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.

Objectives of the Embroidery Application

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

Buy and Stitch - these users buy a pattern, (maybe) save it on their computer, and load it on their machine to stitch it out. They need preview and meta-data (tags) in the file browser to help them find a particular file.

Thread Substitution - these users change the colours or brand of threads used in a pattern. They need a list of threads used by a pattern, so that they can manually substitute a thread for another during thread changes during stitching. I think it would be useful to indicate the quantity of each thread, and show the effect of changing it on the pattern in a tool.

Broad stroke Amendments - these users remove sections of pattern or add (library) components to the pattern. The tool here allows selection of an area – rectangle and circle/oval being the first need, then, if possible, a point-to-point selection that, when closed, will recognise the enclosed shape boundaries and jump to them. Areas selected can be moved, duplicated, removed and combined.

Embroidery Design - these users know the full gamut of aids available to make an embroidery design from scratch. A range of templates get the designer started – templates can be based on existing embroidery designs/patterns, (bitmap or vector) images, or blank canvas. The colours used can be optimised to reduce the number of thread changes. The workflow sees the design go from template to areas of colour, but with stitch direction hinting (from image analysis or user defined). The application will try to find the areas automatically, but with help from the user to prioritize. Double clicking an area gives access to an user defined sorted thread bank tool, giving selection of the available colours. The user can guide the stitch direction and length using a short drag gesture. A pattern resource library can be built, patterns selected and added/copied/cut from the design.

Stage 1 - the Design Gallery

Terminology

Pattern: a file which can be sent to a machine, to a USB stick or CF card, or used in combination with others in a design.
Design: a combination of patterns and library elements (such as letters)

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
  • (Save) 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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