13 Replies Latest reply on Apr 30, 2009 7:15 PM by Bill McEachern

    Working with Simulation Tree

    Mark Gibson
      As you know, in Simulation 2008 we changed the appearance of the study tree. Instead of showing all studies in one very long tree, we now store studies in tabs and show only the objects for the active study in the tree.

      While this makes for a shorter tree, we've received some feedback that it makes certain things more difficult:


      Some users tell us that when switching to a study, they prefer to look through each study's tree to identify the correct study.

      Some users have reported that copying objects from one study to another is now more difficult because you can't see the tree of the study you're dragging into.



      I'm trying to learn more about these problems. Has anyone here experienced either of them?

      Thanks for any and all help!
        • Working with Simulation Tree
          Bill McEachern
          I offer the following on the your items:
          1) I don't find this too much trouble as long as the switching between studies is fast. I find it less confusing when a lot of studies are present in a file. I prefered it when the loads and restraints were in the same tree item though - less to do when hiding symbols

          2) this is now a pain inthe you know where. My main issue is that when dragging an items from one study (the currently active one) to a another study, the study one is dragging it to becomes the active study and if you have more than one item to drag you have to do a lot of switching/reactivating to get the next item - try dragging ten different things from one study to another and you will quickly uinderstand the issue. It would be better if you left the active study as the one you dragged the item from and not switch it to the one you are dragging it to by default. Ideally if you could veiw more than one studies tree at a time then the issue sort of goes away.

          It would be nice if you could duplicate (well not quite) a study but change the analysis procedure. I would be totally cool with flagging or erroring out anything that was inappropriate that is present that maybe inappropriate for the new study type.
            • Working with Simulation Tree
              Mark Gibson
              Hi Bill, good to talk to you again. (Vince Adams introduced us in LA.)

              So on the first point, it sounds like you're saying that flipping through the studies isn't that bad as long as they switch quickly. I guess that leads to the question: is it usually the case that they switch quickly? If that's the general consensus, maybe this part of the issue is secondary.

              On the drag/drop issue, I'm glad you brought up copying multiple items. We've heard this from a number of people. If you're curious, the reason we switch to the target study is that without that behavior, users thought the drag hadn't done anything. For multiple copies, we figured that people could Ctrl-select everything they wanted to copy, and then drag all the items to the "target" study. (I think we put everything in the correct folders.) Is that a bad assumption? Or does it not work correctly? I'd be interested in any insights you have on that.

              On your third point, we did implement "Duplicate Study" but if I understand correctly you want the "duplicate" to be a different study type. For example, create a non-linear duplicate of an existing static study?

              Thanks again...
                • Working with Simulation Tree
                  Bill McEachern
                  Hi Mark,

                  on 1: I haven't dealt with any really complex model yet in 2009 so I am just suspicious about performance on switching studies. all good so far but I haven't really given it a big intense study frequent test.

                  On 2: To be honest I hadn't tried the multiple select select. I was in the habit from the previous relases of just getting one item at a time. I will give it a whirl and let you know.

                  On 3: yes that is what I am asking for. However, there are bigger fish to fry in my humble opinion before you go throwing any resources at that one. It just came to mind as I was writing it. A lot of my draggin and dropping of BC's is driven by a different study type.

                  Bill
                    • Working with Simulation Tree
                      Mark Gibson
                      Okay, so let's assume that at least sometimes switching studies will be slow, and you won't always have the luxury of flipping through the tabs. Can you tell me how you'd use the tree to identify the study you want to activate? Is it based on the LBCs, or the results, or something else? And am I correct in assuming that once you found the study you wanted, your next step would be to activate the study and work on it?

                        • Working with Simulation Tree
                          Bill McEachern
                          Hi Mark,

                          Sorry for the delay - end of qrtr.

                          I tend to lable the studies with names so that ID is pretty straight forward. However, maybe its an idea if you had a table display mode which would say use excel to display all the studies and provide you with an easy to navigate view of the various studies and there attributes to ensure you can figure out which one has what in it. Again given other issue this is not high on my list - speed of moving around in the current mode would be a better allocation of resources in my view.

                          I would suggest that it is more than just loads and BC's of interest. In NL studies some times it is only the analysis procedure that is different - say path length vs force controlled as an example. In frequency studies it might be again a study property issue such as number of frequencies.....couldbe contacts, connectors whatever.
                  • Working with Simulation Tree
                    Grant Munro
                    Hi Mark,

                    I'm afraid that I find the new layout slightly less user friendly than previously.

                    Obviously this reflects how I work with the software and, since I tend to have many different studies on the go at the same time, I did prefer the tree structure. The vertical structure allowed me to see more studies at one time (when collapsed) and I could expand selected studies together and compare these more easily. This helps you to see which boundary conditions are already present in the destination study if you lose track.

                    The horizontal format takes fewer studies before having to scroll across which is less convenient when dragging restraints and loads to a new study. It is also not possible to see from the tab whether a warning is attached to a particular study, for example if the mesh is out of date.

                    All in all though I think these are relatively minor things and I have not experienced any significant problems as a result and I do agree with Bill that there are perhaps bigger fish to fry.

