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“Multi” functional

Just a quick update on my BrewzNET progress since I haven’t posted about it in a couple of weeks. My brief excursion into the SketchUp land did not completely derail my nightly and early-morning efforts on BrewzNET. I have added another large piece of functionality, namely multi-component selection, component alignment, and grouping / ungrouping. These two screenshots give you the idea of how it works – just like a MS Office product. Basically you click a point, and drag your selection box over the items you want to select. Once selected, they can be aligned, distributed, or grouped and ungrouped (just like the MS Office drawing objects). Users can also shift-click to multiselect and deselect components.

The current functionality is relatively bare-bones. I’m not entirely happy with the “dotted line” selection clue around the impacted components and need to find a more obvious way to draw that – maybe boxes at the four corners or something. I’ve also had a couple of good ideas that have not been implemented yet, such as on-screen alignment clues when a user moves over one of the menu items that shows exactly where things will be positioned. One of the things that has always driven me batty about alignment in MS Office is not knowing which component things were being aligned to…

My next “BIG” item to tackle is the integration of the toolbox and the designer control, so users can select an item (like a pipe designer or tank) and drag / place it onto the screen. The infrastructure I’ve built up is very flexible and should allow that implementation to go quickly – so all the gutting & re-coding I’ve done recently looks like it might pay off big.

Categories: BrewzNET
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