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#363 - 06/07/01 03:01 PM Usability Questions
Edward Klein Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 334
Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
I've got a couple of questions regarding usability of Caesar and I haven't been able to find solutions yet:

1. Is there a way to turn off the pop up window that comes up every time I uncheck a box (i.e. delete a support, etc) in the spreadsheet? I know I deleted a support, that's what I wanted to do. Having a box pop-up to tell me is generally insulting and a waste of time.

2. Clicking check boxes in the spreadsheet. It always takes a double click to activate a check box. Most check boxes in other programs I've used are single click. Is there a way to set it for single click in Caesar?

3. Liberal Stress Allowable - Is there a registry or configuration setting to have this OFF by default? I almost always have a wasted run as I forget to go and uncheck this and don't get reminded until I see the results screen.

4. List Input - I'm finding that in the list input screen, there are many boxes that won't accept editing, an example is the operating design load on the hangers tab. I have to work with reviewing a lot of operational systems where I have to guess the spring designs based on measurements in the field and I have to "design" the springs to the hot load that I can read. Afterwards, I hard code the cold load and spring rate to use the "designed" spring in a modified design (tie-in, reroute, etc). I can quickly go through the list input to fill in the cold loads and spring constants, but I cannot remove the hot design values in the list. I have to go to each individual screen and that wastes time.

5. Function Keys - Most of the people in my group are finally moving off of the DOS version 3.24 of CAESAR II. The biggest complaint about the windows version so far (aside from being much, much slower) is the loss of function keys to navigate the spreadsheet input. Input into the spreadsheet is much slower in Windows vs. DOS as you have to keep moving from keyboard to enter info to mouse to navigate the screen and back. Will we see the functionality of the shortcut keys restored in a future release? Or perhaps a move to a new input paradigm that makes better use of the graphical environment an the mouse to build piping models?

6. The up arrow doesn't work correctly in the restraint window. Hitting any of the arrow keys in the restraint portion of the spread sheet will only move to the next field down. In order to move back up, so far, the only way I've found is to use the mouse.

If any of these are settings I can change, please let me know how.

Thanks,
--ED
_________________________
Edward L. Klein
Pipe Stress Engineer

All the world is a Spring

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#364 - 06/08/01 02:11 PM Re: Usability Questions
Anonymous
Unregistered


Edward Klein;

1. Is there a way to turn off the pop up window that comes up every time I uncheck a box (i.e. delete a support, etc) in the spreadsheet? I know I deleted a support, that's what I wanted to do. Having a box pop-up to tell me is generally insulting and a waste of time.

The pop-up box requires an additional click or one more [Enter], which could save valuable time if you, like many users, inadvertently delete fields that should not be deleted. With the UNDO key in place the pop-up warning box may be phased out. Once users get familiar with the UNDO key, learn that it is there and that it can be used, then pop-up box will no longer be necessary.

2. Clicking check boxes in the spreadsheet. It always takes a double click to activate a check box. Most check boxes in other programs I've used are single click. Is there a way to set it for single click in Caesar?

In the CAESAR II program a single click in the piping input spreadsheet only displays the data in that field, while double clicking activates or deactivates the field - in other words, every time you tried to simply display the auxiliary spreadsheet you would end up deleting it. Double clicking is necessary for the multiple functionality of the field.

3. Liberal Stress Allowable - Is there a registry or configuration setting to have this OFF by default? I almost always have a wasted run as I forget to go and uncheck this and don't get reminded until I see the results screen.

The capability of setting the Liberal Stress Allowable in the configuration file is being considered for CAESAR II Version 4.40. In the meantime, specifying the allowable should serve as a reminder to turn off Liberal Stress Allowable, giving a warning would require an additional click on user's side.

4. List Input - I'm finding that in the list input screen, there are many boxes that won't accept editing, an example is the operating design load on the hangers tab. I have to work with reviewing a lot of operational systems where I have to guess the spring designs based on measurements in the field and I have to "design" the springs to the hot load that I can read. Afterwards, I hard code the cold load and spring rate to use the "designed" spring in a modified design (tie-in, reroute, etc). I can quickly go through the list input to fill in the cold loads and spring constants, but I cannot remove the hot design values in the list. I have to go to each individual screen and that wastes time.

