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A humble request(s) for Do-More God's

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  • BobO
    replied
    We've talked through the Quick Write function. That will happen next release. First time you invoke it within a session it will present a dialog with all of the possibilities, which will retain the previous selections. We will pull out all of the stops, making everything optional, even up to writing without confirmation. If the download criteria can't be met (e.g. disallow quick write if SysConfig has changed and it has) it'll bring up the existing Write to PLC with a one line warning that let's you know the quick write couldn't be done. For the most likely scenario that only logic has changed, it'll look exactly like God mode after the initial invocation, and since the setup will retain previous settings, even that should be painless.

    Do-more could also very easily support the quick revert function that AB has. Y'all sound mixed on it, but it is almost free to add if you think there is any value.

    Leave a comment:


  • BobO
    replied
    Originally posted by skyfox View Post
    An example,
    One Rung with a simple Mathbox instruction.

    Click #1. Accept
    Click #2. Program Check dialog if warnings are present. Requiring Click #3 and a 4th Click , if I don’t want this message to be shown again for this session
    Click #4. The are you sure Dialog.
    Click #5. Writes to PLC
    Program checks are there for your benefit. You can disable any of them globally, or within the project, module, or rung. If they slow you down more than they help...turn...them...off.

    Originally posted by skyfox View Post
    10 Seconds later, I want to try out a different expression. Another 3 clicks. Then for the next edit, one after that, etc. This gets very tiresome. I just simply want to send what I changed with just one click. Not asking for existing functionality to be taken out but having a check box option that I can click on (Yup. Asking for another key click) in the ladder editor option dialog, where it will place a “No Questions Ask Send” button on the tool bar. And make it so a user has to enable it per session. This was the “The GOD MODE” button the “ControlsGuy” was referring to in the AB world.
    I'm seeing a Quick Write Function that works vaguely like Search and Search Again. The first time you hit it, it will prompt you to tell it how heavy handed to be. Subsequent times it just does it.


    Originally posted by skyfox View Post
    Going back to Key clicks,

    To insert a NEW rung…

    Step #1. Right Click
    Step #2. Move The mouse over to the Insert Option
    Step #3. Slide it over to the Rung Option
    Step #4 Then slide over and click Below or above option.

    Why not after the right click just have an insert Rung and place the rung at the row where the cursor is?

    Unless I missed it, I didn’t find a keyboard Shortcut to insert a rung in the help file. Pressing insert from the keyboard invokes another dialog with 5 options and a text box. Now I have to leave the keyboard and grab the mouse for a few clicks, which is how most people intuitively work and interact with windows dialogs. Or, I can use the Tab key to select what I want. But, Row, column, and “After cursor” options are not tab stops. For those, I have to use the control key along with the associated hot key. Lots of steps to insert a rung. I find myself spending lot of time to enter few lines of logic when using the editor.
    The Insert dialog's default is exactly what you asked for. Insert and Enter. Done. No need to touch the mouse or tab or arrows. The right click mouse thing is actually harder.

    The only time I ever use Insert is if I need to insert a column. I normally just hit the Enter key to get a new line and start editing the rung. The only piece you are missing is the Wire to Out, which is Ctrl-W. You can enter a bunch of rungs within a single edit matrix. When you hit F8 it will sort it all out and renumber.

    I don't use the mouse much while editing. Keyboard is far faster.

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  • BobO
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeN View Post

    Perhaps it is not necessarily the number of clicks involved, but the amount of words on each dialog box and the wording of things, or perhaps even the number of options that makes it seem like there is a lot more that needs to be done or that it is more confusing? I work with both Do-More BRX's and Productivity PLCs from AD. I cant really put my finger on it exactly, but something about Do-More just makes it feel like there is a lot more I have to go through or read or buttons to click to save projects or write to PLCs than I do with Productivity. Ill try and figure out more concisely what it is about Do-More that makes me feel this way.

