Macro Management

As macro in CaR is a very important tool which allow people to do complex figures, users are sometimes making a lot of macros. And the macro menu is quickly full of items ... I was wondering if it was possible to transform the macro menu to let people organize their own macros.

What I see is the following thing (I’m not sure it’s the best way to see it !), it is a little bit similar to the bookmark managment you can find in web browsers.

- Main Macro menu ( the one which is on the main menu bar after “file”, “edit”, “option”) : adding an “organize macros” item. When you choose this item, you obtain a dialog box which allow user to make virtual folders, subfolders and to place his own macros into it. There would be also a “macro toolbar” folder : every folder placed into it is a menu placed on a line just bellow the standard toolbar of CaR (like in firefox, netscape, safari, ...). In this dialog box, it would be also possible with checkboxes to decide if a macro is global (in the “.default.mcr” file of the default folder) or local (in the current file only).

- Macro Menu (right-click) : contains the list of folders, sub-folders and items defined with the “organize macros” items.

Eric Hakenholz 2006/01/07

It looks as this would mimic the folder functionality available in Windows in the C.a.R. program. A user can and should organize his macros in folders and subfolders. The easiest way to collect a set of macros for a special purpose is to save all of them in one macro file and to load this file, when needed. I admit, that is less obvious how to change the default macros. But it requires only to save all macros one would like to have in a file “.default.mcr” in the program folder. If you want macros for many users, place them in the common files folder of Windows. You can redirect the home folder for C.a.R. with the “-h ...” parameter, if you wish.

Rene Grothmann (Admin) 2006/01/07 15:50

Oups, I realize that my text was not clear enough because I used wrong words, sorry ! When I was speaking about folders and subfolders, I actually wanted to talk about hierarchical macro menus. If we consider the example of Explorer internet browser there are two aspects : favorites are organized on the disk in folders and subfolders, but fortunatly the software visually mimics the hierarchy of files in a favorite menu.

I have something like 400 macros on my disk and I did what you say : I made .mcr files for different pupose and when I need a special set, I load the macro file I want. The first problem when you have a lot of mcr files is finding the one in which there is the macro you want, and the second is that quickly, for complex figures, the macro menu grows... Sometimes I have 50 items in the flat macro menu, and it’s not very easy to find the one I want to apply.

So I was thinking about a way to visually organize macros inside the software with hierarchical menus. It would then change the way to build figures : I imagine a huge .mcr file with for example 400 macros. Inside the source of the .mcr file, the visual hierarchy of menus would be indicated by slashes :

<Macro Name=”Menu 1/Menu 2/perpendicular bissector”>...</Macro>

<Macro Name=”Menu 1/Menu 2/reflexion at a line”>...</Macro>

<Macro Name=”Menu 1/Menu 3/Cercle circonscrit”>...</Macro>

<Macro Name=”Menu 1/Reflexion at a circle”>...</Macro>

Probably having such an amount of macros loaded at startup could cause memory overload problems... I really don’t know if there is a solution to load only the names of macros but not their definitions... The definition of a macro would then be load into memory at the first time the user need it.

So with this feature, I really think that building complex figures in CaR would be much more quicker and easier : at every time, user have his macros “under the hand” and ready to be applied.

Eric Hakenholz 2006/01/07 17:52

Now I see your point. You want to load all macros into the program or at least easily refer to all of your macros. Will see, what is possible. Right now, it is fixing season. Major enhancements will have to wait until end of the term.

Rene Grothmann (Admin) 2006/01/07 18:48

In Version 4.04 it is possible to orgranize macros in subfolders as in Eric’s idea. This was easy to implement by putting the folder information into the macro names. More management ideas or even macro icons will have to wait.

Rene Grothmann (Admin) 2006/01/09 12:04

This is a friendly follow-up on the previous sentence about macro icons. I mostly use C.a.R. Java applets and having an option to add a custom button (icon) that would execute a macro would make my life (and life of my students) much easier. I work in teacher education (including elementary school teachers) and fishing for the right macro in the list of all macros can be challenging for some students :) and (at least) cumbersome to others. I can see above that “macro icons will have to wait” but as it has been almost 3 years since then, I’d like to ask if it has any chance to get from this wish list to the “to do” list in the foreseeable future. Thanks a lot, here is the summary of what’s exactly on my wish list:

1. Option to create a custom toolbar button/icon and assign it to a specific macro. Ideally, users would be able to input their own icons (created as standard image files - png or gif or similar).

2. Option to export such custom buttons along with macros into C.a.R. Java Applets.

Tibor Marcinek 2008/11/22 6:27pm EST

todo/macromanagement.txt · Last modified: 2008/11/23 00:29 by tibor
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