Yes, there is a user interface error in the input of Operating Load in the List Input. This problem will be fixed in the next build for CAESAR II Version 4.30. You mentioned "many boxes", which other input fields are you referring to?

5. Function Keys - Most of the people in my group are finally moving off of the DOS version 3.24 of CAESAR II. The biggest complaint about the windows version so far (aside from being much, much slower) is the loss of function keys to navigate the spreadsheet input. Input into the spreadsheet is much slower in Windows vs. DOS as you have to keep moving from keyboard to enter info to mouse to navigate the screen and back. Will we see the functionality of the shortcut keys restored in a future release? Or perhaps a move to a new input paradigm that makes better use of the graphical environment an the mouse to build piping models?

When we switched to the Windows interface, we tried to develop a compromise input style that both adhered to the Windows standards yet still closely mimicked the CAESAR II DOS interface. For example, in addition to use of the mouse to navigate fields, we also permit [TAB] and [shift]-[TAB] (Windows standards) as well as [ENTER] and Up- and Down-Arrows (DOS CAESAR II navigation keys). It's true that we didn't migrate the function keys -- we will review the possibility of restoring those in a future release (I believe that yours is the first request that we do so). And yes - we are working toward a new input paradigm which will permit building the model in a totally graphic environment.

6. The up arrow doesn't work correctly in the restraint window. Hitting any of the arrow keys in the restraint portion of the spread sheet will only move to the next field down. In order to move back up, so far, the only way I've found is to use the mouse.

You are right - Up-Arrow doesn't work on the restraint screen; we will have to fix that (it probably has something to do with the fact that there is a drop-list present on that screen; an Up-Arrow on a drop list has a different function - scroll back through the list). Thanks for pointing this out. In the mean time, try using [Ctrl] [Tab] to move to the next field and [Shift] [Ctrl] [Tab] to move to the previous field.

Griselda Mani
Engineer/Programmer

COADE, Inc.

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#365 - 06/11/01 06:50 AM Re: Usability Questions
Edward Klein Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 334
Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Yes, there is a user interface error in the input of Operating Load in the List Input. This problem will be fixed in the next build for CAESAR II Version 4.30. You mentioned "many boxes", which other input fields are you referring to?

>>>>There are a few others. I'll make note of them as I come across them again and post a follow up. The spring spreadsheet stuck in my mind as it was the most recent.
>>>>>>

When we switched to the Windows interface, we tried to develop a compromise input style that both adhered to the Windows standards yet still closely mimicked the CAESAR II DOS interface. For example, in addition to use of the mouse to navigate fields, we also permit [TAB] and [shift]-[TAB] (Windows standards) as well as [ENTER] and Up- and Down-Arrows (DOS CAESAR II navigation keys). It's true that we didn't migrate the function keys -- we will review the possibility of restoring those in a future release (I believe that yours is the first request that we do so). And yes - we are working toward a new input paradigm which will permit building the model in a totally graphic environment.

>>>>There are a lot of people in the group I work with who used the function keys to move around. One of the strengths of the DOS version, and of many DOS based programs, was that you never had to take your hands off the keyboard. With the Windows version, I find that I have to keep moving off to the mouse to effectively move around and it does greatly slow down coding time. With the spreadsheet input, there's not really a good reason to have it be so mouse dependant.
>>>>


You are right - Up-Arrow doesn't work on the restraint screen; we will have to fix that (it probably has something to do with the fact that there is a drop-list present on that screen; an Up-Arrow on a drop list has a different function - scroll back through the list). Thanks for pointing this out. In the mean time, try using [Ctrl] [Tab] to move to the next field and [Shift] [Ctrl] [Tab] to move to the previous field.

>>>>I'll try that one. Although, the arrow doesn't just not move up in the drop down box, it's the entire window.
_________________________
Edward L. Klein
Pipe Stress Engineer

All the world is a Spring

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