I'm quickly finding a real desire for better organization both of the tracks loaded on the table and the community tracks.
The ability to sort loaded tracks by name would be nice, and the ability to organize into folders as well (like by type). Though you can approximate folders by making playlists (and just using them to create new playlists from not actually playing). This doesn't work all that well though since they stay in the track list (making it harder to organize others). Also the ability to order playlists after creation would also be great. Currently it seems the order is as added and that's it.
Additionally, the community tracks, endlessly scrolling isn't great. Categorizing would be nice. Artist/popular is a good start, but maybe some broad categories like drawings (for things like a turtle), "swirls/spirals" (for nearly full table designs like peoni), "geometric" (for designs that don't take full table like circam 2s, sisvort) . Those are terrible names but you get the idea.
All your suggestions are good - and are underway. The next release of firmware and app will address them. As for the terrible names of my tracks - guilty! My excuse (admittedly lame): I built the first Sisyphus in 1998, and I was still using old DOS hardware to control my DIY CNC creations (Sisyphus being a direct "offspring"). Even though early Windows versions started to allow longer file names, the 8.3 restriction stayed with me for quite a while!
It would be a HUGE help to know by name if tracks started from the center or the edge and finished in the center or the edge. Maybe a naming convention of CC for patterns that start and end in the center or CE for ones that start center and end edge.
It would also be great to have a delete cycle that’s runs inside out and another one that runs outside in. That would keep us from having the weird errant line behind otherwise really pretty patterns. Thank you!
@mdolfis: By design, the way tracks are played, there isn't a distinction between "center-edge" and "edge-center." Here's how it currently works, and this includes the erase pattern.
If the next track to be played is "center-edge" or "edge-center," wherever the ball has ended, the table will automatically read the next track in forward or reverse order so as to not need to jump from edge to center or vice versa. So for example, if the current track ended at the edge, but the list of coordinates for the next track begins at the center and ends at the edge, the table will automatically read the list backwards from the bottom of the file. So these "center-edge"/"edge-center" types of files can be drawn forward or backward depending on the current position of the ball when the track is begun. So if erase is played next, it will start from the edge and end at the center if the ball was at the edge, and it will start from the center and end at the edge if the ball was at the center. I call these types of tracks "reversible." Many such tracks, when drawn, can result in different designs depending on the direction of draw.
The other cases are "center-center" and "edge-edge" patterns. I call these "non-reversible" tracks. To my knowledge, these are only ever drawn one way. They are never read backwards by the table. Originally, if these were the next track in the list and the ball ended at the wrong point (so for example, the ball is at the edge but the next track is a "center-center" track), then the table would actually skip the track and go to the next track that allowed it to start from the current ball position. This was not ideal, so the current implementation has the ball move in an arc toward the required starting point for the next track. This is the "errant line" that you see sometimes.
I have noticed that with the development of many "non-algorithmic"/"non-geometric" tracks, e.g. tracks that draw words or pictures of objects, that these frequently are "edge-edge" type. So if you do an erase after this track, the ball ends up in the center, and the next "edge-edge" track will require a "jump." The fix to this is to design additional tracks that erase in "center-center" and "edge-edge" manners, e.g. something like
or something like that (for a "center-center" erase). The exact numbers for the third point depends on the number of windings because you want the spacing to be even.
Thanks for jumping in with the very nice explanation @heropup! We're currently working on making it far easier to determine "center edge" (a.k.a. "0 1") track types and the ability to determine track reversibility - should be released very soon. One question: Why did you ad the third point? Was that so the inward erase would not just follow exactly the path (in reverse) of the outward erase?
Yes, the idea I had for a center-center or edge-edge erase track was to do half the number of turns as usual, and then do the other half on the way back? That way, the total distance remains roughly the same, without creating any obvious asymmetries or doubling back. But given the tight spacing, it probably still wouldn't look like a normal erase track.
@heropup - my table definitely doesn't work like you described. For 99% of tracks (and I mean the ones that came with the app, not "aftermarket" ones). The ball runs from the center out to the edge. Every track starts with "Homing table" which moves the ball from the edge to the center. And every track runs to the edge. Almost all of my patterns have a line (sometimes straight, sometimes arched) from where the ball homed from the edge prior to starting. Very occasionally, the ball will start at the edge and end in the center - but it's almost never. I have the latest app and the latest firmware. What should I do? Thanks! - Mark