I removed the option to show and hide the status bar in my linkage program but now I’m thinking about removing the status bar. With all of the popup tooltip help available in the ribbon bar and considering that no one looks at the status bar, what is the point? of it?

I’m off on a business trip so I can’t work on my program or post much about it. I’m still discovering new and unusual special cases for the sliding connectors and I’m thinking of just removing the feature completely. There are a few mechanisms that can’t be built without a sliding connector but the more complex mechanisms that I can’t simulate right now are far fetched anyhow. I’m undecided on the whole thing.

Gears and chains/pulleys would be interesting although showing them graphically is troublesome. Here are the things I’m considering adding:

* Gears
* Pulleys
* Connector to connector length input via the keyboard.
* Locking of link dimensions so that any lengths set with the keyboard remain fixed. How will I allow for dragging of things with this set for some links and not others? How do I display this?
* Inputs for non-anchor links. This is similar to how a gear or pulley system might work. Consider a motorized rotating device that’s stuck on the end of another rotating arm like on a robot.
* Scaling of dimensions.
* Display of dimensions on or near the links themselves. Do I show the hull dimensions or the distances from each connector to every other connector in the link? I think it must show all dimensions.

These are just some ideas. Gears and pulleys are at the top of the list and I need to work on how to display them, how to store the information, and how to allow the ratios to get edited. I think that if three gears are all touching and the user tried to grab the point where two gears meet and drag that point, the ration needs to change while also moving the center point of one of the gears. It’s that or make three gears invalid. They’re invalid in real life anyhow and any circle of gears that is an odd number won’t work. Still, for an even number of gears in a circle, a ratio change might require once or more gears to change location as well as size. This is going to be tricky.