[therion] Queries and comments on 0.2.17

Stacho Mudrak s.m at speleo.sk
Wed Feb 11 09:47:40 CET 2004

I'm sorry, currently I'm short of time, but I'll try to write down at least some comments.

> How do I control overlap at joins? I have drawn a couple of scraps and at
> the place where they join there are contour lines on one scrap and
> ceilinglines on another that sort of intermingle. When drawn up therion put
> one scrap on top of the other and invents a 'join line' that covers quite a
> lot of the neighboring scrap. I need transparency, or a complex 'join line'.
> What is the best way to deal with this? Do scraps have
> to have perfect joins? Can I draw a join line?

I'm sorry, but this I do not understand :((( Could you please draw me exactly what you have in your mind?

Joining two scraps together covers only joining the walls - not the lines inside. They can be joined only by detail specification, you mentioned below.

> Also I tried to control the join in more detail by specifying that the ends
> of lines join but the syntax didn't work. What's wrong with this:
> join farsidewest:0 at farside2.river farsidewest2:end at farside.river
> (farsidewest are farsidewest2 are 'wall' lines).

Nothing - it should work. If it does not - it's certainly a bug. Does therion generates an error or it simply does not join the lines? Did you tried this without :point specification (just farsidewest at farside2.river farsidewest2 at farside.river)? This should work also.

> bugs:
> In .th files - if you use
> data normal ignore ignore ignore ignore newline tape compass clino then
> every LRUD line must be followed by a data line, including the last one
> If you s/ignore ignore ignore ignore/left right up down/ then it ignores
> absence of TCC part in the last line, but not in lines in the middle of a run.
> This is inconsistnet with survex behaviour (which will let you give LRUD
> info for a station and then stop - without subsequent TCC info)

OK. This is a bug. I'll write it down.

> In the test editor, using above: data normal left right up down newline tape compass clino and
> then 'scan format' to get data table to have correct boxes is OK but when
> you enter data it appears as
> tape compass clino
> station left right up down
> which is the wrong order.

This is not a bug. I just thought, that putting interleaved (or how you call this style) data, is more natural when TO station is inserted and not FROM station. So I enter empty cells for TAPE, COMPASS, CLINO, enter the first STATION and it's LRUD data. Then I enter TCC data and TO station and it's LRUD. This can be changed or I can add there a check box, which style you like.

> When a created file is re-read every blank line gets a 'text' entry in the
> file commands section, and when saved ends up as 3 blank lines - whitespace
> text entries shouldn't appear.

I thought, I've removed all such bugs. But do not have this experience. Do you have a "text" item before each point, line? If yes, this has probably something to do EOLN characters. Do you have the same experience on each operating system?

> If I try to zoom in to 200% therion just crashes (64MB machine, 3.8Mb pnm file)
> Is this expected?

200% of 3.8Mb = 4Mb original image + 16Mb scaled image + 20Mb canvas RGBA buffer = 40MB = 60% of RAM. This may be a problem, especially on some operating systems.

> It certainly makes it hard to draw boulders properly as I
> can;'t do stations very close together. The keys list suggets that I can
> hold down shift to create a station close to another station, but I have not
> suceeded - how exactly does it work?

The keys list is wrong - it's Control key :) Thanks.

> wishlist items:
> It would be _really_ good to have png support in Xtherion? GIFs are a pain
> for free software and pnm and ppm are huge. What needs to be done?

Tcl/Tk supports only these file types. But:

Install Img plug-in into your Tcl installation. On Win32 ActiveTcl it's included.
Add "package require Img" into your xtherion.ini file - and you'll be able to use all image files :))) (I've tryied it now and it worked - I was just too lazy before) Please let me know, if you will find out the linux version of this plug-in - it would be very usefull also for us :)

OK, I'll add these two things to xtherion and if Img plug-in will be detected, all image file types will be supported also in the image open window.

> Shortcuts for moving things between scraps would be helpful, otherwise it's
> 'move down' about 100 times. Is there a better way?

Right. No way right now. I'll think about it (adding a button move to scrap).

> Entering stations - ther is a space for 'id' but not name, which you need to
> enter for every station. Indeed why is the id not the name?

This is hard to explain, may be later.

> It's very tedious if you need to change a number of entries - need shortcuts
> to move between boxes in RH-side or to scroll up and down items in the file
> summary. e.g if you need to change all the station ids to names. Need to be
> able to navigate file commands with keys.

We have in our minds building much more intuitive user interface, but...

Anyway, you can use text editor and regular expressions find and replace...

> graphical stuff
> Air drafts need to be able to specify number of ticks - this is used to
> indicate wind strength
> The QMs ('continuation point) come out really small on my survey.
> Where do I control the size?

Can be done via changing the metapost codes (and using scale option - may be, scale option works already now (I'm not sure - you can try) for the wind ticks). We will write something to this later.

> The debris area symbol looks terrible. I want a quick way to fill in areas
> of rocks - needs randomised rocks of some sort with controls over size and
> density. Tunnel (java) has good code for this, with an arrow that control
> desity gradient. Borrow code?

Firstly, we had randomized symbols in therion. Than we've removed them and we're using only symbols (in most cases, it's enought). In the last time, we're again on a way to put them back to therion - so any ideas in this field are welcome.

> Areas need some way of working out if they are 'connected' or not. The
> current scheme is hopeless - very cryptic messages which give no clue which
> area is at fault. Editing them is a real pain as you find the text in the
> file (takes a while, especially with all the blank ones) but then as soon as
> you click on a line to adjust it you lose the text again. An entry method
> that lets you 'group' some lines into an area might be best - especially if
> it auto-allocated the names.

This is already in TODO list.

> There is a real problem with editing a file and using xtherion at the same
> time - even F1 and F2 type editing. Therion just saves the map version over
> any other version you might have created. It needs to check for 'newer on disk' or
> something. Until the map interface is better there is a real need to edit
> the file by hand too. This is a tricky problem but it definately needs work
> before many people will use it.


> Ticks are too close together on pitches.
> How do I change the default for contour lines to al have 'none' (no downside
> tick mark)? I don't want to add -tick none on every contour - I want to set
> a default.

Again, you have to edit metapost code, and than in the layout use symbol-set CUCC :)

> How does the slope line symbol work? It just seemst od raw a lot of
> overlapping lines for me. How does it differ from the contour line?

This is complicated, and there are also some bugs in metapost code. We will write about this later.

Last thing: thanks a lot for your feedback. We'll think about it a lot...


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