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  • #16
    Just for the record, I did install and manually "import" most all of my customization on my home machine a couple of hours ago.

    DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

    It did involve regedit exporting everything in [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Host Engineering, Inc.\DmDesigner2_3.ini] overwriting selected keys in exported [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Host Engineering, Inc.\DmDesigner2_3.ini], fixing the 2_3 to 2_5, importing 2_5 back in. Also copying the .opt and .ini files from wherever they reside in Win10 from 2.3 to 2.5. (Mumbling run-on intentional to dissuade the dissuadable.)

    No kerblooey (yet).

    This is all on the same machine, no VMs and same registry. It might be possible to do over different machines and even operating systems, but I haven't looked into that. So far all my different installs have small differences as it is tedious to do manually and catch everything (you can't have two different versions DmD open simultaneously in the same "machine" except maybe with VMs.)

    But since I do have VMs available, that may be what I waste a bit of time on this evening.

    The new Link feature looks good with just DMSim. I can connect VPN to real PLCs but can't explore them in the new Link feature. Our VPN now puts us on a different subnet, though I don't know if it would work even if on the same subnet.


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    • #17
      So a follow-up on "cloning" the user prefs and such into another machine. Success from Win10 to Win7 after a bunch of futzing around figuring out differences where the files and registry entries are located between the two. It is not real straightforward but doable.

      However, the Win7 was a clean install of DmD, (no previous versions) and DmSim absolutely will not retain it's configuration or program between sessions. I don't know where the equivalent(s) of DmSim.DAT, DmSim.FLASH, and DmSim.STATE are in the newer versions. I tried run as admin and firewall settings without success. It always sees it as a blank PLC and will work for that session only, after it is reloaded. ST134.

      Could it have been me hosing something? Probably...

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      • #18
        I just tried another copy of that Win7 VM with pretty much nothing installed - installed v2.5 without dinking with it and the simulator still loses everything when it is powered down.

        Tried adding v2.3 to that one and it has the same issue.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by ControlsGuy View Post


          Here's MY beef: I hate "Edit Mode".
          X10!

          It was very frustrating, coming from RSLogix experience, to remember to hit the edit button.

          In P-Suite, when changes are made to rungs, there are two icons; one is for "save to computer" and the other, "save to processor." You can write to the processor by clicking once on the "save to processor" icon (there are no warnings of "are you sure?") However, if one does make changes to code offline in P-Suite, and you attempt to go online to the processor, you will receive a warning that the code does not match the processor, and will ask if you'd like to "upload from processor", or "download from PC."
          Why worry? If you've done the best you can, worrying won't make it any better

          - Walt Disney

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          • #20
            Originally posted by skyfox View Post
            Absolutely not. I completely and agree 100%. I probably wasn't clear in my initial request. What I meant was after initially clicking on either "Send to" or "Read from PLC icons", there should just be one follow up dialog explaining the differences and presenting the end user with just two choices. The two choices being... "JUST DO IT" or, "CANCEL AND GET OUT". That is it. No more dialogs or mouse click requirements after that.
            As Mike Nash alluded to, there are contextual reasons why certain things are available or not. There is no single right answer...really ever.
            1. If the SysConfig has been edited, run mode updates are not possible. Writing to the PLC forces a trip to program mode. You probably need to know that.
            2. If the SysConfig hasn't been changed, run mode updates are an option, but you may not want to do that for many good reasons. Probably need to be able to be able to offer guidance on that as well.
            3. Writing the entire retentive memory image to the PLC is a very bad idea in run mode. It may also be a bad idea in program mode and you aren't restoring a system. So should we have a a write program and a write entire project? We had that and people complained. The current dialog was the answer to the disparate write to PLC methods.

            As for mouse clicks...I don't ever use the mouse to write to the PLC. SHIFT-F9, arrow left, spacebar (or ENTER). Takes less than a second.

            And I rarely touch the mouse while editing the program. Someday I need to do a video on ladder editing.
            Last edited by BobO; 04-15-2019, 09:23 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by RogerR View Post

              Along with this, add the ability to put an expression in the comparative contact. D1 > ( D2 +5 )
              The PLC can do that right now. The only reason we haven't done it is status and display becomes complicated. And how elaborate an expression should be allow? Everyone usually shows the simple cases, but the expression there could technically contain the entire contents of a MATH box. Do you leave it a relational contact where there is a left and right side and an operator, or do you reduce it to a single expression contact that uses math bool operators? A single expression contact could use the entire range of MATH instructions, and whatever was left on the stack would resolve to non-zero = TRUE, zero = FALSE. I think it would be cool as crap...but...the status display would require reading every expression input and evaluating the expression to figure out whether to show the contact as on or off.

              If we didn't show status and compressed the expression display if it were large, it would actually be pretty simple. Feel like the status issue would be a deal breaker though.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by ControlsGuy View Post
                I hate that it always pops up the warning window and I have to close it. I know there is some ignore config for warnings, but I haven't looked at it enough to know if I should turn it on. Maybe a retentive check box in the download ack dialog to ignore warnings for this download. OR, remember the warnings for this specific program that have been overridden before and don't display just those.
                You can dismiss warnings for a single block or the entire project or forever...it says that right in the display. Right click on the warning to disposition it.

