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Re: Does a custom parameter file need to be included with an exported .xtc file.

Milt Perkins
 

Group,

Thank you to all that responded. 

If you would like to see the club layout as it is now go to www.shorttrackrr.org. If your ever in north San Diego county look us up 10am to 4pm on all Saturdays. The current layout was designed with XTrackCad 12 years ago by someone else.


Re: Does a custom parameter file need to be included with an exported .xtc file.

Adam Richards
 

On Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 08:37 AM, Phil in gorgeous Young Harris wrote:
Am I correct in thinking that the other person reviewing the design can see everything just like the original designer (who has all the parameter files), but modifications to the drawing may require those files?

Only if the modifications needed are to add/replace or augment with (new) elements from the parm files.  Moving or Deleting existing elements, or Joining, or Adding flexible track elements, or Draw elements, etc - can all be done without needing the original parm files.  

Note that many parm files are shipped as part of the product - so it is only those that aren't which could be an issue. The format of parm files is text - so if needed they could be emailed, for example.

And if there are parm files with generally useful elements that we do not already ship inside the distro, we are always open to donations!! 

Adam


Re: Does a custom parameter file need to be included with an exported .xtc file.

Joost van der Waa
 

100% correct


Re: Does a custom parameter file need to be included with an exported .xtc file.

Phil in gorgeous Young Harris
 

On Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 02:22 AM, Adam Richards wrote:
In short, yes. The .xtc file does not depend on parameter file contents, the elements are all copied/cloned into the layout.
Am I correct in thinking that the other person reviewing the design can see everything just like the original designer (who has all the parameter files), but modifications to the drawing may require those files?
 
--
Phil from gorgeous Young Harris, Georgia, USA
Digitrax, HO, WiThrottle, Arduino


Re: Input error - track segment not on path #beta #Parameter

Adam Richards
 

Peter,
The N-Kato-Unitram file is shipped inside the product itself. Go to File->Parameter Files->Library and search for Kato.  The Unitram file should be listed. Hit "Add" and then "OK". 

The old parm file would still be loaded at startup in Mac case even after being deleted from Windows because they have different settings files so it needs to be removed from each using the Parameter Files Menu. (Unload). 

Adam


Re: Input error - track segment not on path #beta #Parameter

Peter Borcherds
 

Seems I spoke too soon!  This error only occurs on XTrackCad on my Mac. I can open the same file on my PC and it works fine, as soon as I open it on my Mac, it shows this error - I have loaded the same parameter files on both computers - I downloaded these from the files in this forum - is there another source for the parameter files?
--

Peter Borcherds

BNSF Chicago Sub in N Scale
N Scale Commuter, Freight & Switching Layout

Website: https://www.chicagosubnscale.com/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ-9Z-cHsMP5gw3ZXoOezLA
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chicagosubnscale

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chicagosubnscale/


Re: Does a custom parameter file need to be included with an exported .xtc file.

Joost van der Waa
 

In addition to the answer of Adam: the current beta release is using a slightly different format for the .xtc files.
This means that once this version goes public and you move to that version, you friends have to use the same version too.
However, there is no problem in reading older files from a previous version.


Re: Does a custom parameter file need to be included with an exported .xtc file.

Adam Richards
 

In short, yes. The .xtc file does not depend on parameter file contents, the elements are all copied/cloned into the layout.

Adam


Does a custom parameter file need to be included with an exported .xtc file.

Milt Perkins
 

Group,

I belong to a club that is building an extension to the current layout. I'm the designer of the layout on paper using XTrackCad. I will be exporting copies of the .xtc file to a "group.io" group.  In the past I have exported the layout in .pdf form for approval. A couple of new member use XTrackCAd and want to view the file.

The .xtc file will have items in the parameter list that I have drawn and use. The other users will not have a copy of this list on their computers

I guess my question is "Does an .xtc file carry the information pulled from the parameter files (i e a building drawn for this layout and saved). This question comes from my CAD day where a newer version file might not show a feature when opened with an older version.


Re: +Topography #background

Robert Scott
 

Thanks for the information. I doubted that we could "spray paint".
That is the effect I have in mind, smooth shading. Multiple polygons work.

B
On Monday, October 19, 2020, 04:59:28 p.m. EDT, Adam Richards <adamjmrichards@...> wrote:


This work has shown me that the color pallette works in inscrutable ways, making it very difficult to create and save a suitable gradation of colors.

This is a hangover from the days when XTrackCAD was born.  Those of long memory may recall that early graphics hw support had to use a limited "palette" of colors. You could have any color you wanted but only 16 or 256 different colors.  So it is that today, the colors users input are still "clustered" into a limited palette by seeing how far "off" a color is from ones already in use. 

One of the advantages of moving to a universal GTK3 would be to get away from this heritage and just use the "real" colors as input. 

In that area are also the potential of including transparency (alpha) with colors, gradient fills (and maybe pattern/hatch fills as well). 

Spray painting, however, is likely going to be beyond a vector-based (rather than raster-based) program. Things get complex with zooms and so forth. 

Adam


Re: +Topography #background

Adam Richards
 

This work has shown me that the color pallette works in inscrutable ways, making it very difficult to create and save a suitable gradation of colors.

This is a hangover from the days when XTrackCAD was born.  Those of long memory may recall that early graphics hw support had to use a limited "palette" of colors. You could have any color you wanted but only 16 or 256 different colors.  So it is that today, the colors users input are still "clustered" into a limited palette by seeing how far "off" a color is from ones already in use. 

One of the advantages of moving to a universal GTK3 would be to get away from this heritage and just use the "real" colors as input. 

In that area are also the potential of including transparency (alpha) with colors, gradient fills (and maybe pattern/hatch fills as well). 

Spray painting, however, is likely going to be beyond a vector-based (rather than raster-based) program. Things get complex with zooms and so forth. 

Adam


Re: +Topography #background

Robert Scott
 

Good day Joost,
There are topo maps around that use shading to represent elevation above a reference point. The advantage is the drawing is not cluttered with lines and numbers.
This work has shown me that the color pallette works in inscrutable ways, making it very difficult to create and save a suitable gradation of colors.
Being able to "spray paint" the layout table, in the manner of Windows Paint, would be a tremendous help. Export the layout to Windows Paint, do the shading, then import back??
I do believe that this type of design aid would result in "better builds." The landscape can be used to create view blocks and control the perspective of viewers, but without tracks and the table, it is difficult to visualize the landscape needed as part of the design process.
I would guess it's all about "better builds."

B

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 08:03:12 a.m. EDT, Joost van der Waa <register@...> wrote:


Hi Robert,

For me the shading was not really showing the topography. Actually, If you hadn't asked this, I would not even have noticed it in the 3D-view.
Give the fact that the Xtrackcad objects are flat, the 3D-view will always be limited.
For me the 3D-view helped me to show some errors I made in indicating the proper height.

Joost


Re: +Topography #background

Joost van der Waa
 

Hi Robert,

For me the shading was not really showing the topography. Actually, If you hadn't asked this, I would not even have noticed it in the 3D-view.
Give the fact that the Xtrackcad objects are flat, the 3D-view will always be limited.
For me the 3D-view helped me to show some errors I made in indicating the proper height.

Joost


Re: Mouse cursor issues Beta 3.0-1 #beta #Windows

Joost van der Waa
 

Hi Adam,

Given you explanation I would say: add the option, if that is relatively easy.

My personal preference would still be to get rid of the arrowhead cursor, for me it does not really add precision. Would it be an option to give the user the choice between cursor shapes to solve the issues? With the system cursor you don't have to hide/show anything...

Joost


Re: Mouse cursor issues Beta 3.0-1 #beta #Windows

Adam Richards
 

The deal is we have to pick between some imperfect solutions as we navigate between platforms and windowing systems. The situation of cursors and their behavior as they move between what are actually two separate widgets/windows (hotbar and drawing area) on Unix&Mac/Windows is not fully under our control.  We are building on some divergent underlying technology stacks. As a result, the implementation is a compromise between competing user interests/requests. On the one side is precision and clarity of effect. On the other is ubiquity of the system cursor in spite of the misleading impression.

In V5.2 we did not originally suppress the system cursor (cross-hairs) at all. This led to having two "cursors" (system cursor and the specialized prompt/anchor which could be in a different place due to magnetic snapping) and was complained about by users in some bug tickets and feature requests because (on Windows at least) different system cursor "effects" could be set in such a way that it inverted colors or otherwise got in the way of the XtrkCAD prompt/anchor and didn't show precisely where the action would take place.  The suggestion that users could disable that type of behaviour in the Windows preferences was not deemed adequate.  So then we added code that (imperfectly in a couple of cases, see below) suppressed the system cursor if the specialized cursor was drawn on the drawing surface.  You'll see that in most cases, this ensures only one cursor shown at a time, so the effect of what a user will do if they click is clear. 

There were some clear cases where the cursor was being suppressed too long (all ones we have found so far have been fixed and will be included the upcoming Beta V3.1 version). I also added some "belt and suspenders" code to always reset cursor state when a new command is run as well as after Esc.

However, there is still the issue that (on Windows and not UNIX) there seems to be a "buffer-zone" where the system does not  signal us that we have moved into the other window even though we have moved a long way into the hotbar and so doesn't allow us to turn the cursor on again. I imagine that may be related to not setting the focus to be on that hotbar window (doing so has negative effects the other way round when moving off it and back to the surface as you would have to click twice (once to gain focus, once to do the action). To cope with the system buffering, I have added some more code that keeps/restores the system cursor when within 20px of the drawing window edge (in-spite of the cries of pain from the overlay crowd, no doubt). 

The price of fixing the "but you left part of an XTrackCAD cursor stranded on the edge of the drawing area" complaint, would be that we suppress drawing that cursor when close to the edges as well (swap cursors). This would reduce the knowledge and precision of any specialized cursors/snapping in that buffer zone, however.  

I am not inclined to move back to V5.1, since that would remove a large amount of the usability gains of showing the user what will happen and where.

What we could do is to have an option that says (don't suppress system cursor). I suspect that those who requested the change to suppress the cursor are among those that now dislike the suppressed cursor...  But it would be relatively easy to give the option.  

This is not, of course, an excuse to not fix any remaining suppression circumstances as they occur.

Adam




 

 


Re: +Topography #background

Robert Scott
 

Have the viewer thanks.
It's the topography between the tracks and structures that I am trying to represent with shading, light to dark, low to high.
Is it successful?

B

On Monday, October 12, 2020, 11:10:50 a.m. EDT, Joost van der Waa <register@...> wrote:


Something like this?
I used Xtrkcad viewer, see http://mwik.altervista.org/


Re: +Topography #background

Joost van der Waa
 

Something like this?
I used Xtrkcad viewer, see http://mwik.altervista.org/


+Topography #background

Robert Scott
 

Good morning.
There has been interest in having a 3D view of our designs, before commiting saw to wood. Often, what looks good on "paper" doesn't work out in practice.
Attached is a layout file, Beta 3.0, with a color topo created in layers 14 to 21. Play with the colors, turn the layers on and off, see how they have been modified.

I am interested in how well the topo layers work, how well they aid in visualizing the finished product,
It's also a hell of a lot of work. Shortcuts, anyone??

B


Re: Mouse cursor issues Beta 3.0-1 #beta #Windows

Peter Borcherds
 

Yes, I experienced the same issue last night (Windows 10). Haven’t tested it on my Mac yet.
--

Peter Borcherds

BNSF Chicago Sub in N Scale
N Scale Commuter, Freight & Switching Layout

Website: https://www.chicagosubnscale.com/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ-9Z-cHsMP5gw3ZXoOezLA
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chicagosubnscale

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chicagosubnscale/


Re: Beta 3.01 Error when Grouping - No Endpts #Bug

Adam Richards
 

Known bug at Beta 3.0 - all groups with no tracks are complaining - fix already pushed to BSF.

Adam

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