Saturday, 25 August 2012

Rack Planner Big Update 1.20

New Features: Show/Hide Screws, Show/Hide Rails, Show/Hide Screw Holes
Several new options have beeen added to the Options panel:
These new options - used in conjunction with the existing border thickness selector, hide feet and hide shadows - allow for a more minimalist appearance, should that be your thing...
New Feature: Snap To Sockets
Now it's going to start to get very interesting... Imagine if the rack planner knew where the sockets were on each module and automatically snapped your patch cables accurately to the correct place as you drew each of them onto your plan. Well, now it does. OK, you're going to need to teach it where the sockets are once for each module, but once done it's done. I plan on building a tool into the program that allows you to load a module in and interactively map it's sockets (and other controls). In the case of the uLFO below that would be just 13 clicks for the sockets.
I entered some coordinates for the uLFO's sockets to test this new idea and it works really well. It currently highlights any known 'hotspots' in green until you patch into one then it turns red. This red/green thing is purely a debug feature so I can see how well it's working, but I think you'll see how much easier this makes patching. Just click near a hotspot and the cable end snaps to it - same when you release. If no hotspots are defined, or you click/drop away from any hotspots then the cable just stays where you drop it.
New Feature: Knob Overlays
For patch notation a way of representing knob positions is required. Introducing 'Knob Overlays'. As with yesterday's 'socket hotspots' the knob positions need to be defined once per module. After that just drag a 'Knob Overlay' out from the still-to-be-coded 'Overlays Palette'. It would snap into place over the desired knob hotspot. Once placed a click and drag of the mouse will set the pointer position. The hotspot will also 'know' what the knob does so the descriptive 'Patch Sheet' will be able to say something like "Set uLFO FM2 knob to '8'". Switches, buttons and sliders (and maybe even LEDs with a 'Nighttime View' to see how blinky any given layout will be!) will be other overlays available from the palette. Overlays will be able to be turned on or off as per n0rd's suggestion to have the ability to hide patch cables.
Some kind words on tonight's progress from Muff's forum...
"I really want to use this thing, but every time you post it gets more awesome so I'll just shut up and keep being patient."
"Damn RichyHo. You're turning something cool, into something epically legendary. Hells yes!"


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