AnsweredAssumed Answered

Undockable FeatureManager Tree

Question asked by Jim Wilkinson on Dec 6, 2007
Latest reply on Feb 18, 2012 by Jeremy Waldner
Hello Everyone,

Every once in a while we get a post or request asking for theability to undock the FeatureManager tree from the left of thescreen. The FeatureManager tree (and some other panes) are actuallydocked to the left of the each document window, but since mostusers work with a single document maximized, they are only seeingone tree at a time. I want to learn more about why users want to"undock" the FeatureManager from the left, where theywould want to put it, and how to handle the multiple documentissue. Here are some questions I have, but in addition to answeringthese questions, feel free to post any other information that youthink may help my research.

First, the scenerio: We could make the "Manager Area" onthe left of the document an "application level" arearather than a document level area (in fact, many users haverequested this). That is, there would only be one instance of themanager area, similar to the Task Pane, and the contents of thisarea would relate to the currently active document. The managerarea could be undocked, placed on another monitor, docked on theright (perhaps having its tabs intermingled with the contents ofthe Task Pane), etc.  If you tiled document windows inSolidWorks, the contents of the FeatureManager tree,ConfigurationManager, DimXpert/TolAnalyst pane, and any API programpanes would relate to the currently active document (since therewould only be one instance of each of these panes).

Keeping in mind that to achieve some of these new abilities, wewould possibly need to lose some of the existing abilities (butperhaps not all, hence why I am probing for answers on how you usethese areas).

1) Do you want this ability to undock the manager area and ifso, why? Would you want to put it on the right of the screen? Wouldyou want to put it on another monitor? Are there other reasons?
2) Even if you would not move the manager area from the left of thescreen, would you prefer to have it an "applicationlevel" container rather than a document level container? Ifso, why?
3) In this scenario, you would never be able to see twoFeatureManager trees at the same time (from two separatedocuments). Is this acceptable? Are there scenarios where you needto see two trees at the same time? Perhaps for visual comparison?What about drag and drop between FeatureManager thatneeded? Would you be willing to sacrifice having one tree perdocument for the ability to move the tree around?
4) There would only be one ConfigurationManager visible at a time.Is this OK or are there cases where you need to seeConfigurationManagers for different documents at the same time?Would you be willing to sacrifice having one ConfigurationManagerper document for the ability to move it around (please try todetach your thinking on the ConfigurationManager vs. theFeatureManager tree...we could handle them separately)?
5) There would only be one DimXpert/TolAnalyst pane visible at atime. Are there cases where you need to see these panes formultiple documents at the same time? Would you be willing tosacrifice having one DimXpert/TolAnalyst pane per document for theability to move the pane around (please try to detach your thinkingon the DimXpert/TolAnalyst pane vs. the FeatureManager tree...wecould handle them separately)?
6) There would only be one instance of any Add-in/API pane visibleat a time in the manager area. Are there any cases of Add-ins/APIprograms where you need to see these panes for multiple documentsat the same time? Would you be willing to sacrifice having one ofeach Add-in/API pane per document for the ability to move thepane around (please try to detach your thinking on thesepanes vs. the FeatureManager tree...we could handle themseparately)?
7) When you tile documents, each document would show only thegraphics area for the document, not the manager area for eachdocument. This is advantageous in one way since all thosemanager areas reduce the amount of the model graphics that youcan see (which may be why you are tiling documents). Are therescenarios where seeing all those managers is an advantage?
8) If we make the manager area application level, we may need toeliminate the ability to split the manager area. Are therescenarios where splitting this area is a major advantage? If so,under what scenarios do you use the splitting for which you thinkwe should continue to support splitting?

I appreciate your answers to these questions or any other input youmay have on this subject.