    I know thats not the most helpful thing. A lot of "maybe this, or that, or possibly that thing over there?" It would be more helpful if we could describe exactly the issue. It seems there are a lot of people with this sort of feeling. But as you said, number of clicks are already reduced quite a bit. So if it isnt that, what causes this feeling among the users? It is probably pretty frustrating for you. In the end it will probably just be some little tweak you do and all of us go "wow, its so amazing now. Just perfect." when all it turned out to be way changing one word. haha
    We have historically had the attitude that we needed to throw information at users so they could make good decisions. We are increasingly of the opinion that is wrong and will be moving away from that. At 54, I find walls of text to be hard to comprehend, and I agree that less is more. It is a culture change though, so it is a process.

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  • skyfox
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeN View Post

    Perhaps it is not necessarily the number of clicks involved, but the amount of words on each dialog box and the wording of things, or perhaps even the number of options that makes it seem like there is a lot more that needs to be done or that it is more confusing? I work with both Do-More BRX's and Productivity PLCs from AD. I cant really put my finger on it exactly, but something about Do-More just makes it feel like there is a lot more I have to go through or read or buttons to click to save projects or write to PLCs than I do with Productivity. Ill try and figure out more concisely what it is about Do-More that makes me feel this way.

    I know thats not the most helpful thing. A lot of "maybe this, or that, or possibly that thing over there?" It would be more helpful if we could describe exactly the issue. It seems there are a lot of people with this sort of feeling. But as you said, number of clicks are already reduced quite a bit. So if it isnt that, what causes this feeling among the users? It is probably pretty frustrating for you. In the end it will probably just be some little tweak you do and all of us go "wow, its so amazing now. Just perfect." when all it turned out to be way changing one word. haha

    I think MikeN just explained very eloquently what my previous diatribes failed to accomplish. Excessive key clicks are very frustrating when doing online edits.

    An example,
    One Rung with a simple Mathbox instruction.

    Click #1. Accept
    Click #2. Program Check dialog if warnings are present. Requiring Click #3 and a 4th Click , if I don’t want this message to be shown again for this session
    Click #4. The are you sure Dialog.
    Click #5. Writes to PLC

    10 Seconds later, I want to try out a different expression. Another 3 clicks. Then for the next edit, one after that, etc. This gets very tiresome. I just simply want to send what I changed with just one click. Not asking for existing functionality to be taken out but having a check box option that I can click on (Yup. Asking for another key click) in the ladder editor option dialog, where it will place a “No Questions Ask Send” button on the tool bar. And make it so a user has to enable it per session. This was the “The GOD MODE” button the “ControlsGuy” was referring to in the AB world.

    I believe Intel was instrumental in getting AB to add the “GOD” mode button. Intel exclusively uses AB PLC’s in their manufacturing plants around the world. All PLC program changes, additions, and upgrades are done online, after the logic has been proven on a test bed at intel’'s control facilities. A factory PLC is never taken out of RUN mode. Each PLC CPU has a redundant cousin, so when firmware needs to be upgraded, A third PLC is setup and burned in, before it is introduced in to the production line. Worked there for 5 years when they were switching from PLC-5 Platform over to the Controllogix platform. Not a single PLC was put in to offline mode. Factory did not experience a single production hick-up. So yes, with the God Mode button, comes a great deal of responsibility.

    Going back to Key clicks,

    To insert a NEW rung…

    Step #1. Right Click
    Step #2. Move The mouse over to the Insert Option
    Step #3. Slide it over to the Rung Option
    Step #4 Then slide over and click Below or above option.

    Why not after the right click just have an insert Rung and place the rung at the row where the cursor is?

    Unless I missed it, I didn’t find a keyboard Shortcut to insert a rung in the help file. Pressing insert from the keyboard invokes another dialog with 5 options and a text box. Now I have to leave the keyboard and grab the mouse for a few clicks, which is how most people intuitively work and interact with windows dialogs. Or, I can use the Tab key to select what I want. But, Row, column, and “After cursor” options are not tab stops. For those, I have to use the control key along with the associated hot key. Lots of steps to insert a rung. I find myself spending lot of time to enter few lines of logic when using the editor.
    Last edited by skyfox; 04-16-2019, 06:15 PM.

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  • Todd Dice
    replied
    Originally posted by ControlsGuy View Post

    I don't see the connection between more steps (other than at least one confirmation) and applications of unknown safety implications. AB's not checking your logic to see if it's going to be hazardous. Do you mean because it gives the programmer a couple more iterations so he can consider the implications of his change? Or maybe because if the change IS bad, it's quicker to Untest and back it out, especially under extreme stress as people tumble off the ride, than if AB didn't keep track of what was just changed?
    This is my thinking.

