My Reccommendations

Suggest new features for Stella.
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Nordehylop
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My Reccommendations

Post by Nordehylop » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:56 pm

I have been using Great Stella for a while (about 6 months or so) now, and I absolutely love it. Since I use it a lot, though, I have found a few things that I think could be improved in the next version. Most of them are little things:

1. When you changer the dimensions (radius, edge length, etc.) of a polyhedron, the window that pops up should show what measuring system it is set to (inches, cm...).

2. When in faceting mode, it would be helpful if the *last* vertex you selected were a different color, so that you could keep track of where you are when you are faceting and rotating the model around.

3. It would be nice if you could reset the default colors for the models. For example, you could set the "primary" default to blue, so that all models with one type of face would appear blue, not red.

4. A nice feature would be to have an alternate library of Magnus Wenninger's models available. In other words, the models in this library would appear with the same numbering as in his book.

The only big change that I would like to see is with the net printing. I have thought about it for a wile, and I think that the easiest solution would be to have a mode that you could go into where you could disable the borders around the nets and drag and rotate the nets on the pages, in whatever pattern you like. For example, if you print out the nets for the icosahedron (as twenty triangles as opposed to one big net), Stella will surround each triangle with a square, and then tile the squares on the page. If you could override this function and instead place the nets on the pages as you saw fit (for example, in a triangular tile formation), you could save a lot of paper.

I am sure that I will think of more ideas as I further explore this program, so this is not the end!
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robertw
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Re: My Reccommendations

Post by robertw » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:18 am

Nordehylop wrote:1. When you changer the dimensions (radius, edge length, etc.) of a polyhedron, the window that pops up should show what measuring system it is set to (inches, cm...).
There's probably lots of places I'd have to change it. Why is this important? I expect most users to set their prefered measuring system once and forget it. Even if you load a model made by someone else the lengths shown are converted to your prefered setting.
2. When in faceting mode, it would be helpful if the *last* vertex you selected were a different color, so that you could keep track of where you are when you are faceting and rotating the model around.
Yes, that would be handy. I'll make a note.
3. It would be nice if you could reset the default colors for the models. For example, you could set the "primary" default to blue, so that all models with one type of face would appear blue, not red.
Yeah, maybe handy. For example you might like a more pastel palette. Then you probably also want to be able to load complete alternative tables.
4. A nice feature would be to have an alternate library of Magnus Wenninger's models available. In other words, the models in this library would appear with the same numbering as in his book.
You know you can pull any of them up using W39 or whatever number from his book? You can even access the stellations from his book which don't otherwise appear in the list (W39 being one such example). I think this is sufficient. If you have the book, it's easy to find the model you want in Stella. If you don't have the book, it doesn't really matter.
The only big change that I would like to see is with the net printing. I have thought about it for a wile, and I think that the easiest solution would be to have a mode that you could go into where you could disable the borders around the nets and drag and rotate the nets on the pages, in whatever pattern you like. For example, if you print out the nets for the icosahedron (as twenty triangles as opposed to one big net), Stella will surround each triangle with a square, and then tile the squares on the page. If you could override this function and instead place the nets on the pages as you saw fit (for example, in a triangular tile formation), you could save a lot of paper.
One tip is that you can reduce the border around each net to zero, which saves some space but be careful to leave space for tabs when required. For the most part I don't think it makes much difference, in terms of saving paper, and I find the easiest way to cut the parts out is to start by roughly cutting out the rectangular borders. Then you can even stack a bunch of rectangles together (for the same net) and cut around several at a time.

A better arrangement might save a little paper, but the effort to write an interactive net arranger can probably be better spent elsewhere.

Thanks,
Rob.

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Jabe
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Post by Jabe » Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:19 pm

Here's an idea of how to make this work (haven't tried it yet though), save the nets as a BMP, then use a photo manipulation program to move the nets around for best paper use.
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robertw
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Post by robertw » Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:23 am

Jabe wrote:Here's an idea of how to make this work (haven't tried it yet though), save the nets as a BMP, then use a photo manipulation program to move the nets around for best paper use.
If you take a screenshot of the nets though, they could come out any size, as you can zoom in and out. When printing they are always printed the correct size depending on the scale set via items on the Scale menu.

Also BMPs have a limited resolution whereas printed nets print at the printer's own resolution. But I guess you could save a sufficiently high-res BMP. Hmm, thickness of the lines may also require some tweaking, to get screen line thickness to be appropriate for printing (printed lines are typically much thinner).

Rob.

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Nordehylop
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Post by Nordehylop » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:29 pm

If you take a screenshot of the nets though, they could come out any size, as you can zoom in and out. When printing they are always printed the correct size depending on the scale set via items on the Scale menu.
You could partly make up for this if Stella could save nets in a vector format. Then you could size the nets in any program-although you would have to figure out the scale yourself.

On the topic of saving in different file formats, something that I like about Stella is the ability to save models as VRML files. Would it be possible to get it to open VRML files as well? I don't know much at all about programming, so for all I know this might be impossible.
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robertw
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Post by robertw » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:40 am

Nordehylop wrote:something that I like about Stella is the ability to save models as VRML files. Would it be possible to get it to open VRML files as well?
When you choose to export a VRML, it opens a dialog box with some options. At the bottom is a tick-box saying "Launch viewer". Isn't that what you want?

Rob.

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