[Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp

[Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp

Postby Aerilius » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:33 pm

0_685.png


One of the problems facing application developers is adding functionality without making the entire interface feel cluttered. There are various means including toolbars, but none of them scale to even a moderately complex application[1]. Searchable user interfaces give the chance to provide the same powerful feature sets on limited screen space, and bridging over to all sorts of alternative and mobile devices.

LaunchUp (2).png


This plugin offers a quick launcher to search and execute features of SketchUp, including (and most importantly) plugins that you have installed.
  • You can search for native SketchUp functions as well as plugins and select them by mouse or keyboard. Features that are not usable in the current context can not be executed (and are shown grayed out).
  • Click the history/clock button to toggle a list of recently used features that you don't need to search anymore. You can also use this list as a dynamic toolbar.
  • Search for "LaunchUp – Options" to change settings.
Dynamic Toolbar.png


Recommended: SketchUp 8 M2 or higher (it works in a limited way in lower versions)

Version: 1.1.5

Date: 08.05.2014

Download





Usage:
  • Menu 'Plugins' → 'LaunchUp – Tool Launcher'
  • or create a shortcut, for example ctrl+space
  • The push pin icon toggles whether LaunchUp stays open all the time, or whether it hides when a command is executed.
  • The clock icon toggles the history of recently used features.
  • Search for 'LaunchUp – Options' to change settings.
This new supplementary UI for SketchUp is possible because SketchUp abstracts both menu items and toolbar buttons as one common UI::Command object for each feature. This could make it easy to reincarnate existing features in alternative places in the UI, or to access them easily by other means (voice etc.). However there are some obstacles where this beautiful scheme has not been completed:
  • We developers do not yet have proper API access to execute UI::Commands, read their position in the menu.
  • The other challenge is an older API method, that some scripts use, which creates menu items without a command object, thus making their features less accessible.

To developers:
It is easy to access UI::Command objects in Ruby's ObjectSpace. Because of that I'd prefer them over the method Sketchup::Menu.add_item(String) which neither creates a command object, nor allows to read metadata (name, description etc.). It would be great to have complete, meaningful metadata and icons (even if you initially don't ship a toolbar).
It would be beneficial if the SketchUp Ruby API adds getter methods to read a command's proc and validation_proc, and to get an eventual menu path or to provide keywords:
<UI::Command>.proc
→ Proc
<UI::Command>.validation_proc
→ Proc
<UI::Command>.menu_path (or category)
→ String
<UI::Command>.keywords
→ Array
<UI::Command>.keywords=(Array)

Project on GitHub: https://github.com/Aerilius/sketchup-launchup

 Note :
This plugin has only been possible by modifying (intercepting) SketchUp API methods, since the API lacks some methods (UI::Command.proc). This should not have bad side-effects, however in case you notice problems, you can just remove this plugin (and restart SketchUp) and notify me.

Not all native features (from the menus) are available and are not all exactly the same, but all plugins should be. Context menu items are available as soon as the context menu as been opened once.
1
Last edited by Aerilius on Thu May 08, 2014 1:56 pm, edited 28 times in total.

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Re: [Plugin]LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.0

Postby Rich O Brien » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:41 pm

Cool
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Re: [Plugin]LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.0

Postby Ben Ritter » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:42 pm

It does look amazing. Thank you.
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby Anton_S » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:51 pm

:thumb:
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby Krisidious » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:55 pm

dude... I'm digging it.
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby driven » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:04 pm

excellent,
I'll give it a whirl, and report back...
should I completely remove previous version first?
I guess I may as well...
john
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby small08 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:58 am

Trimble, are you watching?
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby TBA » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:02 am

Really helpful plugin!
That´s, what I´ve been looking for a long time :)

But on mac OS X the plugin lost the functionality after changing something in the plugin preferences.
At first time it running well, but after changing some preferences -> the plugin dialog stay, but won´t work anymore :(
Also, the option dialog is popup, but with nothing in there, only a white field.

Hope you can fix this!

Best regards,
Thomas
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby guanjin » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:46 pm

Chinese tools, the search seems to be not very good! :roll:
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby thomthom » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:32 pm

guanjin wrote:Chinese tools, the search seems to be not very good! :roll:

Sounds like it could be a Unicode issue?
Are you searching in Ruby or Javascript, Andreas?
Javascript should be able to handle Unicode.
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby Aerilius » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:42 pm

TBA wrote:the plugin lost the functionality after changing something in the plugin preferences.

I updated it to version 1.0.2 and fixed a possible cause for this issue (I don't know if that solves it).

guanjin wrote:Chinese tools, the search seems to be not very good!

I would be glad if I could make it work well with more languages.

LaunchUp searches through two sorts of data:
  • all your plugins:
    It gives results in the language of these plugins. If a plugin has been translated to your language, you would search in your language. If it is English, you would search in English. It would be best if all plugins were translated. I believe Trimble knows that this is a popular wish.
  • functions of SketchUp:
    We developers have no direct access to the texts in the menu. I had to duplicate all and I don't have them completely translated. I would need help with this. At the moment, English, French and German are complete, and Spanish and Portuguese need some work (see the lang folder).

