Geometer » Forums » Multiplication/division of lengths/radii
azmr
Andrew Reece
24 posts
1 project

Ergonomics student and maker of things

#13354 Multiplication/division of lengths/radii
3 weeks, 5 days ago Edited by Andrew Reece on Oct. 28, 2017, 10:06 p.m.

In the next update of Geometer, you'll be able to use set lengths/radii. I think it will be useful to subdivide and multiply these quickly by integer factors. The number keys seem an obvious candidate for this, but if you go with the most obvious mathematical interpretation (divide/times the length by the number), 1 becomes useless, wasting 10% of the buttons.

I'm wondering whether you think it might be reasonable to bump each number up one (1 -> divide/times by 2), with the following mental model (where you imagine lengths drawn as straight lines):

  • Divide - number of subdivisions (e.g. 1 in the centre)
  • Times - number of times you add the current length to itself
What do you think?

Alternatively, if you can think of a meaningful use for '1' for times and/or divide, that would also be very helpful!

Any input is appreciated.
mrmixer
Simon Anciaux
286 posts
#13358 Multiplication/division of lengths/radii
3 weeks, 3 days ago

That would limit things to multiplications / divisions by 2 to 11 (if you use 0). What about just typing any number (e.g. 157) and press enter to validate ?
azmr
Andrew Reece
24 posts
1 project

Ergonomics student and maker of things

#13459 Multiplication/division of lengths/radii
2 weeks, 1 day ago

Hi Simon,

Apologies for the delay in responding!

I've been thinking about why my suggestion felt intuitively right, and I think it comes down to 3 main points:

  1. I want this to be really quick, with minimal input. As soon as the user has to enter numbers and then hit enter, either the right hand has to come off the mouse or the left hand has to move a lot. That doesn't sound like much, but it adds up quickly if you're changing lengths often.
  2. Uncommon to use factors larger than that, and I want to keep the feeling similar to what you'd do if designing by hand
  3. It's possible to create multiples of any length by creating points along a line (one common way to do it if drafting by hand) - admittedly much slower...

I feel like there was another reason, but I forget it now...

I'll have a think about whether there's an appropriate input scheme for free number entry (but I plan to keep the most-used factors available via a single button(-combination).
mrmixer
Simon Anciaux
286 posts
#13462 Multiplication/division of lengths/radii
2 weeks, 1 day ago

I though you were talking about the numpad keys so you already had let go of the mouse. If you are talking about the numbers above the letters, note that on some keyboard layouts those key are not numbers or require to press shift to access the numbers (e.g. French keyboard layouts).

I suggested that because it's how they do it in Blender for every tools and it is (in my opinion) fast and works for any number. It also let you preview the result: until you press enter you can type/erase numbers to see what it will do and cancel if you change your mind.