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Indicate that array constant contains more elements than currently visible

Hi,

 

When I use array constants on the block diagram I often expand them to show how many elements they contain - I even expand them one element further than their contents to leave no doubt that no elements are hiding below the lowest visible element:

 

Array_ordinary.png

 

Often it's not so important to know how many elements are in the arrays, nor even their values (one can always scroll through the array if one needs to know). But it can be very important to not get a false impression of a fewer number of elements than is actually present, for instance when auto-indexing a For-loop:

 

Array_loop.png

 

To be able to shrink array constants to a minimum size while still signalling that they contain more elements than currently visible, it would be nice with an indicator on the array constant when it's shrunk to hide elements (here shown with a tooltip that would appear if you hover on the "more elements" dots):

 

Array_more.png

 

The information in the tooltip would be better placed in context help, but the important aspect of this idea is the "more elements" indicator itself.

 

Cheers,

Steen

  • UI & Usability
38 Comments
Active Participant fabric
Active Participant
Kudos for a visual indication (but I would also strongly prefer context help to the tooltip).
Active Participant dthor
Active Participant

Very nice. A hover-over tooltip or putting it in the context help would be very nice. Just something simple like "15 elements" or "12 x 3 elements" would be quite nice. Kudos!

Active Participant PaulG.
Active Participant

Nice. Common good coding practice of pulling down an array to display the last empty element is not so common. The visual indicator would work for me. Would save a ton of real estate, too.

Active Participant Silver_Shaper
Active Participant

Good Idea. Kudos..

Trusted Enthusiast Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

Good suggestion. I currently have to expand the array to show more than one element then set the index to soemthing that shows the end of the array like so:

 

arrayconstant.png

Active Participant SteenSchmidt Active Participant
Active Participant

I could still mistake that array for having only one element in it though, since it's easy to miss that it's offset.

 

/Steen

Trusted Enthusiast Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

I am usually quite happy with the scrollbar myself.  Granted it will make the constant a little bit higher than this idea, but I do not lose much sleep over a few pixels here and there.  At least it gives you functionality for the space it takes up.

Active Participant SteenSchmidt Active Participant
Active Participant

Making the scrollbar visible is an ok indicator only if you adapt the style that the scrollbar may only be visible if the array contains more than the visible elements, else the scrollbar must be invisible. The latter is because it's hard to impossible to tell the difference on the scrollbar if there is a single, a few, or many elements in the array. With my suggested indicator there's never any doubt:

 

Array_comparison.png

 

/Steen

Active Participant fabric
Active Participant
I agree with steen... Scrollbars are a poor visual cue at the low end of the spectrum!
Trusted Enthusiast Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

The most useful visual cue in that last picture is the label.  If I care if it is 2 or 5 I will add a comment or use the label.  If I care if it is 5 or 500 then the scrollbar is fine with me and it is actually functional.  Every little visual cue gets added under the guise of increasing readability, but eventually we have so many of them that it is just noise and more and more details become obfuscated.