layer ease of use: thumbnails, pages/mx groups

Bug #170533 reported by Bug Importer on 2005-01-05
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
John Smith

Bug Description


I want to be able to do website mockups within Inkscape.
It's already quite useful, and much nicer than using a
bitmap program like gimp.

However, mocking up different sections of a website with
different features and different page layout would be much
easier if layers could be toggled (much like choosing which
page you're editing), or (better still) if certain layers could
be easily grouped. Groups should be mutually exclusive,
so that selecting a different group would then switch off
other groups, and make pages in the selected group

Thumbnails would also be much more useful. I've tried to
just get by with named pages, but it gets confusing
quickly. Thumbnails showing me the different pages would
be much more intuitive and user-friendly.

Finally, a few locked/background/non-group layers would
be great for the overall site look.

To be clear: this would let me design a basic site logo,
copyright, and navbar in one background layer, but then
easily define new layers or groups for each section of the
site, and work on them all by just flicking between them.

Currently, doing this involves disabling the current layer's
visibility (and any other layers that are currently visible but
unwanted), searching through layers one at a time in the
combo box for what I want, enabling that layer's visibility
(and any other layers I want), and then trying to
remember what I had planned to do, and how it related to
the previous thing I was looking at, which has now been
out of sight for some time ;)

Probably the first major improvement would be a
toolbar-like layers list, rather than a combo box.

Hope you feel this is worth working at. Thanks for a great
app :)

Jon A. Cruz (jon-joncruz) wrote :

See also
[ 1149763 ] Layers dialog enhancements
[ 1090011 ] layer dialog

Changed in inkscape:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
jazzynico (jazzynico) on 2010-01-08
tags: added: layers
John Smith (john-smithi) wrote :

Initial patch for layer thumbnails, probably lots of issues ... performance, size, hidden etc
Whats is the best best size for the thumbnails ?

ScislaC (scislac) wrote :

I the main issue I've run into on initial testing of the patch is some layers not showing previews (I guess the "hidden" you mentioned?) even though the content should be pretty visible in a preview.

As for best size for thumbnails, great Q... it appears that GIMP has a fixed width, but varies the height. It appears your approach is the similar (it looks like theirs can actually modify the height of the layer in the dialog, which seems weird), however it looks like yours implementation currently has the previews top-aligned, is this a mis-perception on my part?

I will go ahead and upload an example file where I'm seeing things with non-visible previews and shoot the link to you and su-v privately (a file I don't feel like sharing with the world).

Looking good so far imho!

ScislaC (scislac) wrote :

I *think* the main issue I've run into now is actually performance when testing a different file... this is definitely the file I will upload for you to test.

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

Crash if empty layers with filter effect (blend mode, or custom) is present in a file.

Crash also occurs if such a file is opened from within inkscape after having opened the layers dialog earlier.

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

Sample file to reproduce the crash

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

> Whats is the best best size for the thumbnails ?

Please make it configurable (allow 'None', 'Minimal' (fill current row height based on toggle icons (inkscape-decoration, default 12px) and font size of current theme), and whatever larger sizes might be useful for those with large monitors).

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

Unfortunately, the main file I'm eager to test the layer thumbnails with, has several empty filtered layers, and triggers the crash as soon as I open the layers dialog.

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

Why no thumbnails for layer 'toolbox' and its sub-layers?

(Note: the file has a custom filter effect applied to different levels of sub-layers, the actual objects have 'Unset' fills)

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

In 'icons-dark-theme-test-2.svg', hide a sub-layer inside a layer which has a layer filter applied -> crash

(e.g. hide 'Layer V copy > 1 > sub1', or 'toolbox > filter-tool-pointer > #tool-pointer')

John Smith (john-smithi) on 2012-08-01
Changed in inkscape:
assignee: Mental-users (mental-users) → John Smith (john-smithi)
John Smith (john-smithi) wrote :

Partially improved patch - but this patch is not ready for committing.
* Performance should be significantly (at least 5x) better
* Crashes (comment #4 and #5) should be fixed
* Missing thumbnails (comment #9) should be fixed
* Preference->Interface->Thumbnail Size : 16/32/48px size thumbnails.

This patch renders the actual on-canvas DrawingItem onto a DrawingContext
Unfortunately it appears there are some issues, possibly due to caching ...
* Items sometimes don't draw into thumbnail after moving, changing
* On-canvas artifacts appear after moving objects

Hopefully an expert like Krzysztof can help with this issue .... any ideas more that welcome.

ScislaC (scislac) wrote :

Definitely an improvement, I will ping Krzysztof on this to see if he can help with the rendering glitches. For the record, I have documents where on-canvas artifacts appear after moving objects of panning the canvas... is that worse for you with the thumbnails being there?

ScislaC (scislac) wrote :

NM, after more testing, it is much worse with the artifacting.

ScislaC (scislac) wrote :

One thing I would definitely recommend is to at least disable "realtime" caching within the context of the layer thumbnails. We really don't need to update thumbnails until after an operation is complete. (note for Krzysztof if he can help)

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

With 170533.v2.patch the thumbnails don't seem to have a fixed ratio (1:1) anymore (they scale in x and y direction differently, to fill the reserved size of the preview image with the current extent of the content of the layer).

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