Friday, 8 January 2010

Review from the passing scene

In this article I'll be reviewing all the interesting posts I've published where the set up of the VLO framework is involved. From working with the canvas to using a Force-directed graph layout I'll show you the vast amount of information I've posted, and this will help me to think "Where the project is?" and "Where the project is going to?".

The first approximation of the project was "Playing with TCanvas, linking objects". These four posts were an attempt of playing with the TImage canvas and inserting different TImage extended components with different properties and methods to draw lines for each image. In the part III and IV I introduced the building an arrow (with the equations) and the managing of the flickering inside the canvas.
Afterwards, I wrote about a little implementation of the persistency using XML. With this piece of code I can store my objects into XML files and recover them when I want. The new project is based in this functionality, but with the help of Delphi 2010 and JSON.
After implementing different solutions with the canvas and the storage of the information, I started to play with different algorithms for working with grafos.
Next, I started working in a small project called "Automated linked objects with Delphi". This program was build to show the difficulties of drawing lines to connect boxes. Working with some PLC programs, I was amazed by the algorithm they used to draw lines from one component to another, and I was trying to do the same, but in the end was very difficult to do it.
Then, I introduced the different patterns I used for building the different parts of the application:
From here, with all the information that I had, I started the project that now VLO framework is. I was applying different solutions to different problems like mouse movement, selecting objects, resize objects, etc.
In the middle of the development, I had an idea of merging the application with a Vijeo Citect Automation Library for calculating transport routes. Now, after getting the idea, the project was aimed to scan a Citect screen, get all the information and display all of it in the VLO framework.
I was struggling with different problems in the application, but I managed to solve all of them:
When I had all the system built, I began to correct so aesthetic problems improving the desing of the arrow and drawing the text correctly using true type fonts.
Then I released the Thundax Box Manager application, which contained all the previous information.
and presto!, the VLO framework was released and uploaded to SourceForge.
After all of this, I was focused on calculating transport routes using my framework. With that, I could draw the nodes and the edges visually and try to calculate the different ways.
Then I learned how to use the Camtasia Studio and I uploaded some videos.
Finally, the last posts about using a Force-Directed graph layout:
There are more than 70 articles describing every part of the application. Notice that I developed the system from scratch and when I had all the pieces that I needed I joined all of them sucessfully. The project is still in an early stage and I need to develop more things because I want to release an new application in brief time. This new program will use the platform and it will have al the algorithms to work with graphs.

If you have any suggestion about the program, they are all welcome!.

Here you can download the latest revision of the application:
I hope you enjoy!.

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