Tags: application, behavior, clusters, experience, fix, labview, opportunity, order, programming, tabbing, thetabbing, tryingto, typedef, user
LabVIEW tabbing behavior
I have a LabVIEW application with some typedef clusters. I am trying
to make the user experience simple. The opportunity is to fix the
tabbing order between the elements of a cluster.
My VI is a configuration dialog and a problem exists with the tabbing
behavior. The VI has a tab control. I have three clusters on a
particular tab with two elements each. The elements are numeric high
and low limits.
I want the user to tab between the six (6) limits (3 clusters x 2
The problem is that I can tab between the clusters. Or I can tab
between the elements in a cluster. But I have to use a funky-key (TM)
combination, which is probably a gang-like gesture in some major US
city, in order to get to the elements in another cluster.
At this point, I know how to "tab" to the next cluster of elements:
0. Start at the 2nd element in the first cluster 1. funky-key combo
up; 2. Tab to the next cluster; 3. funky-key combo down.
Did I mention I need to translate this behavior to Spanish?
My solution, unless the wizards at NI can help, is to replace every
cluster in my configuration dialog with independent controls in order
to get the desired behavior. Kick the clusters, along with COBOL and
FORTRAN back to the rock pile.
I thought about intercepting a key down event and filtering tab events
to do the right thing. But that becomes a problem with the number of
clusters in the tab control. Also, I don't know what features might
be added, and it bypasses the default tabbing order, so it does not
seem to be a realistic solution from a code management perspective.
Another thought, is related to something LabVIEW can do. On the
cluster, I can see an option under Advanced >> Key Navigation, >>
"Tabbing moves into contents". However it is grayed out. A maniacal
sound, not unlike laughter, emanates from my speakers as I read
through the help for that checkbox. The help for "Tabbing moves into
contents" states that the feature is only for tab controls, i.e. not
clusters. Is there an INI file setting to expand this capability?
So the next-to-the-best solution is to ask NI to build a special
LabVIEW version that allows me to select that checkbox when a cluster
is selected so that the user experience is 11X better. This exceeds
NI's current goal of 10X for test ;-)
Any thoughts or other ways to solve this problem come to mind?
Waiting for your insight into this conundrum.
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- 2 Comments
Since you are using a configuration dialog VI for the user interface
and, apparently, other VIs for the processing, perhaps separate
controls for the user interface will provide a good experience for the
user. You could then write the data to cluster indicators and pass
that to your other VIs. The indicators could be hidden so they are
not part of the user experience. Not quite as elegant but quite
functional. If you want to visually group the elements, use
decorations which look somewhat like clusters. (The users don't need
to know whether the borders are merely visual guides or part of the
Lynn#1; Wed, 30 Apr 2008 10:04:00 GMT
- Thanks for the response!
Separate controls with visual grouping by decoration is the solution I
have implemented. However, the configuration controls are not in a
separate dialog VI, they reside on a tab control in the main
application's HMI. I bundle the elements into a cluster, but only
because I need that data as a "cable" for subVI calls elsewhere.
I am stretching the use of clusters as both a data type and a user
interface element. It is frustrating to see an option/feature that
makes sense, i.e. tabbing into contents, but which is not available.
Kenneth#2; Wed, 30 Apr 2008 10:06:00 GMT