I will test the plugin in the Chinese version of SketchUp and see if there are special problems that I could improve (but I don't understand Chinese).
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby Aerilius » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:48 pm

thomthom wrote:Are you searching in Ruby or Javascript, Andreas?

I had implemented the exact search algorithms in JavaScript and Ruby. Ruby was significantly faster (but it shouldn't be any effort to switch to JavaScript).

I tried it with Unicode characters (that Ruby interpretes as two bytes) and it worked well. It seemed to me that it doesn't matter whether Ruby sees a double byte character or two single bytes, if the search word and the scanned string contain both the same Unicode characters (or double/multiple bytes).
I'll do more tests.
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby thomthom » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:57 pm

Yea, Ruby would do a byte search and that should work. But if you do any modifications then it'll easily break.
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby Bob James » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:07 pm

Just gave it a try. Great potential.
Looked for Vertex Tools: The only thing that was listed was Insert Vertex. I chose that and it brings up Vertex Tools Toolbar, not just Insert Vertex.
I'll keep experimenting and look forward to further developments :thumb:
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby guanjin » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:45 am

Aerilius wrote:
thomthom wrote:Are you searching in Ruby or Javascript, Andreas?

I had implemented the exact search algorithms in JavaScript and Ruby. Ruby was significantly faster (but it shouldn't be any effort to switch to JavaScript).

I tried it with Unicode characters (that Ruby interpretes as two bytes) and it worked well. It seemed to me that it doesn't matter whether Ruby sees a double byte character or two single bytes, if the search word and the scanned string contain both the same Unicode characters (or double/multiple bytes).
I'll do more tests.


未命名.jpg


Only very smoothly sandbox tools search
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby lionk » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:30 am

We translated the Chinese language files, test perfect! :lol:
Translated by 麦兜(miduee)&双鱼(shuangyu)
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby Aerilius » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:29 pm

Wow! That is so much work, thank you!!!
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby Litchi » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:49 pm

thanks for your presents !it's great !
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby caronte01 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:34 am

Nice plugin!

I like having as few toolbars visible as it is possible. Also, many times, one or two functions of any plugin is all I use, but I have to keep the entire toolbar visible. This plugin solves the problem.

One question:
Is there a way to switch between icons and text. Not all of the plugins I use have toolbars/icons. It would be nice to have text instead of icons, as an option. And, can the text be a bit smaller and not in bold.

Thanks a lot!!!!

Santiago
Untitled-1.png
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby caronte01 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:34 am

Spanish strings, revised and corrected.

Santiago
LaunchUp_es.rar
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby TBA » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:39 am

Hi Aerilius,

this 1.0.2 version works on mac now !
(but the LaunchUp-Option dialog pops up empty and white like in the version before)

And there are two more issues
1_
The number of suggestions I can type in the preferences shows time the same result of 10.
No matter if I type in 25 or whatever -> the results have a number of 10 only!

2_
The "dialog stay after execute a command" isn´t working.
After enable this -> the next time is unable like before.

Additional note:
The LaunchUp window fit to the smallest state if enabled LaunchUpagain, but only after executing a command. After then, I must drag it out (make it bigger) manually to see the last results and preferences button/field.
If I look only in the preferences and close these -> next time I enable LaunchUp again -> the dialog shows the preference button line and the last results.

Hope you can fix this all also


Best regards,
Thomas
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby Aerilius » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:14 pm

Hi Caronte,
thank you for the translations!

A toolbar usually has icons and not text. In the screenshot, the history's style is set to "toolbar" and text that you see is rather a "fallback" for plugins that don't have an icon. You can change the style of the history to something else with icon + text by typing "LaunchUp Options" ;-)
I'll look how I can optimize the toolbar style to display better readable text without breaking the layout of a toolbar. Any ideas are welcome.

Hi Thomas,
thanks, I have already received your PM, and have begun working on some changes that could maybe improve it on OS X. Though at the moment, the sun is shining (maybe the first time this winter) and it's not so easy to test without owning a mac.
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby caronte01 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:48 pm

Aerilius

Thanks, that fixed the issue. One thing is that behavior preferences are not saved between sessions, or even between closing and opening the launchup window
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby TBA » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:00 pm

Hi Aerilius,

thanks for all your work !

I hope you enjoy the sun in Germany/Kaiserslautern also for the next days :)

Best regards from Hamburg,
Thomas
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby thomthom » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:29 am

Maybe add a load trap if one package is missing - display a better error message?
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby thomthom » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:34 am

Finally got around to try out this gem. :)

But I'm a little puzzled by the search results some times. It appear to include results not matching my search. :?:
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby Aerilius » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:16 pm

What package missing?

At the moment, the search is a bit too tolerant (ie. it gives abbreviations too much weight, like "S… and"). Today evening I'll have a new version ready.
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby thomthom » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:30 pm

Aerilius wrote:What package missing?


In my case I was a bit quick in getting started and didn't install the command package. :oops: I didn't RTFM. :roll:
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby Arty2 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:56 pm

Great work! I can now peaceflly remove making that exact plugin from my TODO list :D
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Re: [Plugin] LaunchUp – A Quick Launcher for SketchUp – 1.0.

Postby notareal » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:36 am

This has a great potential.
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