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0 is a value, not the absence of one. (Change in CURA?)

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I just realized something, which illustrates a bit the difference of thinking between software engineers and coders and everyday folks: for the latter, 0 is a valid value, like 1 or 2 or pi or whatever, for the formers, 0 is usually used as an absence of value, meaning that if you input 0 in a field, then it tells the program to not execute whatever instruction is linked to that field, and move to the next instruction.


I was trying to help @4instudent with his Breakaway gap problem and realized that, when you input 0 in the 'Support Roof Line Distance' field, CURA interprets that as 'No support roof line needed' and creates a massive gap between the support and the bottom of the overhang because it doesn't create any support roof despite the option being checked, while what we wanted by inputting that value was 'No distance between the roof of the support and the bottom of the overhang, stick them together', the goal being to have the smoothest surface finish possible.


I haven't checked all parameters, but I'm sure there are many other examples of the 0 being understood as a 'null' answer instead of a 0 distance. Which is very confusing to the layman who has no knowledge of coding, and very frustrating even if you know the source of the problem because you have to fumble around with small values like 0.01 and hope it doesn't lead to CURA being confused because your printing profile is at 0.2 or something.


Could that be changed so that all the fields where the user can input a number, especially on 'distance' stuff, the 0 is read as '0 distance' instead of 'no value'? And, perhaps, put something else to mean 'no value', like leaving the field blank or using a sign like / or something?



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So, I have to put my hand up here and admit to committing this crime. I recently created a new setting called "Max Comb Distance With No Retract" that forces combed travel moves to use retraction if they are longer than some threshold distance (which is the value of the setting). Now, I had two choices here as to how this feature is enabled, I could either add another checkbox to make the setting active or not or I could choose a value that denotes that the setting is not active. One possibility is to make the setting default to such a large number that all combing travel moves would be shorter than that distance, say 100000000mm (or whatever). Personally, I don't like doing that because it looks ugly and you may not choose a value big enough (people are making some large form factor printers these days). So I plumped for zero and I made it explicitly obvious in the blurb for that setting that the value has to be greater than zero for the setting to be active. If the Cura guardians wish to add a checkbox to explicitly enabled/disable this setting I won't complain but I won't be doing that myself.

Edited by smartavionics

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