The next version of the Linkage software will have a lot of changes. Besides the changes I outlined in this post, there are other new changes that make the program look and act differently. There are also some additional bug fixes I didn’t mention before.
The popup element window has the previous connectors, links, and drawing elements, as well as the new angle measurement element and a circle element. No more having to drop in a drawing point and then changing it to be a circle.
The Simulate panel uses just one button for both RUN and STOP functions. And since the RUN button becomes a STOP button, the PAUSE button also needs to change when paused to be a RUN button. When the simulation is paused, I will try to show a “paused” message in the status bar. That’s not done yet but it’s on the list of things to do.
I may have already posted about the REDO feature. Of course, it’s a visual change to the UI as well.
The status bar is getting an update. It will now show information about what is selected. And of course, whenever elements are selected, they can be moved, scaled, and rotated, and the numbers on the left of the status bar reflect those changes (scaling and rotation, not movement… but maybe that’s possible with a little more work).
A lot of options that don’t change often have been moved to a separate preferences tab. This removes some of the clutter in the DETAILS menu. The “Motion as CSV” option is also new and causes motion path information to get exported in a better CSV format that is easy to parse and can be imported into spreadsheet apps.
Other non-visual changes that were not mentioned in my earlier post are:
- Connectors now snap horizontally and/or vertically to their original location when they are being dragged.
- Memory leak is fixed so the program doesn’t slowly use up memory while it runs.
- Links are allowed to stretch a tiny bit when their position is dictated by multiple other elements. This allows mechanisms to work even though the math has rounding errors that can “break” the mechanism. of course, this stretch (or compress) is around 1/10,000 of an inch and should not have any bad side-effects.
- Fixed a bug for some curved path sliding connections that totally broke mechanism movement.
- There is a new option to make a connector look like a point instead of a circle. This will make it easier to add shape to links so they look more like the finished parts they represent. Only connectors that don’t connector two or more links can be displayed this way (for now).
I will post more when I get close to releasing the update. I’m still waiting for my security certificate to arrive so I can publish the software securely and with my name in it.