I’ve been working on the Linkage software a little bit lately. There has not been enough time to add cams, a long-time desire of mine, but I was able to fix a few bugs and make a few tweaks. Here are some new and changed features:
- Add the ability to paste plain text files that were copied from a text editor as long as they have the correct Linkage content. This will make using shared files easier if they open in a text editor by accident.
- Improved look of checkbox controls in the tool bar.
- Fixed a bug related to fastening points to connectors; loading a file or pasting the content would lose the fastening.
- Added an angle measurement “line” feature. All drawing lines are actually links on a drawing layer that get drawn as a line. Measurement lines are no different. The new features lets you add a measurement line that is a polyline with two segments (with more being allowed). The angle of each segment pair is shown in degrees.
- Changed the order of elements in the element selection dialog. Now elements with user-assigned names are shown first. Then connectors, links, drawing points, and drawing lines, in that order (if I recall correctly). I just wanted to sort by importance and did the rest to try to make the list more useful.
- Added a “redo” feature in case too many undo operations caused a loss of info/data/mechanism.
- Fixed a sliding connection simulation bug. There is code to slide a link along two connectors while being positioned by a third sliding connection of some type. In some situations, the code would try to do this when there is no third sliding connection and that caused a simulator failure.
- Fixed the manual simulation controls so they look right on high DPI displays. They are drawn using some old Windows drawing features that had no built-in scaling for high DPI displays.
- Changed the “S” key to make a sliding connection instead of stopping the simulation. Now to stop the simulation, the “R” key is used (since it is the “run simulation” key). I really want to get rid of the Stop button but I can’t find a way to change the look of the Run in the tool bar when the simulation is running. Making it change to be a stop button would be handy since only one or the other is ever needed.
- Improved the snapping of sliders to the sliding path. When dragging the connector that defines the path of a slider, the slider had been moving to be the same percentage along the path as it was before the change. Now is stays as close to the same position in the mechanism space as possible. this means that moving the end of the path will not change the slider position at all in many cases.
- Fixed a total failure to position sliding connectors properly in some cases. I had made a change to the Linkage geometry code to make angles more consistent and to match typical cartesian coordinate angles. Those changes totally screwed up sliding connector simulations.
- Anchors are now exported with motion paths. I had a request for this and a request to make the file a CSV file so it can be used in spreadsheets (I think). I haven’t gotten to that but I did add the anchors to what is exported. of course, they only have one point since they don’t move.
- I reduce the precision of the numbers on the screen to only three decimal places. I don’ t have any measuring tools that have 1/10,000th accuracy so the extra digit was mostly useless.
That’s about it for recent changes. I think that the last few might already be out there in the most recent release.
I can’t make a new release for a while because my security certificate expired. Having to pay by the year for something that should never expire is stupid. it’s just pure profit for Symantec and the few others that charge excessive amounts for something that costs them almost nothing to produce. That is clearly evident by the fact that there are resellers that sell those same certificates for 1/4 or less of the price. In fact, I just ordered a certificate good for three years for less than half the cost of a Symantec certificate good for only one year! I just need to finish the process of ending my DL and passport info so they can check my background even though it’s already been checked many many times by these people. it’s a scam for sure, but MS supports the scam and I want to have secure certified software.