

Really nice job on the feature-set, and the pluggable chip packs into the same app is a great step forward :D

Notwithstanding settings I've yet to discover, a lot of the appearance features (for me) add clutter in the IDE and detract from the simplicity of getting the code done.

It would be nice to be able to just disable the extra graphical features (such as present in the property window) in user options, so that should I select switch properties for example, I don't need to see/scroll past the extras before getting to the important settings I need. Alternatively, separating out the salient settings to its own panel would work for me.

Looking forward to the final release !

All the best,

Brendan
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Re: interface

Postby brandonb » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:34 am

sorry matrix i feel the same way, v5 was awesome, it was simple effective and looked good, i don't get that feeling with v6 :(

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Re: interface

Postby greentech » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:46 am

they way keyboard input is processed suck. keep it the same way. just improve simulation speed. Its awsm to see some new components. I do not comment on adding features to flow code. i am only commenting on they way it operates.

Oscilloscope is a great feature.
3d printer is a gr8 feature. All new component looks gr8 but i hate the way they simulate.

New components are cool but the way user will use it suck.
Tabs don't work they way they are used to rapidly develop a flowchart. to much data entry. It feels like i am doing a data entry job. :)

"idea"
How about a schematic designer in relation with fc component connection. while the user connects components FC computes its schematic design and pcb for a very rapid prototyping.

I would love to see flowcode simulating c, code, custom components, and all that it doesn't simulate. i am requesting this sine FCV3 i was foreseeing that flow code will focus on its simulation power.

"And please do not change it the way 3Dstudio Max Works" You can market some other softwares for 3d development and integrate it with flowcode in order to let users develop their own FC components.

Luv to matrix team for their hardwork.

Regards
Fairy.

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Re: interface

Postby dazz » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:27 am

Hi Greentech

Believe it or not you do get used to the new interface, if your worried about clutter, set it up like your used to ie properties pined to the right and the dashboard panel to the botton, then drag and drop components to the dashboard panel
can you clarify this comment *** Tabs don't work they way they are used to rapidly develop a flowchart. to much data entry. It feels like i am doing a data entry job.*** im not sure what you mean by this
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Re: interface

Postby JonnyW » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:59 am

Hi. First off thanks to all for your honest feedback.

With regards to layout, there is no reason you can't treat v6 exactly as v5 - if all you want is to drag existing components onto a panel and create a flowchart, there is nothing stopping you using this exactly like v5. The properties panel has been given an overhaul, true, so it is more functional but other to that you can use v6 exactly as you used v5.
layout_v5.png
Version 5
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layout_v6.png
Version 6
layout_v6.png (68.9 KiB) Viewed 9338 times


Personally I get used to docking panes then minimizing them until I need them (Visual Studio is used to develop FC and I easily have 8-10 panes docked while developing) but there are not many panes needed in day-to-day use of ether v5 or v6 if you prefer to utilise the space for your flowchart.

With regard to:
they way keyboard input is processed suck. keep it the same way.

Yes, components can hook into key presses but I think most of the v6 components don't do this, so it may well be something we need to ensure is in for the final release.

And:
How about a schematic designer in relation with fc component connection. while the user connects components FC computes its schematic design and pcb for a very rapid prototyping.

This is an idea in the pipelines and may well be present as an external app as anyone can write applications to parse fcpx files. It might be in natively at a later date, but will most likely be a compliment to the main Flowcode executable. It would most likely require additions of 'furniture' components such as capacitors, etc, that could be added to help lay out your boards.

Jonny

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Re: interface

Postby greentech » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:51 pm

Tabs don't work they way they are used to rapidly develop a flowchart,

In menus i cannot jump between one another by using tab / shift+tab key of my keyboard. Have a look at the picture. Too bad Rs232, i2c components are entirely changed. They were much cool & simpler to debug and understand about how they work in previous version.

No doubt that added components are truly exciting but as far as i remember target of flow code was for simplicity and that is deviated a little bit. I hope it doesn't drift beyond. Till v5.5 MM is moving with excellence. But in V6 mmmmm. Frankly it looks like MM is trying to merge 3ds Max with fc. Not a good idea. which will definitely disturb the simplicity and surely the prime target of FC.

What happened to you guys exactly? Is MM "Team" got bored of interface or users?

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Re: interface

Postby medelec35 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:19 pm

Hi greentech,

With RS232, I2C etc, you can view data using console, and have multiple console windows open.
As you can see there are two open, but more can be open at the same time if desired.
Console.png
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Re: interface

Postby greentech » Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:33 am

ok but that looks awful. medelec. I hope MM give respect to its user input.

i am just giving my honest opinion.
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Re: interface

Postby Benj » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:08 pm

Hello,

Too bad Rs232, i2c components are entirely changed. They were much cool & simpler to debug and understand about how they work in previous version.


Could you comment on what you liked about the previous components that is missing from the current. I believe clicking the comms icon should bring up the console window but this might not have been rolled out yet. The Injector components can be used to insert data as in v5 and is actually much more powerful as you can mimic real world I2C hardware etc and get it to reply so you can properly test your software in simulation. Not all the comms components have the injector functionality yet and we are working on a range of new injectors so we do hope to make thi better.

ok but that looks awful. medelec. I hope MM give respect to its user input.