                    Best regards,

                    Grant


                    • Working with Simulation Tree
                      Hello Mark,

                      I think the feature that I miss most is the "Run all studies" command.

                      I like computers when they do my work for me. What I mean is that I'll think about different scenarios I want to try, set up some different studies, then mesh and run them all. It would be nice if I could just click "go" and come back an hour later (or however long they all take) and find them done. This would be especially nice if they all have different meshes or contact sets. With this version, I am like a babysitter, watching and waiting, then instructing the next one to go.

                      I know that you can pull the study tab out and it keeps running, so I can run as many studies as I have processors. But sometimes I just set one computer up as my work horse and do other "continual presence" tasks on another machine.

                      That's what I would like to see again.

                      David
                        • Working with Simulation Tree
                          Mark Gibson
                          Hi David,

                          Not sure if you saw this in another thread, but we didn't remove "Run all studies" from 2009. If you click the drop-down under the "Run" button on the Simulation CommandManager tab, you can choose "Run All Studies" from there.

                          Thanks,
                          Mark
                            • Working with Simulation Tree
                              Bill McEachern
                              Hi Mark,

                              This command would a whole lot more useful if it could run all selected studies as opposed to all studies.
                                • Working with Simulation Tree
                                  I understand the issue with copying info from one study to the other, but it is a not a huge problem in the grand scale to me. As for selecting studies I like how easy it is to rename the tabs after creation to keep them organized. Overall I much prefer the tabs as it also seems to let you continue to work while a solve is happening better than the tree before.

                                  Bill has an excellent point on the solve all studies, I would use it a lot more if I could select which studies to solve. Often I leave a couple benchmark studies in the file before doing a bunch of iterations - no need to solve them again, as it may just mess things up.

                                  Bruce
                                    • Working with Simulation Tree
                                      Michael Atlas
                                      Lets not confuse the TAB structure with the ability to run simulations in the background. One has nothing to do with the other.

                                      Yes, adding the ability to run in the background is a great feature. People have been asking for it for some time and it is nice to finally have it.

                                      I don't think anyone has been asking for a change to the TAB structure. Yes, in some ways it is cleaner, and it follows the current style appearing in other programs. That would all be great if it didn't take away functionality that was already there. In SW/Cosmos 2008 you could already rename studies the same way you could rename anything in the normal SW feature tree, plus you could expand multiple studies at the same time to see what you wanted to copy between them.

                                      I don't see where TABs has added anything to that. Like others, I often have similar studies where I want to copy certain restraints, loads, etc. between studies and I don't want to have to do it blindly as I will in 2009.

                                      Oh, and one request for improvement...when you are editting a restraint or load, or anything like that in a study it would be nice if the name of that feature was shown somewhere. As it is now, once you enter editting the feature you have no way of seeing what feature you are editting, making it easy to mess up. Along the same line, it would be nice to be able to edit the name of the feature while you are editting it, rather than having to create it and then change its default name.

                                      In summary, there is nothing wrong with changes to the interface to keep the program current and "harmonious" but please don't take away features without a really good reason.

                                      Thanks.
                                      -Mike Atlas
                                      Principal Design Engineer
                                      Viacor Inc.
                                        • Working with Simulation Tree
                                          Bill McEachern
                                          I would second most of Micheal Atlas's comments on the tree vs. tabs layout discussion.

                                          It might be worth considering the use of folders in the 2008 tree to bin up selected studies as one sees fit enebaling one to make the tree compact yet it can be exposed in any way one sees fit for examination. If you add the ability to drag and drop the order or location of various studies in the tree - you could get make it convenient and easy in any circumstance. However, I doubt going back to the 2008 tree structure is somehting that the powers that be would consider at this point.

                                          It is a bit of drag when a lot of studies are present in 2009 and the tabs run off the page - you cannot as easily find the one you are looking for. This especially true if you do not use a very compact load case description. Not a huge deal but sub-optimal productivity is a function of the little nuisance things all combined. Maye the best plan at this stage is just use numbers for the name to keep the tabs compact and implement a sort "tool tip" thing so that when you hover over the tab ID a description of the load case is displayed.

                                          In my view the basic prnciples of the interface should be that the most commonly used things are the most directly accessible - one way or the other. The best way to accomplish this and keep everyone happy is to allow some degree of customization that can be enabled/configured by the user. Thus, if we had API calls that would support the addition of macro buttons (your own custom built functions) by strictly using the macro record option then it would be easy for anybody to get what they wanted. We could even post them to evovle a community. It would be very useful if the out of the box command interfaces could also be customized. I personally find that the numerous sub options is a major pain inthe you know where. I would combine the "edit definition", "Chart options" and "settings" menues so that you could get at any of the items by one right mouse clik. Put the really common stuff on "top" with the ability to drill down a bit to expose more specific functionality on the post processing side. Alternatively direct icons on user configurable tool bars would work as well.
                                • Working with Simulation Tree
                                  Add one more item to the wish list...

                                  Sometimes the warning icons don't update properly. For example, I had a contact set involving Face1 on Part A. Then I put a split line on that face, so the contact set is missing its Face1 from Part A reference. When I fix it, the error icon is still there on the "Connections" folder, even after rebuilding, saving, etc.

                                  David
                                  SW 2009 SP 3.0