I had dreaded a query language bashing session, Ill only add, as one of the users who 
find it a
stumbling block, due to this forced use of the language as a key feature in 2004, that 
I find most
things slower, not because of the application, but because I struggle with the 
required skill itself
(driving it as Ian put it), so the actual thought that must go into the desired  
process (and the
inevitable self doubt when doing it) actually takes longer than the physical typing it 
in and
running it.
Its my own limitations, simple. 
In Altiums eyes I guess that makes me stupid and not in the user demographic they wish 
to now
Will I make enough use of the language daily to ever have it as a natural skill, I 
doubt it.
Is the penalty in wasted time having to use it enough to make me move completely to 
another toolset,
no. I already use other tools and they have just as many plus points as weaknesses, in 
some cases
more weaknesses than DXP/2004 IMO.
But are there other features in 2004 that saves time/works better compared to 99SE, 
yes there is,
use of complex time consuming queries is a minority use of my time. 

But I would like to put forward, as it seems to be always missed out in such exchanges 
that the
engine was available, partly, in 99SE under Edit>Query Manager. All that has really 
happened is that
Altium have allowed user 'open' access to the engine in DXP/2004. 
For a user to guess how big an impact this will have on their daily use I suppose they 
could ask
themselves how often they used the E,Q shortcuts? And how often they could not get 
'just exactly'
the type of query they wanted? They might find what took 2 to 4 goes in 99SE would 
take 1 in 2004.

But the 2004 product is definitely not focussed on the SCH/PCB market anymore, so 
changes to the IDE
was inevitable. It is more intimidating to find things than use them.

Terry, I would not take too much talk over the query system as doom & gloom, I was 
always lousy at
software development and gave up a long time ago trying to improve those skills, hence 
my issues
with the query system, but there are much more improvements in 2004 over 99SE than 
just this one


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Wilson [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 4:24 AM
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] Is Protel 99SE to 2004 upgrade a good idea yet?
> On 12:52 PM 30/05/2004, Hamid Wasti said:
> >Ian Wilson wrote:
> >
> >>The learning curve is very significant in only one major 
> commonly used 
> >>area but this affects quite a few aspects of the software.  
> The query 
> >>language is like a small programming language that you can use to 
> >>select and mask objects in your design.  This language uses boolean 
> >>operators (AND, NOT, OR etc) and a provides big bunch of key words 
> >>like "InPolygon", "InNet", "InNetClass" IsPad etc etc.
> >
> >I have installed 2004 today and intend to do one simple 2 
> layer orphan 
> >board in it before deciding whether to stick with it or move to 
> >Expedition. So my experience comes from doing 2 orphan boards in DXP 
> >with
> >SP2 and what I have heard from others.
> >
> >I have 2 issues with the new method of global editing.  
> First, it is slower.
> No - it is slower when you are not used to them and used to 
> using all the stuff that can speed them up (like saving 
> favourites, history, the y-hot key, selection memories 
> .....).  They are slower when you drive them slower
> - this is not the user's fault necessarily but it is my 
> opinion that this the much talked about learning curve in a 
> nutshell.  The difference between being proficient at queries 
> and not is to a significant extent the difference between 
> productivity in P99SE and DXP/P2004 - if it has to be reduced 
> to a single thing.  Learn the query language, and the tools 
> that make it easier to use the querying language, and the 
> difference between globals in P99SE and multi-object edits in 
> DXP/P2004 becomes so much less significant that it is no 
> longer a buying decision point.  That is for some edits one 
> will be faster, for others it may be the other way around, 
> and for still others not possibly practically in P99SE - the 
> difference becomes insignificant in a project time scale.
> The question then comes up is what is the learning time to 
> become proficient?  Are you better off putting that to 
> learning another application altogether?  That is the really 
> hard decision - much harder than whether the old globals are 
> better or worse or slower or faster than the new.
> >The 99SE global edits could be done with just the mouse, or 
> a couple of 
> >characters.  This means that the right hand stayed on the 
> mouse and the 
> >left hand stayed on the keyboard, which is how most of the time is 
> >spent in the program.
> Exactly how I run the vast bulk of the ones I do.  The 
> complex ones require complex typing but these are things you 
> couldn't do in P99SE or you had to do as much typing.
> >   If you have to type sentences into a dialogue box,
> That is what the Find Similar Object dialog is designed to 
> stop you having to do.  I really do get tired of typing this. 
> Every one new to the query language should now write out by 
> hand 100 times - "I know what the FSO is."
> I knew I should have just shut up and not put my tuppence worth in.
> Ian

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