If you can give reasons to your opinions then hopefully we can help, opinions on their own offer no guidance as to what to do. Remember it's a beta and we are looking to try and make a better product.

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Re: interface

Postby medelec35 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:58 am

Hi greentech
greentech wrote:ok but that looks awful. medelec. I hope MM give respect to its user input.

i am just giving my honest opinion.

About the Console.
I posted this: viewtopic.php?f=53&t=12671#p50626

Which is me also being honest.
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Re: interface

Postby SHORTCIRCUIT » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:25 pm

Is there anyway to inject data into the RS232 component or has that not been implemented yet. If there is a way, will someone please inform me how to do it, as I have spent the last 5 hours trying to do this with no success. I like the old v5.5 better as it was more intuitive, but I am keeping an open mind with the hope that it will be better in the long run, but I am sure struggling. :cry:

Someone, anyone, everyone, PLEASE HELP ME :?

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Re: interface

Postby JonnyW » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:00 pm

There will be a way. I think Ben has written some injector components for this purpose, but it depends on where you want the data to come from.

If you open Menu->View->Console this shows the RS232 data. You should be able to type anything you want from there, which works as v5 did, but there is no reason why you can not use a file for your input using an injector or setting up a timer and reading from a file.

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Re: interface

Postby SHORTCIRCUIT » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:41 pm

I tried to type in the RS232 console but it will not take in any data

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Re: interface

Postby Benj » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:26 pm

Hello,

I have not yet implemented a way of tying in values and getting them to come through. I will do this via an injector console. Should be a quick job so bear with me and I should have something in say an hour or so for you to try.

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Re: interface

Postby SHORTCIRCUIT » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:38 pm

Thank you Ben, eagerly awaiting your reply.

I was feeling dense, because everything I tried would not work.

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Re: interface

Postby Benj » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:15 pm

Cheers,

Nope your not being dense, just not got around to it yet.

I have it all pretty much working here now but we have uncovered a bug in Flowcode which causes a bad deadlock so we are working on getting this fixed now.

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Re: interface

Postby Benj » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:21 pm

Hello,

All issues fixed now and working very nicely.

Probably be next week before we get the Flowcode fixes out to allow this to all work seamlessly. Is this ok?

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Re: interface

Postby mars01 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:32 pm

Hi!

Recently I was able to activate the Flowcode 6 software trial and from what I can see, the difference between FC5 and FC6 interface is like the one from windows XP and windows vista.

I don't like the new interface.

Why?

Because:
1. If I use a big screen and/or a higher screen resolution maybe the issue is not so great. But if I use (my situation) a 15" laptop with a 1366x768 screen resolution, every cm of space is important. I see a lot of space wasted. The components are simply too big. I can resize them but the ratio of wasted space remain the same. Why the LCD component has to have that big bevel in dashboard panel? How it makes the program more efficient by having wasted space by realistic pictures of LCD's? Or of keyboards? Of course, I could design them myself. But why should I waste time creating them when you could provide them in a functional way like they were in FC5?
2. The dashboard panel waste to much space with the toolbars and the rulers. Sorry but if I am to use this software I use it to produce a HEX file to upload in the uController and not to make graphic design. The toolbars and rulers (if they are so important) should fade like in microsoft office. Or have the ability to disable them.
3. The docking panes. Yes, we can minimize them and this I do whenever/wherever I can. But the properties panel is simply to big and I don't want to waste space because like I said, my goal is to program code. You should have a connection properties panel. 70% of the options are related to geometry. Not interested.
4. The main toolbars should support customization.
5. As an example, in FC5 the LCD had the ability to set the nr. of lines and columns (16x2, 20x4 etc). I don't see it anymore. I liked the simple way the components were designed in FC5. It does not move me that now I have a separate switch that looks like the real one and it is non latching (momentary) and it is for PCB.

If this graphic design of the components is so important (I didn't have the time to read the documentation, to search for it) one idea is to use the example from Proteus suite. They use two different programs: one, ISIS, for schematics and simulation and the other, ARES, for PCB design. You should have a dedicated software for the component design and the ability to import them in FC. In this way the focus of FC could be the production of uC software.

[Also, there should be a user manual. And I mean a real one, with examples and 600+ pages. :) Not a lot of information spread through hundreds of wiki pages and/or examples that does not work because of uninitialized variables :d ]

The overall feeling is of a not finished visual interface. I am aware of the RC status and this is why I still give feedback, (and spend time for it). I feel that your product has great potential and because I am tempted to buy it, I want to see a product that I'd be happy to work with.

I didn't tested the interrupts, to see how they simulate now. Maybe you solve it, but if not, you could design a sort of speed test/benchmark of the PC processor and then adjust the interrupt simulation speed.

Now, I know that this is you baby. Two years you "grew it" and that it must have taken a lot of effort and passion. That I appreciate a lot. I know that it's easy to criticize and very hard to create something. But maybe this will help you create a better product.

