Home > BrewzNET > Laying Pipe – Part 2

Laying Pipe – Part 2

Ok. Get your mind out of the gutter.

So I took the work I did before with multiselection and alignment clues and took it a step further – when the multiselect designer detects that all the selected components are part of the PipeComponent hierarchy, a new context menu is added – “Form Pipe”. When the user hovers over the menu item, it shows the resulting pipe outline – all reference points are auto-aligned, the unions have their orientations automatically adjusted to reflect the pipe routing, and the pipe section width & colors are derived from the selected reference component. These two screenshots show the same routing, but with different reference objects – notice how the pipe is fatter in the second example.

This does not replace the previous Ctrl-click functionality that adds new points to a pipe when the pipe designer is active – so a user could put down a bunch of loosely positioned components, like in this example, create a pipe based on that routing, then add additional pieces by Ctrl-clicking if desired. You can also multiselect a single piece, “form pipe”, then route the entire thing by Ctrl-clicking.

Here is a screenshot of the formed pipe where the smaller component width was used (first screenshot above). I have one additional aspect of forming pipes that I will implement as part of dragging new components into the screen (once I’ve got that working). If a pipe designer is active, and the new component is some sort of pipe part, it can will be added to the selected pipe as a new section.

Once again, I am really happy with how this whole UI designer is working out. I’ve still got lots to do (like toolbars, Undo/Redo functionality, etc) but the basic architecture is turning out to be alot more flexible and powerful than I was expecting.

Hopefully I’ll have some new brewing-related posts soon… sorry to lay on so much geekdom and BrewzNET in a row. I’m brewing a 20-gallon batch of wheat with Brian next weekend… and I’ll be counter-pressure bottling the Gnarleywine today and doing some transferring of the Oktoberfest later in the week… I just haven’t been doing much brewing activity recently.

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