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Thread: Notes on the philosophy of CUI

  1. #101
    Woo! Hoo! my 1st post
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    Default Re: Notes on the philosophy of CUI

    Okay. Woah. So I'm not a menu tweaker by any stretch. I make a couple of toolbar buttons here and there. I'm a keystroke guy, so the .pgp file has been my custom content up until now...

    I know this is going to be WAY out of place, but I'm afraid that I can't search through 10 pages of information that is beyond me just to figure out a few simple ideas and definitions.

    So...could someone take a step back and give me a bit of an overview of the structure of ribbons, pallets, partial cuix, enterprise cuix, and anything else anyone thinks might be pertinent.

    To give you all context: this past summer I've become the lead engineer in a department of 4 people. Up until now our company has had some unwritten 'standards' in the drafting arena. Those seem to have gone out the window in recent years due to the volatile economy and resulting personnel turnover. I'm writing policy and procedure to be implemented through the 1st quarter of next year. I would like to give the guys a base ACAD (2010) structure of standard blocks loaded onto Tool Pallets and a few custom toolbars with some LISP routines loaded at startup. I know that none of this requires heavy custom interfacing, but to go along with the minty-fresh (now correct and organized) blocks and such on the server I would like to give the guys a clean interface including Tool Pallets to insert said blocks, and instructions on how to customize the interface. In order to be effective, I need to understand how the CUI editing works, and plainly: I don't. Not completely. So here are some specific questions:

    1. Partial CUIx: are these essentially 'overlays' on top of the main cuix (acad.cuix, or whatever is set to load at startup)?
    2. I keep seeing the word 'enterprise' attached to the idea. What exactly is this? A read-only server-side starting point interface?
    3. How do I 'point' ACAD to a directory in which I'd like to save the 'enterprise' cuix (as I understand its definion)?

    Since I'm using IE Explorer, and it keeps crashing, I'm going to leave it at that for now before I lose this post.

    Thanks in advance, you crazy tweakers!
    Last edited by Marc_D; 2013-12-16 at 07:38 PM.

  2. #102
    Member Randall Temple's Avatar
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    Default Re: Notes on the philosophy of CUI

    It's been a while since I implemented this, but I'll gtake a shot at explaining it.

    If you open the Options dialog in ACAD, on the Files tab, you'll see Customization Files in the tree (the 5th item in ACA2013.) Expanding that, you'll see Main Customization File, Enterprise Customization File, and Custom Icon Location.

    The Main Customization File is for user customizations. Properly set up, it is unique to each individual user. In our small network, it resides in the user's folder on the server, along with their profile (.arg file.) I have them all named User.cuix, so I can use one LISP routine to set (or reset) the files and paths on any of our workstations.

    The Enterprise Customization File contains the customizations that you make, as the CAD manager, for the entire group. By design, your users can't touch this. Any changes they make only affect their own customization file. The standard ACAD.cuix (or ACA.cuix) is loaded as a partial to this file. A little like a nested xref, it'll load any time your Enterprise cuix file is loaded. Anything you've defined in the Enterprise file will supersede the partial file(s).

    Here's where it gets a little confusing, though. To edit the Enterprise Customization File, you'll need to load it as your Main Customization File. To make the switch easy, I set up an Admin profile, referenced by a second desktop shortcut next to my regular one.

    The Custom Icon Location is used if you make custom icons for your enterprise toolbars. It should be on the server so all of your users can access them.

    The advantage of this scheme is that only those functions that you've customized need to reside on the server, and you don't need to copy the customizations to everyone's workstation. Plus, it makes upgrading a (relative) breeze. We used to wait years between upgrades, intimidated by the chore of porting all of our customizations into the new version. Now, I just duplicate and rename the .cuix files, do some testing, and tweak whatever routines don't behave as they used to. (If you'll be running multiple versions during the transition, you can have your LISP routines test for the software version and respond accordingly.)

    I don't know if that covered everything you asked, but that's what I remember for not having touched it lately. Don't be shy asking additional questions. They might jog my memory.


    R
    Last edited by randall.temple; 2013-12-16 at 08:59 PM.

  3. #103
    Member Dinochrome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Notes on the philosophy of CUI

    I made it to page 6 before my eyes started to glaze over. (Caracas is a combination of two metaphors, 1. Where he wants to go on vacation, 2. an example of a random, but specific item to be called by the CUI menu)

    I was decent up to tool bars. I've started picking at the ribbon. My attempts at customizing have led to limp results. I like putting the idea of "Enterprise" (or, main company standards) placed under the custom CUI tree. It can still reside in some write protected directory or file so it won't get hashed up.

    Randall.Temple, the initial directory in the options dialogue points to the custom .cui directory, right? The rest is handled through the actual CUI interface linking to the "Enterprise" menu?

    .....Does anyone remember the IBM commercial where the engineer brings out his new multi-widget and proclaims" It's a universal adapter!" - then one of the marketing execs asks "...but, does it work in Europe?" Followed by the engineer putting his head down in frustration...

    Can I do this with Electrical? ...is it worth my time to even try?
    "And sometimes to help them we have got to help ourselves."
    Stevie Ray Vaughan

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