03 Views and Plots

A view combines a set of plots, organized in the form of a tree. Users can define and select between multiple views to get the information they need.

This article is based on impulse 1.8.

What are views?

A view provides a presentation for a set of signals. You can switch between these presentations, or re-use views for other signal sets. Views are not bound to a certain file or input.

Inside of a view you find Plots to display the signal data and Folders to organize the presentation in a hierarchical structure. This enables the user to hide/show parts of the presentation.

A plot does not contain any signal data, but the information on how to present them. It contains the settings for colour, name, type of diagram (line graph, vector diagram, etc.) and the way that the data are represented (decimal representation, hexadecimal notation, etc.)

How to create a new view

If you open a wave file with impulse and there is no suitable view available that has been used previously, the viewer automatically opens a dialogue to create a new one. The same dialogue can be opened with the "Add new View" button. In the opened window, you can now add a name, a description and select one of three view templates: "Empty View", "Create a hierarchy of all signals and scopes" and "Add a flat list of all signals". In addition, optional templates are provided by the reader or contained in the wave file.

  • Empty View
  • Create a hierarchy of all signals and scopes: generates a "copy" of the record file that shows the signals and scopes one-on-one
  • Add a flat list of all signals: all signals are taken from the record file and displayed below one another without any hierarchy

Next to the "Add new View" button is a pull-down menu that contains further options for the views. You can clone, edit and delete views.

How to modify views – add, remove, reorder and resize elements

Add

You can add single elements (folders, plots of multiple types) to the hierarchical structure by opening the context menu of the configuration with a right mouse click. If you click add, you can choose between adding a folder or single signal plots. You can also add elements (single or multiple) via drag and drop from the signal area.

Remove

To remove elements you open the context menu, click delete or mark the elements that you want to remove and press the delete key.

Reorder

You can reorder all elements by marking and moving them with the mouse. 

Resize

Elements are resized when you mark one or more and move the mouse to the left. The cursor then changes to an arrow with two ends and you can enlarge or shrink the element and its illustration within the diagram.

Using the Plot Configuration dialouge 

You can edit an existing plot by opening the edit dialogue with the context menu or by double-clicking the element whose configuration you want to change.

In the window you can find the name, the description, the production and the primary signal in the upper-left corner.

Below, you find optional settings depending on the selected production.
Underneath appear different kinds of interpretation settings depending on which kind of signal the configuration is intended.

Sources

To change the primary source, click on the button right to the text. The Source Reference dialogue will appear.
You can refer to a signal or to another plot (to take the result of another production).
The dialogue contains a scope tree, a filter and a signal table similar to the signal area of the viewer. Click on the signal or plot to select the source reference.

Productions

If the production field is empty, the source signal will be presented as it is. Productions can be used to create new signals:
  • Combine multiple sources
  • Extract statistical information
  • Do mathematical calculations
  • Validate signals
  • ...
The result will be presented in the pot area. If a second plot refer to this one, it will receive the result of the production as input. 
The UI shown to the user depends on the selected production. The following fields may be displayed:
  • Additional sources : if the production needs more than one input.
  • Process type: specifies the resulting process type
  • Signal type: specifies the resulting signal type
  • Signal descriptor: extended specification of the output signal
  • Domain base: the resulting domain base
  • Domain range: start, end and rate of the output
  • Production specific parameters

Find more in chapter: A07 Production Reference .

Visualisation

In the upper-right corner, you can change the colour in which the element is displayed within the diagram. Some default colours are set, but you can add your own personalized colours by selecting them with the icon next to the default colours. You can also change the colour of an element directly via the context menu if you choose the option Set colour.

Underneath the colours you can find the types of diagram; again you will find different ones enabled depending on the type of signal that the configuration is for. Possible diagrams are:

Logic/Vector
Logic and Vector diagrams are mainly used with Logic and Integer signal data. You can select the textual representation of the values and enable/disable the association flag (association are curves between signals).

Event
You may select the textual representation of the values and enable/disable the association and multi-color flag (paints the events using colors 'around' the selected color controlled by the sample value). 

Line
The line diagram configuration contains the following settings:
  • Combine: combine multiple line diagrams into one.
  • Interpolated: smooth line painting
  • Annotated: highlights the samples
  • Draw axis: shows the value axis
  • Range from/to: sets the  value axis range
  • Axis type: sets the value axis type
Transaction/ Log
These diagram types display struct values (e.g. log lines including severity, source and message; or an access including address, data and duration). 
The difference between transaction and log diagrams is that transactions have a start and end position (and might have intermediate steps).
Image
Image diagrams are using binary data. They assume that the binary data include compressed images (png, jpeg, gif).

Area
Area diagrams are similar to line diagrams. In addition, they can be painted stacked and transparent.

Chart
Chart diagrams do not use the common domain axis. Instead they fill the whole plot area (if you check the combine flag, multiple chart diagrams share the plot area). If you select the chart type, additional chart specific configuration fields will be drawn below.

Find more in chapter: 13 Working with Charts.

Gantt

You may select the textual representation of the values and enable/disable the association, multi-color and annotation flags.

Under this, you find two additional options:

First is the textual representation of the value column where the current value is shown. Second option is about the markers with which you can tag certain positions (values) within the diagram. In this dialogue, you can choose how these markers are shown.

The last element on the right side is the template list. If you select a template and press Take, all settings from the template will be taken. Actual settings will be overwritten.
If you press Add, the template dialogue will open to create a new template from the current plot settings.

All changes you make are presented directly in the diagram. Furthermore, you can edit multiple plot elements at once. Just select multiple elements and open the plot configuration dialogue.

Switch between multiple views

When you open a record file in the viewer, impulse will automatically choose the most suitable view by using the signal names and paths. If more than one view is found for the record then the first one will be used.

Impulse remembers the view last used for a specific wave file and, if you open it again, the previous view will be selected.

You can use an unlimited number of views for a wave file. The upper-right button in the toolbar is used to switch between multiple views. The more you work with impulse, the more views will be listed there. To make it easier to find a suitable view, you can use the filter button. The process of filtering is similar to the one that is used when the viewer is started, and you get the most suitable view for your file.

Store/Reset

To store your views, you use the button Store View in the toolbar. You can use the pull-down menu to either save the changes you made for your view or to reset the view.
All views are stored in the eclipse preferences store. You can find this in the upper-left toolbar under Window –> Preferences. On the right-hand side of the opened window, you find impulse and the view store.