File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Managing anatomically complex model cells with the CellBuilder. Importing morphometric data with NEURON's Import3D tool or Robert Cannon's CVAPP. Where to find detailed morphometric data.
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bsuter
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File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by bsuter »

Instructions for using Import3D read:
In the Import3D window, click on the "choose a file" checkbox.

This brings up a file browser. Use the file browser to go to the directory that contains the morphometric data file.
When I click the checkbox, a check mark appears, but no dialog becomes visible. Either the dialog is not opening, or it opens off-screen. In the Windows task bar, a new "NEURON" window indicator appears. Every new click on the checkbox generates an additional item in the task bar, but no visible window. No new window appears in the PFWM. This is under Windows XP, using NEURON release 7.0.

Any suggestions for what might be causing this, or how I might resolve the issue?

Thank you,
Ben.
ted
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by ted »

Use NEURON 7.1 or 7.2 (get the latter from http://www.neuron.yale.edu/ftp/neuron/versions/alpha/).
bsuter
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by bsuter »

I've installed both NEURON 7.1 and NEURON 7.2 alpha, but the problem persists. A restart, then running NEURON as the only GUI app also did not improve the situation.

My sense is that clicking the "choose a file" checkbox does have some effect (in one case, there was a bit of a pause before the check mark appeared, for example), but no additional window opens. Just to make sure that I'm doing thing the intended way:

1. I start NEURON using a shortcut (or for 7.2 alpha by starting nrn.exe and then typing load_file("nrngui.hoc")), and then I choose Tools -> Miscellaneous -> Import 3D.
At this point, I see the NEURON interpreter window, the Main Menu GUI window, and an Import3d_GUI[1] window. Note, however, that my task bar only shows two NEURON items: "nrniv" and "NEURON Main Menu".

2. I click the "choose a file" checkbox.
At this point, the checkbox displays a red check mark. Also, the task bar now shows an additional item: "NEURON". But no corresponding window is visible on screen. Selecting this task bar item does not seem to have any effect. It seems perhaps the file browser window is open, but just not visible, perhaps displayed off screen?
bsuter
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by bsuter »

Workaround found: Use virtual screen scaling to bring off screen window into view, drag it "on screen", then rescale.

After clicking the "choose a file" checkbox:

Window -> Print & File Window Manager
Session -> Virtual Screen
Scale -> 2.0
(now at this scale I can see the file browser window - it appears that it was placed off screen past the right edge)
Drag the file browser window near the existing windows
Scale -> 1.2 (or something else that's comfortable; for me this seems to be closest to how it looked before the initial scaling)
Navigate to file in file browser, proceed as expected ...

I'd prefer a real solution as opposed to this workaround, if possible. Could I be encountering this problem because I use two monitors? All the NEURON screens, windows task bar, etc. are on my primary display, but I do have a second display for other uses. The secondary display is to the left of my primary display (physically, and in terms of continuity of mouse and window movements across screens). However, the Windows display settings show my primary display as "2" and the secondary display as "1". Seems like the display enumeration in Windows does not necessarily correspond to primary/secondary. Note, though, that the file browser window did NOT appear on my secondary screen. Once the virtual screen was rescaled, I could see the file browser window off to the right (where I have no screen).

Thanks,
Ben.
ted
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by ted »

bsuter wrote:Could I be encountering this problem because I use two monitors?
Maybe. What version of MSWin are you using?

BTW I'm not sure about the advisability of having multiple different versions of NEURON installed under MSWin--if that's what you're doing.
bsuter
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by bsuter »

ted wrote:What version of MSWin are you using?
Windows XP Professional 32-bit
BTW I'm not sure about the advisability of having multiple different versions of NEURON installed under MSWin--if that's what you're doing.
No, I usually just use one version. I simply installed 7.1 and 7.2 alpha as per your suggestion for testing purposes (but I did not uninstall 7.0 before testing the new ones). I did make sure that the appropriate version was reported at the interpreter console for each test.
hines
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by hines »

A dialog box usuallly pops up so the left edge pops up at middle of the screen. eg. try typing to the interpreter
continue_dialog("hello")
For a dual screen display, this means it is at the left edge of the second screen. But I wonder if that assumes the
two screens are arranged as
12

Isn't there a windows tools that shows the arrangement of your screens? If so does it show your screen 2 is on the
left or right of screen 1? If you pop up the Print and file window manager, does the screen icon seem to reflect the
relative position of your screens?
The secondary display is to the left of my primary display (physically, and in terms of continuity of mouse and window movements
Looks like this is more or less the answer to my question above. I believe the problem will go away if your windows display tool is used to
put the second screen just to the right of your main screen. Is there some other reason that that would be inconvenient?
bsuter
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by bsuter »

Thank you for your help. What follows is no doubt specific to my case, but perhaps it is still relevant:

1. I like to work with one screen directly in front of me, where I do most of my work, and a second auxiliary screen to one side, where I can arrange multiple figures, lists of data, etc.
2. Physical space constraints and habit place the second (auxiliary) screen to the actual left of the main, central screen.
3. The Windows task bar (with Start button, etc.) is displayed on the "primary" screen.

Because I'd like to have the main Windows UI components (i.e. task bar, new windows, dialogs) appear on my main, central screen, per (3) I designate the main, central screen as "primary" in the Windows display settings tool. Note that this does NOT mean that it is numbered/identified as "1". Any screen (here, "1" or "2") can be the "primary" screen.

Because I'd like to have my mouse movements and windows continue properly across screen boundaries, I make sure that Windows knows the proper relative positions of the screens ("primary" in the center, and another screen to the left of that).

For some reason (I don't know how this is determined), the "primary" screen is numbered "2", and the other screen, to the left, is numbered "1" in the Windows display settings.

As a result, the configuration looks like this: 1[2] where [] denotes primary.
hines wrote:If you pop up the Print and file window manager, does the screen icon seem to reflect the
relative position of your screens?
Not correctly. The PFWM display does include the extra screen space, but it shows up to the right of the primary display. Any window that I drag to this area in PFWM, disappears "off-screen". Any window that I drag to the left additional screen is shown outside of the screen boundary in PFWM.
hines wrote: Isn't there a windows tools that shows the arrangement of your screens? If so does it show your screen 2 is on the
left or right of screen 1?
Screen 2 is to the right of screen 1. But screen 2 is the primary display.
hines wrote: I believe the problem will go away if your windows display tool is used to
put the second screen just to the right of your main screen. Is there some other reason that that would be inconvenient?
I hope my description above answers this. In short - yes. My auxiliary screen is to the left of my main, central screen. As far as the "numbering" is concerned, perhaps I can find some way to reassign "1" to the primary display, if that would help, but I'm not sure if/how that is possible, or helpful.

I see now that all dialogs (not just this Import 3D file browser) are affected in this way, so my workaround may be too cumbersome. Unless there is a fix for this issue (I believe Windows may use negative screen space coordinates for left-of-primary), it looks like I will have to either (a) detach the 2nd monitor when working with NEURON, or (b) find a way to change my physical configuration so that the primary screen is always on the left.

Thank you,
Ben.
hines
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by hines »

I use
...pwidth_ = GetSystemMetrics(SM_CXVIRTUALSCREEN);
in accordance with http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library ... 85%29.aspx whcih states
The width of the virtual screen, in pixels. The virtual screen is the bounding rectangle of all display monitors. The SM_XVIRTUALSCREEN metric is the coordinates for the left side of the virtual screen.

Unfortunately I assume the left x coordinate of the virtual screen is 0 and the right coordinate is pwidth. I probably need to do something in addition like
...pleft_ = GetSystemMetrics(SM_XVIRTUALSCREEN)
and use both to compute the actual coordinates where I put windows.

I don't have a windows machine at present let alone a dual display for mswin and am limited to a VirtualBox version of XP on my
dual display linux desktop.
I'll experiment to see If I can get XP in the virtualbox to use a dual screen and vary the relative screen positions.
hines
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by hines »

Sadly, I was unable to rearrange screens in the virtualbox XP machine. So I am unable to
experiment with the main screen on the right. Further work will have to wait til I have
a mswin machine with dual head available to work with. I don't know when that will happen.
bsuter
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 9:04 am

Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by bsuter »

hines wrote:Sadly, I was unable to rearrange screens in the virtualbox XP machine. So I am unable to
experiment with the main screen on the right. Further work will have to wait til I have
a mswin machine with dual head available to work with. I don't know when that will happen.
Thank you very much for looking into this, and thank you for explaining how this works.

I'm just gradually ramping up again with simulations after time spent on other things - for now, I will either use the workaround with rescaling, or work with one monitor. If in the future I can be of any help in testing on a native Windows machine with dual monitors, please let me know.

Since the MSDN docs talk about a "bounding box", perhaps relevant: in my case the two monitors have different resolutions: the primary is 1680x1050, the other one is 1900x1080. They are aligned at the top, and joined at one edge. I believe Windows may let one adjust the vertical alignment, but I'm not sure.

Thanks,
Ben.
hines
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by hines »

I realize that a suitable work-around for your case is to modify the dialog popup location so that the left
edge of the window is at (400,400) instead of the "middle" of the virtual screen. If you'd like I can provide
a version of neuron that does that.
bsuter
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 9:04 am

Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by bsuter »

hines wrote:I realize that a suitable work-around for your case is to modify the dialog popup location so that the left
edge of the window is at (400,400) instead of the "middle" of the virtual screen. If you'd like I can provide
a version of neuron that does that.
If this is a change to .hoc files, I'd be happy to apply the changes here myself. If it requires a recompile, I'm not currently set up for that, and would appreciate anything you could send (and I can work on other things, so no rush).

Thank you,
Ben.
hines
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by hines »

install
http://www.neuron.yale.edu/ftp/neuron/v ... -setup.exe
That should pop up all dialogs near the center of your primary screen.
bsuter
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Re: File browser dialog missing in Import3D

Post by bsuter »

Thank you, in this new version the dialogs open on my main screen - works great.
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