                Originally posted by ControlsGuy View Post
                I also dislike that if I Write to Disk, then Write to PLC, it thinks I need to Write to Disk again. Someone explained this before, but I don't remember the explanation or if anything can be done about it.
                Yeah...we know. There are a couple of issues. One is the project file name is written to the PLC so that if you just connect to the PLC, we prompt you to automatically open the associated project. When you write to disk and change the the filename, that then needs to be written back to the PLC. The other is instruction IDs and edge bit assignments. Downloading to the PLC forces the reassignment of those in some cases, and that technically changes the program. We know how to make that go away, we just haven't done it yet.

                One thought we've had is to make saving to disk automatic when writing to the PLC, at least optionally. Not sure that would be popular though.

                Originally posted by ControlsGuy View Post
                Here's MY beef: I hate "Edit Mode". Don't know of anyone else who does that. If you're looking at a program, you can edit it. I know we were supposed to get a config option to make the Edit Mode retentive (by project or globally?), or allow you to set it to always come up turned on. Not sure if that hasn't been done or if I just haven't set it, but mine comes up disabled. The other thing about Edit Mode that would need some work to make me happy is that you can't get rid of it entirely at the moment (my preferred option) because some actions have different behavior with Edit Mode on or off. I know you said you have some customers who want it, maybe put in some kind of setting or a separate build of DMD that allows every other function except editing.
                That is definitely going to get changed. Hitting CTRL-E is just instinctive to me I guess, but if it makes us different than everyone else, it is a problem. One advantage is that we hide edit context stuff when you leave edit mode, thus freeing screen real estate, but I guess that isn't worth the frustration it is causing.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Todd Dice View Post
                  You can write to the processor by clicking once on the "save to processor" icon (there are no warnings of "are you sure?")
                  Without any form of ack from the user? I'm not comfortable with that, at least in run mode. Less of a problem in program mode I guess.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by BobO View Post

                    The PLC can do that right now. The only reason we haven't done it is status and display becomes complicated. And how elaborate an expression should be allow? Everyone usually shows the simple cases, but the expression there could technically contain the entire contents of a MATH box. Do you leave it a relational contact where there is a left and right side and an operator, or do you reduce it to a single expression contact that uses math bool operators? A single expression contact could use the entire range of MATH instructions, and whatever was left on the stack would resolve to non-zero = TRUE, zero = FALSE. I think it would be cool as crap...but...the status display would require reading every expression input and evaluating the expression to figure out whether to show the contact as on or off.

                    If we didn't show status and compressed the expression display if it were large, it would actually be pretty simple. Feel like the status issue would be a deal breaker though.
                    I can see where the display would cause some problems or discussions on the display/status. Had not really considered that aspect before.
                    The PLC in monitoring mode is a very visual experience and most likely there are not two programmers who would see this the same way.

                    The trade off for not adding in a math box and creating another tag to use in comparative contacts further down the ladder may offset that somewhat.
                    The math will be performed either way by the math box at the rung end or by the comparative contact. The math box will also need to write to another numeric tag for use later, which is a bit more overhead.

                    Some text in a control or rung comment would suffice for me to describe the logic if the final value for each side of the comparative contact was shown in monitor mode. This would keep the comparative contact the same size as now.
                    This would really be the most use when two values are being compared frequently with a changed offset to a value.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by BobO View Post
                      And comment about the editor...backspace will delete a contact without deleting the wire.
                      Hmm. I didn't know that either.
                      For me I would prefer delete did not remove power rail as well. While I do sometimes wish to remove a power rail when removing instruction, about 90% of the time I want to keep the power rail there, and if default behavior is remove the rail, I still have to "shift+ctrl" move around and delete vertical moving power rails anyway so it hasnt saved me any time as I am already moving back over that space anyway. It only makes things take more time for me the other 90% of the time when I didnt want to remove the rail. Delete has always been my default key to use when removing an instruction, rather than backspace, as it is closer to my fingers than backspace when in an editor because my fingers are already on the arrow keys moving around

                      Another dialog box that should be removed is when closing the program, a box shows up asking if you want to save your project to disk, plc, both, or dont save. When I click dont save, yet another box comes up asking me if I want to write changes. I just said I dont want to save anything, why bother with a box asking me a second time if I want to write changes?

                      Originally posted by ControlsGuy View Post
                      Here's MY beef: I hate "Edit Mode".
                      Also this.


                      Originally posted by BobO View Post
                      One thought we've had is to make saving to disk automatic when writing to the PLC, at least optionally. Not sure that would be popular though.
                      I think that should be the case. I cant think of any time I would ever want a program in the PLC that I didnt want saved to disk. If I just uploaded to PLC, whatever I uploaded needs to be saved so just do it automatically.
                      Last edited by MikeN; 04-15-2019, 09:52 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by MikeN View Post
                        Another dialog box that should be removed is when closing the program, a box shows up asking if you want to save your project to disk, plc, both, or dont save. When I click dont save, yet another box comes up asking me if I want to write changes. I just said I dont want to save anything, why bother with a box asking me a second time if I want to write changes?
                        I agree. It's layers. As the disconnect process is happening, there is lower level code that has its own checks. It's a poor answer, I know, but that's how some of that happens.

                        And sometimes these things get added in response to a user complaint to us, or ADC tech, or whatever. For every complaint about a prompt or warning, there is frequently a request made due to a user complaint. It's a tightrope at times. The most correct answer is to stick fairly close to convention (if there is one) and try to provide options to give everyone what they want.

                        ...and then find a way to propagate said options from version to version.
                        Last edited by BobO; 04-15-2019, 09:49 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by BobO View Post

                          The PLC can do that right now. The only reason we haven't done it is status and display becomes complicated. And how elaborate an expression should be allow? Everyone usually shows the simple cases, but the expression there could technically contain the entire contents of a MATH box. Do you leave it a relational contact where there is a left and right side and an operator, or do you reduce it to a single expression contact that uses math bool operators? A single expression contact could use the entire range of MATH instructions, and whatever was left on the stack would resolve to non-zero = TRUE, zero = FALSE. I think it would be cool as crap...but...the status display would require reading every expression input and evaluating the expression to figure out whether to show the contact as on or off.

                          If we didn't show status and compressed the expression display if it were large, it would actually be pretty simple. Feel like the status issue would be a deal breaker though.
                          Perhaps limit the number of characters that could be written as an expression in a compare contact to 16 characters long? And/or limit to only basic arithmetic (add, subtract, multi, and divide) so users cannot write large math equations there. Anything large would be done in a real math box, compare becomes more flexible but still limited to just making a simple modifier to a memory address at most.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by BobO View Post
                            It's a poor answer, I know, but that's how some of that happens.
                            And sometimes these things get added in response...
                            For every complaint about a prompt or warning, there is frequently a request made due to a user complaint.
                            It's a tightrope at times. The most correct answer is to stick fairly close to convention (if there is one) and try to provide options to give everyone what they want.

                            ...and then find a way to propagate said options from version to version.
                            BobO, I dissected your response with the intent to highlight things that I deal with most days--and say that I agree.
                            A significant portion of members here do programming (PC/embedded/plc) and have some of the same issues!
                            Owning/adjusting to the issues is a big step up from other vendors that I have used in the past. kudos!

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by BobO View Post
                              If we didn't show status and compressed the expression display if it were large, it would actually be pretty simple. Feel like the status issue would be a deal breaker though.
                              I think I'd probably show as much as the equivalent space for docs on a regular contact, then show the entire expression on a hover. AB actually, in MATH boxes and maybe in free form compares, doesn't try to show the status full-time for each input, but will show individual input statii if you hover over the element. Nice, but not super-necessary. Even though it's there, I don't use it a lot.

                              I see why status would be the issue. The PLC is computing the result anyway. Would it help for the PLC to store the results so status can receive them pre-computed?

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by BobO View Post
                                You can dismiss warnings for a single block or the entire project or forever...it says that right in the display. Right click on the warning to disposition it.
                                What, you think I read the stuff you put on the screen?? There's probably some level in there that will work for me.

                                Yeah...we know. There are a couple of issues. One is the project file name is written to the PLC so that if you just connect to the PLC, we prompt you to automatically open the associated project. When you write to disk and change the the filename, that then needs to be written back to the PLC.
                                This one I find understandable and don't really mind it.

                                The other is instruction IDs and edge bit assignments. Downloading to the PLC forces the reassignment of those in some cases, and that technically changes the program. We know how to make that go away, we just haven't done it yet.
                                OK, looking forward to it when you can get to it.

                                One thought we've had is to make saving to disk automatic when writing to the PLC, at least optionally. Not sure that would be popular though.
                                I don't think I'd want that. I do usually do both at the same time, but two buttons in parallel doesn't seem overly burdensome and I like having the choice. Maybe force an accept, if you do a disk or PLC write, so at least it's not three.

                                That is definitely going to get changed. Hitting CTRL-E is just instinctive to me I guess, but if it makes us different than everyone else, it is a problem. One advantage is that we hide edit context stuff when you leave edit mode, thus freeing screen real estate, but I guess that isn't worth the frustration it is causing.
                                Ah, that's probably why I don't see the tradeoff. I dislike and disable all edit-mode toolbars anyway, so there's no screen space advantage to me. Being an old TI guy, I do all editing pretty much from the keyboard. There are places where I use the mouse when editing (like if I want a specialty contact, I'll hit F4 and mash the one I want on the dialog), and other places it would be nice, like dragging addresses and whole contacts, but none of those involve loss of real estate. Where it kills me is when it's on and I want to write to an address, I invariably forget and try to do so, then have to cancel, turn off edit mode, try again.....

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