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RackPlanner 1.3Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next [all]
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Author RackPlanner 1.3
dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

moved to first post.

Last edited by dougcl on Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Hi folks, first release is finished. See the first post in this thread. I will update the original post with the latest info.
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BananaPlug
Super Deluxe Wiggler






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Nice! I'll try to get some Modcan A stuff prepared tomorrow. Got sidetracked today.
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Awesome. For modcan:

0) download the zip file again! Help about should show v1.0.1 on its title bar.

1) Come up with a background image. Put it in the images dir, and update the rack.xml with the filename you chose.
2) Try to figure out how many HP is in your rack. HP is the number of possible positions a module can be in. Probably less than the minimum module width. Might be the same. The HP should make sense given the width that your rack jpg represents.
3) Set the number of rack rows and cols that you want in rack.xml. This affects how the scroll bars behave.
4) Run the program and see what the rack looks like.
5) If it looks good, try making a module. Look at the zip files in the modules dir. You can change the default modules directory in rack.xml. The idea is that you can have several racks in different formats with different module directories.


Last edited by dougcl on Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:11 pm; edited 2 times in total
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BananaPlug
Super Deluxe Wiggler






PostPosted:     Post subject:

You're doing everything in HP, are fractional HP allowed?
Modcan A comes in 2.25" increments = 11.25 HP
Modcan B comes in 1.75" increments = 8.75 HP
Frac rack comes in 1.5" increments = 7.5 HP
If not I guess I'll round them.
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Forget that HP means something (a set number of inches or mm) in euro.

Think of it this way:

Let's say there are 20 possible positions in a row of a Frac rack and the smallest Frac module consumes 2 positions. Then HP for the rack = 20, and the smallest Frac module has an HP of 2.

Let's say one Serge panel consumes an entire row of a Serge rack. Then the HP for the rack = 1, and every module has an HP of 1.

Let's say Modcan has ten possible positions and the smallest module consumes a full position. Then the rack HP is 10 and the smallest module HP is 1. Double modules would have an HP of 2.

In the case of Euro, there are 84 possible module positions and the smallest module consumes 4 positions. The HP for the rack = 84 and the smallest module has an HP = 4.

Let's say you figure your rack has 10 possible positions and some of your modules consume 1/2 a position. Your rack HP needs to be increased to 20 so your smallest module HP becomes 1.


Last edited by dougcl on Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BananaPlug
Super Deluxe Wiggler






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Quote:
3) Set the number of rack rows and cols (in HP) that you want in rack.xml. The HP should make sense given the width of your rack jpg.

I've built a background and a rack.xml file. It looks about right in the planner except that the rack image repeats horizontally. I've tried setting cols to the number of HP one rack should be and I've tried setting it to 1 but I still get a seemingly endless rack. The rows setting works though.


EDIT:
Quote:
Forget that HP means something (a set number of inches or mm) in euro. Think of it this way...


A fine system and it explains my problem but why call that HP when HP already has a widely accepted meaning? You're going to get real tired of explaining this.

Quote:
Their width is measured in HP (HP = horizontal pitch, 1 HP = 5.08 mm or 1/5 inch or 1/5").
--Doepfer

Last edited by BananaPlug on Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Ha ha, that is so COOOL. Good job.


The window itself always opens to 1024x768 and you'll get scrollbars, or not depending on your rows and cols settings. If the window size is larger, then you'll always see more rows and columns (the rack is always infinite). The rows and cols settings just affect how the scroll scroll bars appear, which is essential for large racks that span several screens or for scale settings around 2.0 and higher.


Last edited by dougcl on Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:10 pm; edited 3 times in total
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parasitk
Learn to swim






PostPosted:     Post subject:

BananaPlug wrote:
I've built a background and a rack.xml file. It looks about right in the planner except that the rack image repeats horizontally. I've tried setting cols to the number of HP one rack should be and I've tried setting it to 1 but I still get a seemingly endless rack. The rows setting works though.


Modcan A, sweet! w00t Please share if/when you can!
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

BananaPlug wrote:
A fine system and it explains my problem but why call that HP when HP already has a widely accepted meaning? You're going to get real tired of explaining this.

