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Connector Pane Editor

Status: New

I am migrating and updating some of my favorite tools to LV10, and one of the first to make the move is always my Connector Pane Editor.  This is a homemade tool I have had around since LV8.2, which allows me to quickly wire the connector pane in a style reminiscent of the Icon Editor.  I use my version constantly and can not live without it at this point.  I would like NI to adopt something similar for a few reasons.  1) I am a UI pragmatist, and this could probably use a little help in this regard.  2)  It is hard to incorporate tools like this into the IDE.  Right now I use the Tools menu which is ok, but I'd like to get this into the Right-Click menu that we currently use to edit the connector pane.  3) It drives me nuts when I am on a computer that does not have this.

 

Here is a screenshot of my version and zoom on the right-hand side.

 

21055i12DB0EFCA0AC94F9

 

21059iD4CEEA35EC3F9767

 

Features I like about my current version:

1) No squinting and carpal tunnel issues trying to land on tiny terminals

2) Auto increments controls, when one control is placed, the target is automatically incremented so the next control is ready to go.  Arrow keys allow you to skip controls.

3) Front panel image shows which control is currently being wired, which one is currently attached to a terminal when the mouse is over it, and is clickable to choose which control to wire.

4) Control descriptions are editable at the same time.

5) Shift-click grabs the currently wired terminal.  If you want to move a connection, Shift-click to pick it up, move to the new location, click to drop.

6) Clicking on a currently wired terminal replaces that connection with the current target, and makes the previously wired control the new target.  Swapping terminals is a two-click process.

7) Optional autowiring, Error In/Out as well as references/paths can be autowired according to my preferred style.

 

In short, even my crude attempt is an incredible timesaver, I can wire a ConPane in a matter of seconds, without the back and forth trips between the FP and the ConPane with the wiring tool.  A little NI-ification, as well as integration should make it even better.  If it gets screwed up, at least it should be similar to the Icon Editor which can be modified by those who want to badly enough.

 

 

7 Comments
Trusted Enthusiast

This is an issue I didn't address in the Connector Pane Overhaul, but perhaps these distinct Ideas could be synthesized to provide an overall better experience with the ConPane. Kudos for raising awareness.

Wirebird Labs: Expert Toolkits for LabVIEWDeploy, by Wirebird Labs: Expert Toolkits for LabVIEW
Active Participant

I am so tired of trying to click on a 4x4 pixel target, then moving all the way across the screen to select a control and then repeating that 7 more times.  It's the worst thing about the IDE for me.  I wish I could kudo this more than once.

 

 

(mind sharing?)

-Barrett
CLD
Trusted Enthusiast

I will certainly share my code in the very near future, I am cleaning up a few items with the code.  It started as a bit of an experiment, I run a Queued State Machine in the timeout case of an Event Structure.  That part works well, but there are several Events and Cases which do not always play nicely with 'make space' function.  Trying to undo some of the damage done.

Active Participant

Have you seen the 'polish' vis by Marc Page, in the NI Community forum?

 

Your screen shot reminded me of this nice tool.

 

Image and nice description of tool:

 

http://themacview.blogspot.com/2007/06/importance-of-documentation.html

 

 

LabVIEW code:

http://decibel.ni.com/content/docs/DOC-1189

 


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Trusted Enthusiast

I think this is a good idea. However I do not want it taking up too much space on the front panel either. I think there is a lot of things that could be done to make the connector pane better and I believe that you have some good ideas. I do not want to give up much real estate to see these improvements.

Tim
GHSP
Active Participant

this doesn't have to take up FP space... Darin's looks like a dialog window that is displaying the front panel.  That seems like the best approach, much like the Icon Editor is a dialog called from double clicking the icon. Speaking of which, It could be integrated into the Icon Editor...

-Barrett
CLD
Trusted Enthusiast

To take the Pepsi challenge, you can try my code here.

 

http://forums.ni.com/t5/LabVIEW/Connector-Pane-Editor/m-p/1213077#U1213077

 

And that Polish Tool that Phillip linked to looks awesome, plenty of inspiration for NI to draw from.  And to be clear, my goal is not to get my version implemented per se, but to get something integrated in there.  The status quo is woefully inadequate IMO.