Best regards,
Marius
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Re: interface

Postby JonnyW » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:52 am

Hi Marius.

Thanks for your feedback. Firstly yes, it has taken a lot of effort to produce, but that doesn't mean we should be blind-sided by our own opinions - you are the ones using the software so it has to fit in with you.

There have been a number of comments about how much real-estate the new version takes up. We are working on this but it is always a balancing act - FCv6 can convey much more information and because others may want to create components to display info this has to be presented in an easy to use (i.e. program) way. I think this is the first mention of components being too large though, and an interesting point.

Our MD has been pushing for 'realistic' components for a while - there is a massive repository of models on Farnells website and others that we hoped to tap into, but I see your point entirely - my home PC has a lower resolution than that! And personally I am not keen on the rulers - I don't believe they serve any purpose, but then I barely ever use the dashboard and much prefer the system panel.

The properties panel is another one that has to be easy to add to for component creation. You are not the first to say you would prefer not to see the position of the objects, perhaps there is a setting I can add for this.

I think for the LCD there is a component you can change the size of - we have different types of components, some 'realistic' and some simple. If you add an E-Block to the panel then it should look like an E-Block. Try replacing with the 'LCD' and this should be better for you. If it is already on the panel, right click it to get context menu->Selection->Replace...->LCD.
LCD.png
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I fully appreciate your comment on customisation - it would be nice to have, hopefully I will have time for things like that once v6.0 settles down!

With regard to graphics design, this is not as important as the ability to manipulate electromechanical systems. Flowcode is not a modelling package, but it can be used to simulate and debug say, a robot arm, before the program gets anywhere near the hardware. Unfortunately the features that are so important in this area do get in the way when it comes to programming LCDs, etc. I'll see what I can do about this.

Thanks for your feedback, hopefully we can improve on what we already have!

Jonny

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Re: interface

Postby balles » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:21 pm

Hello to all, MM Team especially!

First of all have to say that i felt some shame for this, my first post on this forum. Why? Because it looks like i'm here to criticise, but it's not the case. My true intention is to colaborate for the evolution of flowcode, and maybe your community.

Second, nice to meet you guys!! I have been reading your questions and answers since flowcode 4.5, when i found flowcode for the first time. I need to thank you guys cause i learn a lot with you. Who? Can't tell all names, it would be a very long list! So to all MM team that brought flowcode together at this awesome level. Benj you're a true wizard! (some jealousy here! hehehe :mrgreen: ) For the forum members medelec35, JohnCrow, Jan Lichtenbelt, fotios, acestu, and many others! I've been reading all your posts long way ago. And learning!

So let's go on. That interface topic is very interesting, some express their opinions lighter, others on a harder way. I remember when flowcode changes from the v4 to v5, there were some same feelings about interface. But it was overcome by the evolution presented.

Now the question rises again and stronger. Well i agree with greentech: "FCV5.5 have a better and user friendly interface. please don't change that. I thought that the focus will be on simulating those components which do not simulate in fc." And the same time agree whith 'mars01' on his statements.

But for you coders of flowcode it can be a messy topic. More indeed, after the time you expended working on it. You are aware of the world moment, and it is: visual, iPad, iTouch, iPod, google glass, etc.. So you take flowcode to that level. Visual 3D level. Something near 3D movies. It's up to date!

But for those who work with chips and electronics, they need 3D capabilities on PCB prototyping softwares. Flowcode is need to create the brain, the hex! So the graphical experience was true good till v5 because it was used for generate the logical path of the program. So evolve it capabilities would be the expected way. For example, simulate 'c' code, better simulation of interrupts, correction of the dsp library codes and others.

Now here is a catch, to teach advanced electronics like an robot arm, wow, the actual 3D interface is great! What tell about a XY plotter...

I belive there just need to be a balance here, and it's about two words: effective and efficient. Flowcode is effective to simulated all the new and old stuff, good for those who need see things going on like 3D, or for teachers. But is less efficient for direct code generation for those who just need the fast hex creation and a simple simulation for keep it error free.

There is a question for 'Confirmation of registration' to these forum, it is:
"What is Matrix Multimedia's Flowcharting Language For Microcontrollers Called?"
The answer I belive, is flowcode. So MM team, keep it in mind, flowcode is the important thing, the great Flowcharting Language you have created. The other stuff cannot obliterate it's shinning.

Maybe all that great 3D stuff could be some additional package, for those who need it. And keep flowcode the spinal cord, simple, clear and light for those who need it to generate code for the micros. With simple simulation capabilities for the components.

I was ready to buy a pro license after the lauch of the DSP library on V5.5, but there were problems and I read about V6, so I decided to wait and see it first. Now I'll wait a bit longer for V6.1 or maybe V6.2! hehehe!! (take on consideration that here it costs 4x more, so i've to be carefull on money :shock: )

I really expect you all can understand my feelings about the question, and if not, your comments are welcome! And I truly expect to help those who didn't write some much like i'm!!! :lol: :lol:

Greetings!
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