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  • ControlsGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by Todd Dice View Post
    I understand why A-B has that function, as they don't know whether the PLC will be operating a packaging machine or an amusement park ride. I also note that RSLogix/Studio5000 has done away with having to compile the program before save.
    Also, how do you feel that AB's market plays into this discussion about Do-More? I'm assuming they are deployed in all the same applications, so I wouldn't think it should matter.

    Leave a comment:


  • ControlsGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by Todd Dice View Post
    I understand why A-B has that function, as they don't know whether the PLC will be operating a packaging machine or an amusement park ride. I also note that RSLogix/Studio5000 has done away with having to compile the program before save.
    I don't see the connection between more steps (other than at least one confirmation) and applications of unknown safety implications. AB's not checking your logic to see if it's going to be hazardous. Do you mean because it gives the programmer a couple more iterations so he can consider the implications of his change? Or maybe because if the change IS bad, it's quicker to Untest and back it out, especially under extreme stress as people tumble off the ride, than if AB didn't keep track of what was just changed?

    Leave a comment:


  • Todd Dice
    replied
    Originally posted by ControlsGuy View Post

    Yeah, I tend to feel the same way (note that AB added the God Mode button to the ControlLogix so many must feel the same), and I definitely wasn't advocating that as the best solution. Was just mentioning ways other PLC companies have addressed this, so people can talk about what they like, what they don't, and the Powers That Be can steal any good ideas, compromise, combine, etc.
    I understand why A-B has that function, as they don't know whether the PLC will be operating a packaging machine or an amusement park ride. I also note that RSLogix/Studio5000 has done away with having to compile the program before save.

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  • ControlsGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by Todd Dice View Post
    Ack! I dislike A-B's "Test Edits," as it adds more mouse clicks just so I can move onto editing another rung.
    Yeah, I tend to feel the same way (note that AB added the God Mode button to the ControlLogix so many must feel the same), and I definitely wasn't advocating that as the best solution. Was just mentioning ways other PLC companies have addressed this, so people can talk about what they like, what they don't, and the Powers That Be can steal any good ideas, compromise, combine, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • pdavitt
    replied
    Originally posted by BobO View Post

    That sounds more like Structured Text (ST) that some PLCs support as a programming language. Do-more's math infrastructure isn't quite ST, but does have the ability to do much of same. What we are proposing is actually exactly what you are asking for (an expression contact), but we did have some concerns about how to display the status of the boolean result. Franji1 (another Host developer) came up with a great idea to work around that, and we are evaluating the effort to add an Expression Contact (-|E|-) soon. If it isn't bad, maybe even next release.

    BTW, the Do-more MATH to do what you described is this: IF(condition_1, 1, IF(condition_2 && condition_3, 0, condition_4 || condition_5))
    Great about the Expression Contact. I'm currently using the MATH IF statement to populate a MHR register. See you snuck a few C operators into the MATH functionality.

    Pat

    Leave a comment:


  • BobO
    replied
    Originally posted by pdavitt View Post

    I'm relatively new to ladder programing. The thing I am most frustrated with is the inflexibility of using conditional statements and operators to perform an action. Why not create a MATH Contact that allows the full range of MATH functionality and that returns a Boolean value. By definition, the status of a NO contact is open until the underlying function is evaluated. After evaluation, the operation on the right side of the ladder either turns on or it doesn't. Let that be the status indicator. As far as a description, how about "Custom Function".
    It is up to me to ensure that the conditional and mathematical elements of the function are correct. No hand holding, give programmers some flexibility.
    Below is an example:

    This code block terminates when encountering the first "Return" statement.
    IF condition_1 THEN Return True;
    ELSIF condition_2 AND contition_3 THEN Return False;
    ELSIF condition_4 OR condition_5 THEN Return True;
    ELSE Return False
    END IF;

    Pat
    That sounds more like Structured Text (ST) that some PLCs support as a programming language. Do-more's math infrastructure isn't quite ST, but does have the ability to do much of same. What we are proposing is actually exactly what you are asking for (an expression contact), but we did have some concerns about how to display the status of the boolean result. Franji1 (another Host developer) came up with a great idea to work around that, and we are evaluating the effort to add an Expression Contact (-|E|-) soon. If it isn't bad, maybe even next release.

