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3D or 2D drawing applet that can save images to posts Issue Tools
issueid=713 02-21-2011 02:04 PM
Crazy about real time sims
3D or 2D drawing applet that can save images to posts
3D or 2D java applet to enable users to explain better by drawing pictures


I would like to suggest a 2D drawing applet that can be started by clicking on a button while making a new post. The applet opens a new window and allows the user to draw on the window. The applet would be customized to draw planets, orbits, co-ordinate systems directly by drag and drop and involve very less manual drawing. Vessel images can be directly inserted. The drawn images could be stored in user specific folders in the web server. After saving the image, the user is given the option of directly inserting the image inline into his current post like is done for plain images currently.

The drawer can easily be extended to 3D and a 3D viewer can be built. It can be accomplished in Java or VRML.

I would like to build the above, if admins are interested in such a feature

Issue Details
Issue Type Feature
Project Site Support
Status Rejected
Priority 6
Suggested Version Unknown
Implemented Version (none)
Votes for this feature 2
Votes against this feature 0
Assigned Users tblaxland, Tex
Tags (none)

02-21-2011 10:26 PM
It is an interesting proposal but I don't quite see the point. Such drawing tools already exist and it is a simple matter to export an image from them and upload it to the post as an attachment. What you are proposing seems like a lot of work for not a lot of gain . I'm also interested in what the server side loads would be - how much data would one of these drawings need to transfer to the server relative to a compressed image of the same thing?
02-21-2011 10:36 PM
Tex Tex is offline

Quite frankly, that is over my head making something like that. IMO I don't see the gain for all the effort that it would take to implement. The server load is another important factor and I always thought 3D applications were quite intensive processes?
02-21-2011 10:40 PM
Originally Posted by Tex
 Quite frankly, that is over my head making something like that.
I believe dumbo2007 was offering to make it for us . Having said that, we still have to integrate it and, in my experience, getting addons to work properly in the editor box can be...painful.

Originally Posted by Tex
 3D applications were quite intensive processes?
CPU load shouldn't be an issue since it would be on the client side. Data transfer is my main concern.
02-22-2011 10:38 AM
Crazy about real time sims
Well yes the tools do exist such as MS Paint etc. But there are 2 things, drawing pictures of planets and ships and orbits etc can take quite some time and effort in these softwares. Also after I am done then I generally have to upload them to image hosting sites such as image shack. Then copy the link to the post. Its a number of steps which can be reduced to one. We can start out with a very simple applet that primarily allows quick and dirty drawings by drag and drop, see how it goes from there. Maybe it will be possible to directly paste screenshots on such an applet and save.

For a 3D viewer, once the geometry has been transmitted to the viewer then I believe there is no further communication with the server. Even while creating a scene there is no communication.

Moreover, about the server load, an applet runs in the users machine.So it would not be communicating with the server beyond the initial page load and the final image save parts. Users can be given disk quotas to store their images. But yes we do need to experiment with data loading for a possible 3D viewer, but that is for later. The required 3D view can be stored just as 2D images also(limited in number by user disk quota). Then we do not need a 3D viewer.

About merging with the message box where the user types in his data. Well a link that launches a separate window through javascript can easily be made. The link can point to the proper applet. The applet can be passed initial info about who is logged in so it can store the images in the proper users directory. We can just store the images if its difficult to put them inline with the text directly.
02-22-2011 06:28 PM
This is a great idea. As I see it, the best way to make this would be to make a little applet where we can scribble something and save it directly in the post. Not sure about server concerns though...
02-22-2011 07:46 PM
Certain Super User
I would say an applet for visualizing scenario data would be nice, eg you could post the current state, but it would be a pretty huge effort to write and implement also the needed infrastructure at the server - eg having solar system configuration files online for knowing which planets to render.
02-22-2011 11:48 PM
Crazy about real time sims
It can be done I guess. Well, we can start out with a simple scratch pad app that allows planets and orbits to be drawn along with ships and co-ordinate systems, and of course the essential screen shot pasting ability. That should not cause much load to the server. Only the class files of the applet need to be sent by the server and they are generally not very big. I think they are also cached and not redownloaded everytime but I 'll have to check up on that. Also with JIT compilation, Java is quite fast.

Then we can see how people use it and take feature requests forward based on use.

Also inserting the created image directly inline with the text may cause integration issues, so better to have the applet just save the image to a folder and let the user pick the image in a 2nd step from his stored images(i think this feature already is there)
02-23-2011 07:41 PM
Tex Tex is offline
The administrators have been discussing your proposal and we have arrived at the conclusion that we are not in a position to integrate your proposed mod into the forum at this time.

We have a few issues going on in the background, not the least of which is potential major upgrade of the forum software at some stage in the future. As it stands our board has been heavily modified (hacked) to suit the needs of this community and the forum staff, and the more hacks we add, the more painful the upgrade process will be. Because of the extent of the hacks (it is amazing how the board has been transformed over the last few years!) the process of just preparing for the upgrade is a major task, an order of magnitude greater than the upgrade itself. There are also a number of administrative work flow hacks on the drawing board that are required to help us deal with the growth of Orbiter-Forum into the future - we are trying to make this place a long term prospect.

We are not rejecting your idea lightly - it is a good idea. Hopefully you can understand the competing priorities.
02-23-2011 09:46 PM
Crazy about real time sims
I understand. It's definitely more important to have stable forum software to discuss and help people with Orbiter. Well thanks for spending time and carefully considering my proposal. Perhaps after the upgrade if things work out(and I am sure they will ), then you can have a look at it again.

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