Quote:
Their width is measured in HP (HP = horizontal pitch, 1 HP = 5.08 mm or 1/5 inch or 1/5").
--Doepfer


I know. I'm sorry, but it has such intuitive appeal in the euro format, and when I generalized the concept, I couldn't think of a name. I figured I would be explaining it no matter what, and I envisioned explaining it in the way I just did to you, and that seemed like the best option. At least I don't have to explain it to the euro people as well wink
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BananaPlug
Super Deluxe Wiggler






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Quote:
Try setting cols to 1. My quote above is wrong! It was late! Fixing the original post now.

Okay, did that but it still seems screwy. Try these files out and see if you have any luck. Hmm, there should be three files but I'm not sure they all attached.
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BananaPlug
Super Deluxe Wiggler






PostPosted:     Post subject:

One more file. I can't seem to send this as an attachment.

Code:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<rack>
   <properties>
      <scale>1.0</scale>
      <rows>3</rows>
      <cols>1</cols>
      <imagesPath>./images</imagesPath>
      <modulesPath>./modules</modulesPath>
      <rackImageFilename>ModcanA_rack.jpg</rackImageFilename>
      <rackHP>7</rackHP>
   </properties>
   <modules>
      <module>
         <zipFilename>32A.zip</zipFilename>
         <row>1</row>
         <col>1</col>
      </module>
   </modules>
</rack>


Last edited by BananaPlug on Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Okay, I'll get it sorted out this evening. Thanks for getting this started. I'm also going to add the rack xml as a command line parameter to the program. Then we can build shortcuts for different rack formats, etc.
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

BananaPlug wrote:
One more file. I can't seem to send this as an attachment.


You can't attach xml to this forum. Posting as code is best.

Looks like something is assuming 84 HP in the rack no matter what. So I'll look at it this evening. Now I have a non-euro test case. Looks like the rack HP should be 10 and the module HP should be 1. I'll get it working. Thanks for your help. In the meantime you can use module HP of 12!


Last edited by dougcl on Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BananaPlug
Super Deluxe Wiggler






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Quote:
Now I have a non-euro test case. Looks like the rack HP should be 10 and the module HP should be 1. I'll get it working. Thanks for your help. In the meantime you can use module HP of 12!

Just for clarity, the standard Modcan A rack I'm trying to model has positions for 7 single width modules, each 2.25 inches wide.
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Okay rack HP = 7 (seven possible positions) and the smallest module is 1 HP. Should be an easy fix.

I added a vertical line to the right hand side of your background image:
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parasitk
Learn to swim






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Can we move this thread out of the Euro section now that the Rack Planner is useful for any format? w00t
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Done.
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BugBrand
Knowledge of Bugs






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Hey,

I'm just starting to look at your Rack Planner - great work!

I'll continue to try out making rack / modules -> did a quick try out frac-rack and found it pretty straight forward, so good stuff there. Will try out modules shortly too..

Two quick questions:
- zoom - is that only preset in the rack.xml definition? or is there a keyboard shortcut
- export - are you just using a screengrab to export images at the moment?

Would be great to get my new Bug-modules up and in action so.. more soon!

Thanks for doing this.
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Hi Bugbrand, yep, just make screen shots, and yes, the only way to scale is in the rack.xml file.

I'm working on an applet version that can be imbedded in a web page. This would probably be really useful for manufacturers like yourself. You could host a little planner just for bugbrand on your site or blog. I'm running into trouble though with the file I/O since applets have to do everything via URLs. I should be able to get it working though. All the modules you are building for Rack Planner will of course be fully compatible with the applet version.

Not sure if I can improve the image quality on scaling, but that is also something that I'm looking at. Build your rack and module images at the scale they are most likely to be used so the effect of scaling is minimized.

Thanks for trying it out!


Last edited by dougcl on Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BugBrand
Knowledge of Bugs






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Hiya

First off - thanks to Bananaplug for making up a set of BugModules!

I've continued using the app and would like to give some feedback if that's ok - friendly, of course! I don't at all know the ins and outs of how you've made this, so there may well be things I say that simply aren't possible or realistic.

