Subtle Changes and Big Improvements on the Connections Report.

We have just released R213 and we are extremely excited about this release. In addition to much faster report generation speed, we have also made subtle changes to the way the connection report is generated. Previously, if you look at our connection report closely, you will notice a couple of blank entries on the report, as shown below:

Blank Lines on Electra E6 Connections Report

Wires that do not connect to anything The reason they are blank is mostly because you may have wires (as shown on the left) that does not connect to anything (or is used as intermediaries), therefore they are listed as blank entries.

In the updated connection report, these blank entries will no longer be shown to improve legibility (as shown below). We strongly believe users will find the connection report much more readable with the blank entries removed. These entries, will now be shown only when you have assigned a cable to them, otherwise they will no longer be generated.

No more blank entries on Electra E6 connections report

How do we humans, read a connection?

Sample connection shapes

On the examples shown at left, is the square connected to the circle or is the circle connected to the square? Is the circle connected to the triangle or is this triangle connected to the circle? The natural answer for most of us is that the square is connected to the circle. This is because most of us read a connection that is "from" left and "to" right. Therefore, for most of us, most links connect "from" left "to" right and this is natural.

The same applies to the circle and the triangle below. Most of us will say that the circle is connected to the triangle because it is natural for a us to assume something is connected to another "from" top "to" bottom.

However, these rules have exceptions all the time. For example, if we look at the box labelled "A" and "B" above, most of us will definitely say that the connection is FROM "A" TO "B", and not the other way around. This is because although it is natural for us to assume something is connected to another "from" top "to" bottom, when we label our shapes, we expect the shapes to connect in alphabetical order, even though "A" connects to "B" from bottom to top.

In short, "from" or "to" is actually a relative term, and depending on perspective, they often can be interchangeable.

Subtle changes in the connection report.

We have made three small changes to the way the connection report is generated:

    Connection report order according to pages
  1. Connections are always ordered according to page order. For example, a connection is always "from" page 2 "to" page 3, without exception. Page order has the highest priority, within the three rules listed here.
  2. Connection report order by symbol reference
  3. Connections are always ordered according to symbol reference, but only if they have similar reference. For example, a connection is always "from" R1 "to" R2. Or a connection is always "from" MCB1 "to" MCB2. But a connection is NOT always "from" C1 "to" MCB1, because their reference is not similar. This rule has medium priority within the three rules listed here, meaning only when a connection between symbols in the same page is evaluated, this rule will apply. If they are on different pages, the first rule apply.
  4. Connection report ordered according to location
  5. Connections are always ordered from left to right and then from top to bottom. For example, if R1 is on the left of the page and MCB1 is on the right of the page, then the connection is always "from" R1 "to" MCB1. The same applies to top or bottom placed symbols. This rule has the lowest priority among the three listed here, meaning when the 2 rules above do not apply, only then will this rule apply.

Despite only minor changes, we felt strongly that the changes make a big difference in legibility. It simply feels more natural to read the new connection report this way. I sincerely hope that you will like the changes. Keep in touch and keep the feedback coming. Thanks a million.

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