[PythonCAD] Consistency in operations in PythonCAD

Stuart Brorson sdb at cloud9.net
Wed Dec 14 13:28:04 CET 2005

Hi -- 

> > but I'd like to hear from
> > people familiar with other CAD packages, particularly AutoCAD, how
> > similar operations are performed. Does the program require you to select
> > entities first, or do you start some move command mode and then specify
> > which entities will be moved?
> I can't recall how AutoCAD does it, but it used to be annoyingly inconsistent.
> My elderly version of IntelliCAD allows both:
> 1. When idle, a click selects objects. A right-click then pops up the context 
> menu, which has 'move' as a choice.
> 2. On the other hand, if I select 'move' from the pull-down menus, I get 
> prompted to make a selection, a displacemet etc.
> Option 1 (the context menu move) has my preference: no need to travel to the 
> top of the screen to pull down a menu, the pointer goes straight to the 
> object to select and stays there.

I like this idea, and can consider implementing a right-button context
window to complement the top-window menu bar and the <alt>-hotkeys.
Art has done a fine job with architecting the program so extensions
like this are easy. 

> An alternative way - used by gschem - would be to use a combination of a 
> keyboard hotkey (e.g. 'm' to move something) and a mouse click (to select the 
> object). This is really quick. once you get the hang of it.

PythonCAD now uses hotkeys.  The first key is generally pressed with
<alt>.  For example, to do a horizontal move, you do
<alt>-e s ("edit", "select"), then click on the object to select.
The selected object highlights.  Then you press <alt>-m m h (for
"modify", "move", "horizontal"), and the object moves (and the
highlight is cleared).

Gschem, BTW, also has a pop-up menu which you get with a right mouse
button click.  I like the way one drives gschem: It idles in the
"select" mode, it maintains a strict "select
then act" paradigm, and you have three ways to select the action:
top-window menu, keyboard shortcut, and right mouse button pop-up
menu.  I think PythonCAD could work the same way, and it's currently
not far off from this behavior anyway.   


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