Scaling - if you could do that within the Planner that'd be really great! A menu setting would be good, a right-click and/or keyboard shortcut would be *fantastic*!

I know you've mentioned the image quality of scaling - things seem alright scaling up, but going down at all quickly renders the images pretty messy. I went for reasonably large images (sent to Bananaplug) so you don't normally see the full rack width on the screen, so you have to scale and, therefore, the end result at screen-grab is less good.

Export - if a jpeg of filled racks could be exported, that'd be really good too.

Save -- is it possible to have a save as function? I guess otherwise you can just copy the rack.xml and rename.

Maybe things could be written so you'd load up a rack - either at startup or with an open function - this'd then load a particular rack_xxx.xml file which would allow quick changing between, say, Euro / Frac / etc ... or Frac_user1 / Frac_user2 / etc.

Adding modules -- a right button click menu could be good here perhaps?
Also, I wondered whether things could be written so any added module automatically got put into the next free space?

Oh, a strange thing -> the horizontal scroll-bar seems to like disappearing off the bottom of my screen (or under the taskbar)

**
An online version would be really fantastic too!
I hope those comments don't come across as negative at all - I'm really impressed by the great little app you've come up with.
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Hi BugBrand, first of all no problem. My aim was to be able to use this at least for myself, and I've accomplished that. Anything beyond that is really icing on the cake, so all suggestions are welcome.

There is a design philosophy here that kept things extremely simple so that it had a high chance of getting done smile

Regarding image quality, I spent an evening this week trying a bunch of different approaches (although I'm not an expert), and after all of that it turned out that the current approach offered much higher quality but over a smaller range than others. So contrary to my earlier advice, it is perhaps best to build your rack image and modules at the scale most likely to be used. I think from there doubling and halving via scaling offers acceptable results (try it I could be wrong). Note that if your rack image is at a small scale, all modules will be scaled into it, so make your rack image the same vertical size in pixels as your modules for best results.

Live scaling is possible, but it conflicts with another feature. The program loads a module once, scales it, and caches it. All instances of that module on the screen derive from the same scaled image stored in memory. In order to scale, all the modules would have to be re-retrieved from disk and scaled. This might be acceptable, but it will lead to a delay. Either that or I could scrap the caching setup, but I kind of like it.

JPEG export is done as of version 1.0.5.

Loading up various racks: My recommendation is to use shortcuts to run the program with different rack.xml files on the command line. I think this can be improved, and at least a Save As option should be possible.

I could probably add a right click to add modules without much difficulty. Make sure you get the latest version of the code because I added hotkeys to the menu, and the Add Dialog now retains its last size (BananaPlug's feedback).

New modules are always placed in the upper left corner of the visible portion of the rack. You should always see them when added (you don't have to scroll back to the origin).

The scroll bars disappear when your window size exceeds the size of the rack as specified in the rack.xml rows and cols.

Still looking at an online implementation. I've actually got it converted already, but file I/O is an issue. Still thinking about that.

Thanks!
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BugBrand
Knowledge of Bugs






PostPosted:     Post subject:

Great developments - I just tried the export function and that works really well (oh, on windows I have to write 'export.jpg' otherwise the file made has no extension).

Good addition of the Alt-A for adding modules quickly!
- would Copy/Paste be possible?

Quote:
There is a design philosophy here that kept things extremely simple so that it had a high chance of getting done smile

I hear you!
Great stuff you're doing here - this will be really useful for people planning their BugSystems, so I'll point them all towards the thread & files.

Big thanks!
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BananaPlug
Super Deluxe Wiggler






PostPosted:     Post subject:

w00t My online Module Library now has a Module Maker tool which will build a module zip file from your uploaded image.
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dougcl
Number 6






PostPosted:     Post subject:

BananaPlug wrote:
w00t My online Module Library now has a Module Maker tool which will build a module zip file from your uploaded image.


Hey I just tried this out with a random jpg, and it works great. I turned a picture of my birdbath into a euro module and had it loaded into my rack in a couple of minutes. I love the option to save to your library. Good job. we're not worthy
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