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Re: Patch for layers panel

From: Ralf Engels
Subject: Re: Patch for layers panel
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 20:30:44 +0100

> Ralf Engels <address@hidden> writes:
> > Ok, seems like there are some errors still in. You are right, dragging
> > can not work.
> Would be nice if it did work, though :)

Ok. As soon as the current patch is applied I start working on new additions.

> > I don't know how easy it is to manage the layers by the tree view.
> > I have played around with a project called GILT (see my homepage).
> Which one of them? I had actually tried the GTK/OpenGL based one at one
> point :).

Yes. I played around a lot.

> > It had a
> > tree view for all object.
> > This did not work as well as I thought it should. The problem is that
> > drawing is two dimensional.
> > Any type of list-representation is only one dimensional and thus does not
> > match. It confuses a lot.
> The real structure of the document is not purely two-dimensional,
> though. It's a nested hierarchy of objects. The normal WYSIWYG diplay
> only shows a projection of this.
> A tree-view is a pretty good way to illustrate the vertical structure of
> the drawing IMO. What's not obvious enough perhaps is the connection
> between an item in the tree and the object in the WYSIWYG window.

Yes. A tree is not one dimensional. But the tree list is, at least for the 

You will lose a lot important relations. In the list, two neighbour shapes can 
appear at totaly different places.
Big object don't look different. On the other hand, object with a lot of 
transformations get a very long entry.

I don't say that the tree view is useless (e.g. a lot of CAD progams use it) 
but that there has to be a better way.

> > Maybe it could be better to show object relations on the drawing area
> > with colored lines.
> Apart from nesting there aren't really any special relations among
> objects in Sketch. Even blend- and mask-groups are just groups from a
> certain perspective although some of their children are treated
> specially.
> How would you indicate nesting in the drawing area?

I thought about this a little bit.
This is my vision of the tree-view.

The object-properties dialog is different depending on what object is 

Multiple object selected:
It shows a list of all the object with a short description. If you click on 
one of these (select it in the list), the corresponding object in the big 
window gets selected.
Additional the object-dialog changes it's outlook (because a new object is 

Normal object is selected:
Normal, but there is a button with "Parent Object" and a short description. 
When selected see above.

Group object selected:
List with all grouped object simmilar to multiple objects
Button with "ungroup"

Simmilar to group.
Button with "remove transformation"

In this way you have a usefull feature without the problems of the nomal 
tree-view which are:
not enough place for usefull description of the object
only operations on the list are select, double click and drag. No place for 
a lot of not needed information is shown (like 1000+ lines or 100+ nodes for 
one line.) 

> > I wanted the following mechanism:
> > If at least one object is selected, the layer is selected in the layer
> > panel as well.
> > If you select another layer, the selected object are moved to this layer.
> This might be too different from the way it works in 0.6, though.
> Especially the latter.
> > This is how it works in Freehand.
> Interesting. I've only briefly played around with a demo version of that
> a few years ago. Didn't notice that.
> What the active layer in Sketch is mostly used for is to determine on
> which layer to place newly drawn objects. How does Freehand determine
> that?

The active layer is only shown in the layer view, if no object is selected.
So if nothing is selected it works like before. 

>    Bernhard


Ralf Engels
Software design engineer

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