Making Woodpile more usable: version 1.0b3

There’s no better spur to developing software than to use it, and working with Woodpile on articles for this blog has focussed my attention on a number of features which needed to be added or improved. Here is a new beta-release which addresses some of those issues, and should significantly improve its usability and efficiency.

There are two new features.

The first is a control which allows you to set the maximum number of bars which will be used for the chart view of an individual window. This allows you precise control over the level of detail in each chart view. It also provides a simple way of setting the time periods for the bars, thus for the log extracts which you obtain by Command-clicking them.

I have been wondering whether to add exact time controls, as are provided in Consolation, but at present consider those would overcomplicate and become tedious to use. I will be interested to see whether achieving this indirectly, by setting the number of bars, might not be just as effective, and far easier to use.

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This bar setting is neither applied to all open windows, nor saved to preferences. That allows you to have each window set differently, as you wish.

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The other new feature is a manual refresh for the chart view. If you hold the Shift key when clicking or tapping, or right-clicking or two-finger-tapping, on the chart view, it will force a refresh. This will, for example, apply any change in the number of bars, or the Show events control.

Among the improvements are better synchronisation between Woodpile’s controls and views. One issue which I have addressed is behaviour when you change the selected process for a given log file. Previously this has taken you right to the top of the data, by forcing the display of all data for that process. You have then had to select the log file again, which is tedious and inefficient.

Now, when you are looking at a specific process in an individual log file, changing the Process popup menu setting will keep to the same log file. This will save a lot of time and wasted clicks.

I have also finally got round to doing something more sensible with window titles: each window now uses its title to display the log file in use, and the process being examined.

A couple of bugs are fixed. The first was a crash which could occur (uncommonly) when using custom Period settings. The other was a nuisance rather than a bug as such, which made it easy to inadvertently add an empty name to the list of custom Processes using the text box.

This new release is here: woodpile10b3
and is available in Downloads above.

If you do use it, please provide comments below, which will help guide its future development.