    BTW, the Do-more MATH to do what you described is this: IF(condition_1, 1, IF(condition_2 && condition_3, 0, condition_4 || condition_5))

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeN
    replied
    Originally posted by BobO View Post
    Back in DirectSoft, we had 2 buttons for writing...Write Program, which just did logic, and Write Project, which did everything. People complained it was confusing and the answer was the current single Write.

    Memory is fuzzy on this, but I think DmD used to present different dialogs based on whether the PLC was is run mode or not, and depending on what was possible based on what had been modified. And again, that was deemed confusing and changed to the current dialog to be less so. One dialog to rule them all.

    i understand what you want...I think...while coding, just slam stuff into the PLC ASAP with no discussion. Right now that is one mouse click on the Write button and one click on OK...or...SHIFT-F9, arrow left, and SPACEBAR or ENTER. The only way I know how to reduce that any further would be to eliminate the confirmation, which I’m not comfortable with.

    As for the Synchronize idea, I like that and we’ve talked about it before. I’m not sure it reduces anything though. Click sync, then pick PLC to PC vs click Read from PLC, then confirm. Sounds like the same number of clicks.

    Since I feel like we are already at the safe minimum level of clicks/hot keys for upload and download, I guess I’m still not seeing what you are. Show me exactly (steps to dupe) where you feel like you are doing more than you should need to.
    Perhaps it is not necessarily the number of clicks involved, but the amount of words on each dialog box and the wording of things, or perhaps even the number of options that makes it seem like there is a lot more that needs to be done or that it is more confusing? I work with both Do-More BRX's and Productivity PLCs from AD. I cant really put my finger on it exactly, but something about Do-More just makes it feel like there is a lot more I have to go through or read or buttons to click to save projects or write to PLCs than I do with Productivity. Ill try and figure out more concisely what it is about Do-More that makes me feel this way.

    I know thats not the most helpful thing. A lot of "maybe this, or that, or possibly that thing over there?" It would be more helpful if we could describe exactly the issue. It seems there are a lot of people with this sort of feeling. But as you said, number of clicks are already reduced quite a bit. So if it isnt that, what causes this feeling among the users? It is probably pretty frustrating for you. In the end it will probably just be some little tweak you do and all of us go "wow, its so amazing now. Just perfect." when all it turned out to be way changing one word. haha
    Last edited by MikeN; 04-16-2019, 09:42 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • pdavitt
    replied
    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'm relatively new to ladder programing. The thing I am most frustrated with is the inflexibility of using conditional statements and operators to perform an action. Why not create a MATH Contact that allows the full range of MATH functionality and that returns a Boolean value. By definition, the first status of a NO contact is open until the underlying function is evaluated after the first scan the contact retains its last state until the function is again evaluated. After evaluation, the operation on the right side of the ladder either turns on or it doesn't. Let that be the status indicator. As far as a description, how about "Custom Function".
    It is up to me to ensure that the conditional and mathematical elements of the function are correct. No hand holding, give programmers some flexibility.
    Below is an example:

    This code block terminates when encountering the first "Return" statement.
    IF condition_1 THEN Return True;
    ELSIF condition_2 AND contition_3 THEN Return False;
    ELSIF condition_4 OR condition_5 THEN Return True;
    ELSE Return False
    END IF;

    Pat
    Last edited by pdavitt; 04-16-2019, 09:30 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • BobO
    replied
    Back in DirectSoft, we had 2 buttons for writing...Write Program, which just did logic, and Write Project, which did everything. People complained it was confusing and the answer was the current single Write.

    Memory is fuzzy on this, but I think DmD used to present different dialogs based on whether the PLC was is run mode or not, and depending on what was possible based on what had been modified. And again, that was deemed confusing and changed to the current dialog to be less so. One dialog to rule them all.

    i understand what you want...I think...while coding, just slam stuff into the PLC ASAP with no discussion. Right now that is one mouse click on the Write button and one click on OK...or...SHIFT-F9, arrow left, and SPACEBAR or ENTER. The only way I know how to reduce that any further would be to eliminate the confirmation, which I’m not comfortable with.

