2. The Graphical User Interface

The graphical user interface of baspl++ has been designed following the conventions of todays application software on one hand, and on the other hand by taking into account the needs of daily engineering work, which requires the simultaenous use of many applications: CAD modeler or pre-processor, post-processor, text-processor, text editor, and web-browser to mention but a few. This leads to a rather cluttered (computer) desktop. For this reason, most parts of baspl++'s graphical user interface are arranged in a single window, the main window. Only dialogs for loading, saving, printing, error reporting etc. and special-purpose objects will open additional windows.

The following figure displays the main window:

The main window consists of the following elements, labeled in red in the above figure:

  • The menu bar. When a baspl++ object is selected (see below), the Object sub-menu contains the menu of that object.

  • The tree widget containing the current baspl++ objects, arranged by category. When an object is selected, the corresponding editor is activated. By clicking the right button of the mouse, the object's menu is activated.

  • The editor area contains the editor of the currently selected baspl++ object. When no object is selected, the quick-start guide is displayed instead. The editor allows to inspect and modify all settings of the currently selected object. When another object is selected, that object's editor will be displayed in the editor area.

  • The default Scene object's window. This object is used to display other baspl++ objects such as NPart, Graph, Text, or Line objects. Above the Scene window, the Scene toolbar is displayed. The toolbar permits to print the contents of the Scene window, to save them to a file. to change the model view, to select elements etc.

  • The Python console. Here, Python expressions and statements can be entered. See also Section 4.

  • The status information area. It indicates the last informational, warning, or error message. When messages are available, pressing the "Info" button in the lower left corner will make appear the message dialog.

  • The editor history buttons allows to switch back and forth between previously selected baspl++ objects. To the right of the two buttons, the type and ID of the currently selected object are indicated.

  • The size of the Scene window and of the Python console can be adjusted by means of the handle between the two areas. The Scene window's size can also be changed by changing the size of the main window.