Projects/Liberty/Introduction

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The Liberty Embroidery Project

Authors David Boddie
Robert Forsyth (purple-bobby)
Anne Wilson (annew)


Abstract: The 'Liberty' embroidery application, still has to deal with the closed world of embroidery file formats. The goal is to make an application suite which initially allows the user to organize and interchange embroidery files and projects, and later to create and edit projects.

The goal of any application is to be as simple as possible, but no simpler, provide intuitive interaction on a variety of platforms. Yet it has to be entertaining and fulfilling to use, so it is not so much showing – in-yer-face – how clever the programmer is, but showing how clever the user can be: given the right tools.

User Objectives

What is the main objective of the user of an embroidery application? What would an application provide? From Anne's emails:

Buy and Stitch users buy a pattern, save it to their computer, and load it on their machine to stitch it out. A preview of the pattern and a display of some meta-data (threads used, date bought and hoop size) and tags in the file browser would help them find a particular file.

Thread Substitution users change the colours or brand of threads used in a pattern, substituting one thread for another at a thread change stop during stitching. A list of threads used by a pattern, perhaps with length used and time to stitch, would aid correct substitution.

Broad stroke Amendments users mash-up existing patterns, removing parts of a pattern or placing several together as a new design. A variety of ways to accurately select stitch runs, components of a pattern or whole patterns in the design; and then to modify their colour, position, scale, rotation or just delete them, would help in this.

Embroidery Design users know the full gamut of aids available to make an embroidery design from scratch. A range of templates get the designer started and libraries of thread colours, stitch styles, patterns and previous designs based on the user's stock, help with completion.

Buy and Stitch and Thread Substitution users could make use of the same set of tools: plug-ins to extract preview and meta-data from alien pattern files, combined with a program or service to print the pattern full size with hoop alignment marks and a thread change list.

Broad stroke Amendments and Embroidery Design users could similarly use the same application, the tool boxes loaded into the docking areas, to the sides of the main work area, control what can be done to the design.

Stage 1 - the Design Gallery

Terminology

Pattern: a file which can be sent to and be understood by an embroidery machine.
Design: a combination of patterns and library elements, such as lettering, converted to pattern for stitching.

The Gallery

I think this would be preview and meta-data plug-ins to Dolphin/Konqueror or an Embroidery Gallery application which allows you to:

  • Send to a machine
  • Print a life-size template/guide and thread list
  • Filter by tags
  • Edit tags
  • Copy, Move, Delete and other file operations
  • Open Design to edit stitches/composition
  • Use Dolphin's Information panel to display metadata such as size, thread data



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