    As for the Synchronize idea, I like that and we’ve talked about it before. I’m not sure it reduces anything though. Click sync, then pick PLC to PC vs click Read from PLC, then confirm. Sounds like the same number of clicks.

    Since I feel like we are already at the safe minimum level of clicks/hot keys for upload and download, I guess I’m still not seeing what you are. Show me exactly (steps to dupe) where you feel like you are doing more than you should need to.

    Leave a comment:


  • skyfox
    replied
    Originally posted by BobO View Post
    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.
    No argument there. This is a hardware change and not simply a logic change. This is how it is handled in AB World, Mitsubishi world, and pretty much same way by everyone else's stuff that I have come across over the years. I understand. And that is not what I am requesting as a feature. I still have my Zilog Z80 development board from the late eighties. That was a classic Semiconductor Ferrari back in them day's. And here I am, complaining about number of WIRELESS mouse clicks that I have to do on software, that was given to me for FREE.

    But does it still beat HAVING TO LOAD ACCUMULATOR "A", to just to get ball rolling?

    Jury is still out.

    But tools are important. For instance, the other day, I went to Home Depot to buy a hammer to fix my deck, fully aware, that it can drive nails to secure my boards. But much to my surprise, little did I know, that this same hammer, can also be used for making Crystal Meth powder, just by simply and gently tapping on to it while it was still in it's rock form.

    Soooooo, is Home Depot responsible for how it's merchandise was put to use?

    Originally posted by BobO View Post
    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.
    And I think this is where I am not conveying the message clearly. I myself am confusing the definition of "Run Mode" updates vs. "Run mode edits" in the AD world. I believe you are guessing that I want a complete program overhaul sent to the PLC, while the PLC is in run mode. No. I do not want to do RUN MODE UPDATES. I WANT RUN MODE LOGIC EDITS or WRITES OF ONLY WHAT I CHANGED in logic, sent to it. Sorry if I misspoke.

    I look at this as a simple three step or three choice operation. Correct me if I am wrong.

    1. Upload - Get from the PLC and update my program with it. I click on this, because I am 100% sure that is EXACTLY what I want and it has been clearly explained to me with a SINGLE LINE of instruction, with a single dialog, should things go wrong, shame on me for not having 20 pus backups.

    2. Download - Send stuff to PLC. As in send what I have on my laptop to the PLC. Yes. Wipe clean what is on the PLC, and load the new image from the laptop. YES. I Am 100% sure about this. OF COURSE, THIS CAN ONLY HAPPEN IF THE PLC IS IN PROGRAM MODE. Meaning, not done while a system is in production.

    3. Write to PLC. Just send the LOGIC THAT I JUST CHANGED since going online. Which implies, all things were equal at the PLC end, and PC end, when the connection was made. (No Hardware configuration changes, data table changes etc., are allowed while in this mode. Mode being On-Line Edit and not On-Line and trying to change hardware configurations or map new memory blocks). All I want is the logic that I changed, after going on-line with a PLC, sent to the PLC. After that operation, both the PLC and the PC will be identical.


    Originally posted by BobO View Post
    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.
    Again, I think I am being misunderstood. I whole heatedly agree, writing an image should only be under program mode and not under run mode. Ever. I am simply trying to load the image of customer "B" in and wipe out Customer "A" from my desktop development PLC where no slicing knives are attached to any of my sourcing outputs. Three simple operations. Perhaps rewording few functions IN ORDER to remove any ambiguities and avoid Confusion. In other words, END USER REALIZES HE/SHE own the choice you Click On.

    Here's my dream dialog for D0-More.

    How About Two Menu buttons called

    1. Synchronize
    2. Write to PLC


    Synchronize dialog.

    A. Send what you got to the PLC (An image Write)
    B. Get what is on the PLC and update your lousy program with it.

    3. Write to PLC. Update just the logic that I hanged since going on-line. LOGIC ONLY.
    Last edited by skyfox; 04-16-2019, 04:49 AM.

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