User interface

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The purpose of this page is for general discussion on sprucing up the openrocket user interface and archiving ideas.

Rocket design[edit]

  • The component tool box (north east corner) is rather large for what it does. These could be reduced in size and contained within a toolbar.
  • A standard component editing panel could be introduced. Instead of having a new dialog box open when you select a component, the contents of this part of the UI would be moved to this panel. This would allow the user to easily modify the parameters of the component and see its changes without having to move windows.
  • Unlike many other applications, there is no right-click option in the component tree. A right click menu could allow new components to be added as well as delete, edit and move options which would make the adjacent buttons redundant.


  • When running simulations, you have already designed the rocket and don't need to see it in the bottom pane. The main tab pane could be changed to take the whole screen with the rocket only shown in the bottom for the design tab.
  • Plots are only available in separate windows and it is difficult compare the same plot for different simulations. The plots could be docked and automatically change as a different simulation is selected.
  • The buttons along the top are always enabled, but do nothing if no simulation is selected. Buttons should be disabled when they won't do anything.
  • It is possible to select multiple rows in the table at once, which doesn't make sense.
  • There is just one button for opening the plot/export panel. These should be separate options and possibly open independent dialogs rather than tabs in the simulation dialog.
  • The buttons across the top are not strictly necessary. An alternative arrangement could provide these options in a more intuitive way. For example
    • Replace the table layout with a scrolling frame like in the plot axis types selector and custom expressions. I.e. with icon buttons for delete, run etc. Only the very basic flight data needs to be in this table, provided a full tab of flight statistics is available elsewhere.
    • Or: A simplified list of simulations could be put in a tree like panel on the left side similar to in the rocket design. Perhaps expanding the tree for each simulation could show the flight events and datatypes which you could drag into an adjacent plot or export configuration pane.
  • It would be good if plots could be individually printed/exported and if zooming and scrolling was more intuitive, such as how it works with matplotlib.

General usage[edit]

  • Dockable windows/panels idea: Some libraries exist for easily implementing dockable panels. Kevin has created a demo branch of openrocket with the InfoNode library. See mailing list for screenshots. There are some alternatives: flexdock and docking windows are viable candidates. The latter had a release just a couple of months ago and seems to have been used in some pretty big projects. The former is a part of scilab but the docking system is still and independent project.