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Author Topic: Cup of Tea Tutorial  (Read 16594 times)
xpuserpjc
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« on: February 07, 2008, 08:19:36 AM »

After subscribing to the VersionTracker Pro service, which checks versions of third-party applications as Software Update does for Apple programs, I saw Flying Logic in the listing. So, I decided to try it out.

Tutorials and examples seem thin for an absolute beginner. If one is familiar with whiteboard, Post-It arrays, etc. it might be more familiar. I did view the video and read the PDFs and decided to try a project.

Example Project

Some of the documentation used the logical steps for getting a cup of tea as illustration. I decided to explore the program using that example. I created entities for several preconditions (teapot, cup, water, heating equipment), actions, one undesirable effect, and the goal of a cup of tea.

If you really want to work the process, one could take it further by coordinating a tea party with invitations, a place to gather and drink tea, parking issues, baby-sitting coordination, etc.

I also notices some curiosities.

Manipulating Entities

I was frustrated that I couldn't simply grab an entity to reposition it on the canvas. (I wanted to avoid crosse lines for better visual scanning right-to-left of the process.)  In attempting a move, an arrow would appear and I would see "Cycles (loops) are not allowed" in the upper right if I managed to return the arrow to the entity before letting go. I tried a couple modifier keys (Cmd, Opt, Sft) with no change in behavior.

Granted, I am a novice at using the program. I didn't see anything in preferences about "snap to grid", etc.

Exporting Diagram

I found if i export a diagram to JPEG, I cannot save that file to an alias of a folder, which I had placed on the Desktop for convenience. (Cmd-D in any MacOS X dialog gets you to the Desktop.) I have to find the actual folder, which I found odd. I saw the same behavior if I chose File > Save As for the logic file. This seems to violate the user interface guidelines. Additionally, I found the target folder and navigated there in Terminal and created a symlink on the Desktop. I also couldn't save to that. (The MacOS X alias and Unix symlinks are similar but different. I can't 'cd' to an alias of a directory in MacOS X Terminal, for example.)

In any case, I worked with the program and exported a JPEG that I will include here. I see I can "Insert Image" from the posting toolbar buttons but I will use "Attach" under "Additional Options". I'm still in evaluation phase, hence the watermark on the image.

Paul

P.S. Preview of the post doesn't seem to work. I only see one line of text.


* CupOfTea2.jpg (64.96 KB, 925x679 - viewed 1759 times.)
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Tom
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2008, 06:21:09 AM »

I was frustrated that I couldn't simply grab an entity to reposition it on the canvas. (I wanted to avoid crosse lines for better visual scanning right-to-left of the process.)  In attempting a move, an arrow would appear and I would see "Cycles (loops) are not allowed" in the upper right if I managed to return the arrow to the entity before letting go. I tried a couple modifier keys (Cmd, Opt, Sft) with no change in behavior.

Granted, I am a novice at using the program. I didn't see anything in preferences about "snap to grid", etc.

Flying Logic tries to lay out everything in the map for you, making its best effort to position things so that they are easy to read, that there are few line crossings, etc. If there is an undesirable line crossing, it's probably because your graph is such that there's no easy way for it to be drawn otherwise.

It does not let you reposition manually because its focus is on the data, not the layout. The only options you have for how entities are positioned are the drop-downs in the lower left.
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Robert McNally
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2008, 05:58:12 PM »

xpuserpjc,

Tom is right. The emphasis in Flying Logic is on automatic layout. The idea is that you should be focused on what the logic of the diagram means, and let the program handle how it's laid out, which really doesn't (and shouldn't) impact what the document means.

Attached is my take on your cup of tea example. A few things to note:

• The "undesirable effect" of the used tea bag is an outcome of dipping the tea bag, and so should flow out of it, not into the goal.

• Actions should never have arrows flowing into them— but they should always be paired up (via AND junctors) with preconditions and/or intermediate effects that need to be true before those actions can be taken.

• Notice that there is no AND junctor for the arrows entering the "Cup of hot water" entity. This is an "OR" relationship— in other words, there are two ways to get a cup of hot water, the "Standard Method" or the "Microwave Method."

• A successful Transition Tree will always end with its Goals and possibly with one or more Desirable Effects.


* Another Cup of Tea.jpg (53.24 KB, 930x576 - viewed 5093 times.)
* Another Cup of Tea.logic (39.27 KB - downloaded 416 times.)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 06:01:47 PM by Robert McNally » Logged
janwybe
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 08:45:18 AM »

Hi,

I like the "Another cup of tea" example very much and use it to show friends what kind of diagrams you can make with Flying Logic.

Also it is the only example I have been able to find until now in which two different "courses of action" are being depicted.

Regarding this example, I have a question that has to do with layout. When I open the xlogic file with Flying Logic version 2.0.4, the goal entity ("Hot cup of tea") is no longer placed at one of the extremes of the diagram, but somewhere on the way to the end of the diagram. See the picture below.

In terms of layout, I would prefer the goal entity to be placed at the end of the diagram. Is there something I can adjust in my program to achieve that?

Thanks in advance,

Warm regards,

Jan Wybe.



* 120215 Another Cup of Tea (FL version 2-0-4).jpg (86.74 KB, 1388x947 - viewed 2629 times.)
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Jan Wybe Oosterkamp
Robert McNally
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 03:35:19 AM »

I recommend experimenting with the "Bias" setting in the Layout Inspector. It can make a big difference in which entities are moved to the extremes of the diagram. See the attachments.


* Screen Shot 2012-02-21 at 3.33.28 AM.png (67.45 KB, 864x543 - viewed 1277 times.)

* Screen Shot 2012-02-21 at 3.33.39 AM.png (69.58 KB, 824x750 - viewed 1231 times.)
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janwybe
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2012, 03:45:03 AM »

Hi Robert,

Many thanks for your suggestion, and also for the examples.

I had already experimented with the bias setting, without succeeding in getting the Goal entity to be displayed at one extreme of the diagram and the starting points at the other.

I have given it another try, without success, so now I am at a loss to understand why the Goal entity keeps being displayed somewhere along the way to the end of the diagram.

Apart from the bias setting, what else could be a factor?

Could it be that the FL file that I had been experimenting with, had originally been created with a version of Flying Logic from the beginning of the year 2008; one with the ".logic" extension?

Would you be willing to share the FL file with which you made the examples displayed in this posting, so I can experiment with the differences?

Many thanks again,

Warm regards,

Jan Wybe.
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Jan Wybe Oosterkamp
Robert McNally
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2012, 10:31:43 PM »

Jan,

It certainly wouldn't matter what version of Flying Logic created the original file. We did change our layout algorithm somewhat in Flying Logic 2.0, so in general you can't expect identical results between 1.0 and 2.0.

Also, there's no guarantee that any setting will always result in all entities with no successors at one extreme and all entities with no predecessors at the other extreme... the layout algorithm always has some room to move things around.

The file I used was simply the "A Hot Cup of Tea" example you can get to by File > Open Examples... > Transition Tree
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