[Developer Feedback] Poll: layer manager


Funny considering I don’t actually plan to change this. Just trying to calibrate whether my intuition about what people expect is accurate. It could get changed in the future, but…priorities…

Sure, and I’m just discussing that feedback. Changing the behavior of a button because it gets clicked accidentally feels really misguided, so I want to know how people feel about actually stopping that button from being clicked accidentally…

Looks like I’ve been taught my lesson though, I won’t keep asking for input. Seems a number of people get rather upset when you try to have a discussion instead of just filing their feedback away for reference…


While we are at it: I strongly suggest implementing some sort of “view” mechanism that allows users to select user defined layer combinations comfortably. When you have a bunch of layers in a project it is extremly tedious and unproductive to spend one’s time clicking layers on and off. The currently implemented selections around “hide all copper layers” does not help a lot.

I feel that is even more important than the way colors are changed, provided they can be changed at all and there is a richer choice of colors.


I did not know that. (Really in all my time using kicad i never noticed it.)
I would also not expect this behavior to be honest. (And i bet most people don’t.)

It will take you maybe 2 clicks until you learn that the behavior has changed. The question is not how is it now but how do you think somebody without bias would expect it to work. In good GUI (re)design this is the most important question. Keeping old workflows comes at best second.

Also if the color selector is moved to the right i think it is enough of a visual clue to the user that something has changed and therefore the user experience will be better.

It will also increase the visual distance between the color selector and the “this layer is active” marker. This will further reduce the association that the color selector is responsible for changing the active layer.


That would be the wrong lesson IMHO.
You just have to expect the full spectrum of answers when you get out and ask, such is life. :head_bandage:
Get that info, do with it what you think is right and call the shots.
By probing for opinions (probably in an echo chamber :nerd:) beforehand you try to make your decisions more informed which is a good thing in my world.


If only habits, good or bad, could be that easily changed.


Just think of it this way:
You will be inconvenienced for a bit, but everyone else gets a more logical user interface.


If this will be also new icon to click in layer. I prefer the old one.
The new one seem to more button like than little flat old one. However I’ve no problem in that 3d button like.
But the old one I can see bigger color than smaller color in new button.

Bigger rectangle of color button make more easy to distinguish the color. Especially when color is near.


You got windows 10 there, the appearance of the color button/visibility selector is OS dependent.
Scroll up to see some varieties posted by @ikletti


Oh! really I see that :yum:


I agree with this. I would like a feature where a particular combination of layer/render checkboxes can be saved so it can be recalled at any time and in any project.


I would argue against having an additional interface / dialogue to save certain combinations of on/off in the layers. From a usability perspective this adds clutter to the dialogue and of any given interface type there should only be one way of changing something. Having multiple ways causes confusion and adds to the chances of one part being overlooked and having different functionality as time progresses.

I would have thought this functionality could be easily implemented by a script and an add on to those who need it.


It’s quite common for programs to have “presets” for selecting a specific combination of settings. This could be easily added without adding any “clutter” to the interface.


As there is no possibilty of starting scripts by a menu item or user configurable button or something like this, several steps in a dialogue are required. But then I am new to KiCad and could have missed something.

Off topic: is there any decent scripting / object model description? (Don’t refer me to Google :wink: ).


I’ve seen a couple of posts regarding python scripting, one with how to setup dialogue box type interfaces. Programming is not my forte, but this looks to be one way of implementing;


Thanks for the tip. How about object model documentation? Any pointers?

Remark: KiCad is targeted at hardware developers. Programming requirements should be kept to a minimum IMHO. Personally, I am fine with programming - to a certain level, but this need not necessarily be the case for every user, be it professional or not. Is is really productive to have to dig into python to get a basic function?


I would be happy if there was a way to turn off everything on a copper layer with one click. As it is now, you have to turn on or off rendering for the traces and pads separately, and that drives me bonkers.


And, the other way round, it is not sufficient to turn off silkscreen, you have to turn off the reference designator rendering, too. Or the texts for the respective board side.
And, and, …


I see the pointer pointing to the colored box, so I’d click on a colored box to change the layer. I rarely ever want to change the color so for me it’s an extreme nuisance for the color selector to come up if I click on a colored square. Besides, the colored squares look like buttons - the text looks nothing like a button and the check box hides/shows the layer.


As the visuals exist, it seems like the function should open a color picker, but that’s not necessarily what it should do.
I’m in agreement that with a relatively seldom used feature it seems weird to have editing the colors at the forefront of the UI. As a one more opinion, it might make sense to use one or more interactions:

  • doubleclick on the swatch to change the color, assuming these are changed from button style elements to a plain color swatch. More information, better color understanding.
  • right click context menu anywhere on a line gives an option to change color
  • maybe have an “change color scheme” or “edit colors” spot at the bottom of the tab to open a more fully featured color editor?


This gets my vote.:heart: