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SteenSchmidt

Indicate that array constant contains more elements than currently visible

Status: New
by Active Participant SteenSchmidt on ‎01-31-2013 04:20 PM

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

Comments
by Active Participant fabric on ‎01-31-2013 04:46 PM
Kudos for a visual indication (but I would also strongly prefer context help to the tooltip).
by Active Participant dthor on ‎01-31-2013 06:07 PM

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!

by Active Participant PaulG. on ‎02-01-2013 09:16 AM

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.

by Active Participant Silver_Shaper on ‎02-02-2013 10:10 PM

Good Idea. Kudos..

by Trusted Enthusiast on ‎02-03-2013 10:59 AM

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

by Active Participant SteenSchmidt on ‎02-03-2013 01:01 PM

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

by Trusted Enthusiast on ‎02-04-2013 04:09 PM

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.

by Active Participant SteenSchmidt on ‎02-05-2013 04:01 PM

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

by Active Participant fabric on ‎02-05-2013 05:01 PM
I agree with steen... Scrollbars are a poor visual cue at the low end of the spectrum!
by Trusted Enthusiast on ‎02-05-2013 05:29 PM

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.

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