Make PCBNew Selection Filter a state rather than an action

Bug #1810863 reported by NhatKhai on 2019-01-07
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Maciej Suminski

Bug Description

When I change the selection filter setting, the apply immediate to current selection group. However, to do this on the next selection, it also require to open the selection filter AGAIN for apply the setting. Otherwise, everything would select as if not thing are filtered.

Is this a intended desire behavior of selection filter?
Also this menu setting seem to only accessible if something are selected. Would this be better work as a Reference/Setting some where in the global menu?

Application: kicad
Version: (6.0.0-rc1-dev-1455-g4b7ef22ec), release build
AND Version: (5.0.2)-1, release build

    wxWidgets 3.0.4
    libcurl/7.61.1 OpenSSL/1.1.1 (WinSSL) zlib/1.2.11 brotli/1.0.6 libidn2/2.0.5 libpsl/0.20.2 (+libidn2/2.0.5) nghttp2/1.34.0
Platform: Windows 7 (build 7601, Service Pack 1), 64-bit edition, 64 bit, Little endian, wxMSW
Build Info:
    wxWidgets: 3.0.4 (wchar_t,wx containers,compatible with 2.8)
    Boost: 1.68.0
    OpenCASCADE Community Edition: 6.9.1
    Curl: 7.61.1
    Compiler: GCC 8.2.0 with C++ ABI 1013

Build settings:

Seth Hillbrand (sethh) wrote :

Are you asking for the Filter Selection dialog box to remember your last choices? Or is there something more?

NhatKhai (nhatkhai) wrote :

The setting of filter selection are been remembered.

NhatKhai (nhatkhai) wrote :

It do not applied on every selection actions. It only applied if you open the filter selection dialog, and hit on OK.
Or try this:
1) Select a group of items
2) Open the filter dialog, and turn of some of the item type in the group
3) The current selection will be correctly filtered.
4) Now do the group selection action again
5) Everything will be selected
6) Repeat step #2.

Seth Hillbrand (sethh) wrote :

OK, I'll try to understand better.

Do you want the selection tool to the automatically apply the filter options to a new selection?

Robert (robee) wrote :

In my experience, the typical way the selection filter works is by checking off the items you want to select before you actually do the selection. This is done with a selection menu either in a docked window or by simply right clicking on empty space in the layout. I find the way Kicad does it requires lots of clicking through menus and is generally awkward since it works by deselecting.

eelik (eelik) wrote :

I don't understand how pre-filtering (applying a predefined filter while you're selecting items) would be feasible. Mostly when I select items there are only one or a couple of them or there's otherwise no need for filtering. If an existing filter, which is remembered, would always be used, I would have to check checkbox items before doing even the most simple selections after I once have changed the settings for some rare case. I'd rather do extra work for those rare cases only, i.e. when I need filtering I filter, otherwise I get all items which I select.

I wouldn't oppose something nonintrusive. Like having a checkbox in the filter dialog "Use this filter automatically for future selections", and having access to that dialog in more places than just the RMB menu on top of an existing selection.

@robee: do you have real world examples? Usually there's no selection filter at all, I don't remember any application which has that. (I haven't used other ECAD programs than KiCad.)

NhatKhai (nhatkhai) wrote :

I don't like to enforce my bias in here yet. But instead I would like to further clarify my concern. That is, the new work flow for this selection filter seem to have some trivial issues. Let me do some comparison:

In Version 4.0.7:
A1) Drag the mouse to selection a group of items
A2) Hit Enter key (To apply the current filter setting)
Therefore, this require 1 dragging, and 1 key

In Version 5.x:
B1) Drag the mouse to selection a group of items
B2) Right click the mouse
B3) Looking for the Selection item in the drop down menu (It not always on the same spot)
B4) Move the mouse to Selection item, click mouse
B5) Move the mouse to Filter item, click mouse
B6) Now hit Enter key
Therefore, this require ~4 mouse movements, 1 eye searching, 1 key

I hope no one would do this if they had actually test the usability of this feature.

eelik (eelik) wrote :

As long as the filter isn't applied automatically to all selections I'm happy. A hotkey would work, I think.

The usability of the RMB menu, by the way, is really bad as far as location of items is concerned. I don't understand how they don't stay in their places. That should really be obvious.

You are right about the amount of steps. Personally I just don't feel any need for less steps. But it's just me. On the other hand doing that extra Enter key step for all selections would be a no-no. Just keep it optional, without an always occurring dialog, and replace Enter with some other hotkey and I wouldn't complain.

Maciej Suminski (orsonmmz) wrote :

An improved selection filter will come along with the Object Inspector. The current plan is to add a docked window where one quickly toggle filtering. Perhaps it will get a hotkey assigned too, I have not considered this yet.

Changed in kicad:
milestone: none → 6.0.0-rc1
assignee: nobody → Maciej Suminski (orsonmmz)
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Robert (robee) wrote :

Here is the RMB menu from PADS. Once you have chosen what you'd like to select, that is all you'll select until you change that choice. That's the way Allegro works as well, and I don't see it as a burden, but rather, as the proper way to filter what you want to select. Currently on the board I'm designing, I have to move all my reference designators, which is a pain because I have to use disambiguation on each click because they are all on top of footprints. If I could tell Kicad I just want references, my work would be much easier.

Kicad could implement the same interface as PADS without having to use screen real estate with a window area. The "Filter" item in the menu allows further specification (which I don't particularly like).

NhatKhai (nhatkhai) wrote :

This may be another bug: Group select cannot select Reference Text. The reference text can only be selected by group select component (No mater where the reference text 1 miles aways still fine). Then uncheck all the filter, except the Text. Hit ok. NOTHING will be selected!

NhatKhai (nhatkhai) wrote :

No thing are intuitive, and make common to me so far on this when I doing silkscreen.

NhatKhai (nhatkhai) wrote :

By the way at least now - I found faster way to applying Filter Selection:
1) Group select
2) RMB -> Key "S" -> "Key" F -> Key Enter

So it is 1 dragging, and 3 keys (vs. 4.0.7 1 draggin and 1 keys).
I can kind of live with this for a bit.

But KiCad seem to move into the Component basic selection model which reduce the usability for selection item in the component such as Reference Text, Silkscreen drawing.... they don't have any path way from Filter Selection. (I cannot select Reference Text only of all the components).

Jeff Young (jeyjey) on 2019-02-27
summary: - pcbnew: Selection Filter did not actually effect the selection behavior
+ Make PCBNew Selection Filter a state rather than an action
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