A while back I visited a customer I see on a fairly regular basis. As soon as I entered the building, my primary contact asked if I'd stop off to talk with a colleague of his who had an Encounter problem. It was a bad one -- he was dead in the water and he couldn't get past the issue.
It's fairly unusual to look at a problem as an application engineer, and make quick suggestions that resolve problems. Especially lately, it seems. Invariably, the problems I see are complicated multi-variable things that take a lot of time and effort to pinpoint. But this one was different. It took me less than a minute to diagnose this problem and resolve it with the user. This scenario got me thinking that sharing these little tidbits would be an interesting addition to the blog. Challenges like this become a "puzzle" of sorts; I share some symptoms and clues, and you can take a crack at it and learn a little bit about how Encounter works along the way.
So here's the first puzzler:
The designer I visited was attempting to perform floorplanning operations in the tool. He inherited a database from another designer and needed to refine the solution to derive better fence locations and sizes. However, there was one big problem -- he couldn't see any fences in the design! Here is what the designer saw when he looked at the floorplan in Encounter:
The following is what he expected to see (5 fences):
The strange thing was that when the original designer was working on the database he could see the fences. We checked to make sure Guides/Regions/Fences/Modules were all visible and selected -- they were. We found one simple setting that, when changed, made the fences visible.
Do you think you know what's going on here? And why could one designer see the fences while the other could not? If you have an idea, leave a comment below.
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