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Indicate that array constant contains more elements than currently visible

Status: New

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

CLA, CTA, CLED & LabVIEW Champion
39 Comments
Active Participant

That might work, but in that particular case the plus sign might have to be red since it's much more a "You really shouldn't be doing this" warning than a friendly reminder?:

 

StructureHiding_Green.png  vs. StructureHiding_Red.png

 

/Steen

CLA, CTA, CLED & LabVIEW Champion
Active Participant

"Ignoring the previous advice from tst, I Kudos precisely the previous picture.  Not literally precisely, but darned close.  It needs to be tweaked ever-so-slightly so it becomes a universal glyph. By universal, I mean anytime a string, structure, array, etc. has "more than meets the eye" it should appear.  This means it may need to move slightly to become part of the array frame and permit a similar glyph for the string constant if needed."

 

I'm following this thread since it's beginning. I like the idea of having an indication, but still not sure about any of the presented solutions. Agree with Darin.K twice:

 

1) We are trying to improve LabVIEW. Since G is a graphical language (sorry to be so obvious) the graphical part of the solution is crucial. By the way, anything that concerns LabVIEW and G matters and contribute to receive kudos or not.

 

2) The universal concept is very important. The final solution must be good to indicate any hidden part of data. I'm not sure about hidden code.

 

The indication should not create any ambiguity, or mislead to other interpretations in any situation, like when the object is resized.

 

André Manzolli

Mechanical Engineer
Certified LabVIEW Developer - CLD
LabVIEW Champion
Curitiba - PR - Brazil
Active Participant

@Manzolli: I agree about using the same glyph for too many things, not good. In the other thread I've also dismissed the idea again about using the plus sign for a structure hiding code.

 

/Steen

CLA, CTA, CLED & LabVIEW Champion
Active Participant

There are several container objects in LabVIEW that could hide parts of its contents. It has been suggested to use the plus sign for some of these as well (strings for instance), but I don't think that's a good idea. In my opinion there are currently a number of very good suggestions treating this subject in the Idea Exchange. I'll try to sum up my own opinion here of best indication of "more data than meets the eye", to underline that it's not necessary to use the plus sign for anything else but arrays;

 

Text objects (strings, paths, numbers, enums etc.)

Ellipsis, varying slightly in implementation from object type to object type. Some discussions here and here. Ellipsis for paths have been partly implemented in LabVIEW 2012.

 

Containers (structures, clusters, variants, pictures, script nodes etc.)

Border indication, for instance like this:

 

StructureHiding_RedBorder.png

 

Arrays

The Bool-green plus sign:

 

Array_PlusGreenBool.png

 

Anything I've missed?

 

/Steen

CLA, CTA, CLED & LabVIEW Champion
Knight of NI Knight of NI
Knight of NI

Another option is a chevron (or two), which is often used to mean "more", but I'm not sure if it will fit nicely.


___________________
Try to take over the world!
Active Participant

A chevron has the drawback of giving direction, whereas a plus sign is undirected. Arrays can basically be grown in any direction, so if indicating growability with chevrons we'd have to apply them to multiple edges, even in the case where only a single element is hidden, possible mis-indicating that more than one element may be hiding.

 

/Steen

CLA, CTA, CLED & LabVIEW Champion
Member

The very very necessary one. Cut shorts documentation work. Doesn't it? Clean and tidy..

Member

I agree with all the suggestions of some sort of border indication - i.e. chevron, plus sign, etc. or border indication in a different color. As long as it was standardized throughout, it could be pretty useful.

Member

I support the idea. 

 

"I even expand them one element further than their contents to leave no doubt that no elements are hiding below the lowest visible element" - I do this too.