Feature Request: Window Management Improvements

john's Avatar


07 Feb, 2016 08:10 AM

Dear NodeBox team,

I've been meaning to make this request for over a year now. Actually a few requests, ranked from extremely easy to harder but more useful...

Every single time I open NodeBox I go through the same little dance to adjust the overall window, then the height of the Properties pane, then the width of the main viewing area, then panning and zooming to get the view where I left it before, then panning and zooming to locate the sometimes hard to find network and bring it back to where I left it. Not too big a deal except that I have to do it every single time I open a NodeBox file A few simple changes would save every user this frustration and wasted time every day of the year:

1. Instead of setting the default height of the Properties pane to half the height of the window, set it to just tall enough to contain the six ports of a textpath node, about 230 pixels. The Properties pane never needs half the screen height; giving it a realistic default height would not only save one step every time but would also do a better job of communicating its purpose to new users. I would think such a change would only take you a minute and should not cause any problems. It's a very minor change, but it would help.

2. MUCH better, but slightly harder: remember the last state of the main screen - the window size, the position of all the panes, the zoom and pan of the main viewing area, and the zoom and pan of the network area. To do this, I assume you would have to add these settings to the Document Properties and store them in the .ndbx file. This would allow users to just launch the file they are working on and go straight to work without any fiddling.

3. Even better but a little harder: remember the last zoom and pan position of every subnetwork. For some reason, whenever I open a subnetwork I almost always get a blank network screen and have to go looking for the nodes, sometimes zooming way out and panning like mad to find them. I finally get the nodes where I want them, but when I close the subnetwork I have to go through the same thing each time I reopen it. Some new users file bug reports saying their subnetworks have disappeared when in fact they are just hiding. The ideal solution would be to simply remember the last zoom and pan position for each subnetwork. This would mean storing these properties for every subnetwork in the ndbx file. As a fallback, I wonder if you could at least improve the default opening algorithm so that at least some part of a subnetwork is always within view when you open it.

Bonus Points. For those of us with multiple monitors, it would be nice to be able to detach the network and property panes altogether. This would even let me use my iPad to display and zoom the main view screen using Astropad or Duet.

Thanks, as always, for listening. Any hints as to when the next version is coming out?


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