Multi Variable Editor

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Multi Variable Editor

Postby Ajay Askoolum » October 30th, 2018, 11:14 am

Does the new editor include facilities for the simultaneous editing of multiple 2-dimensional variables of equal length, with variables being of different types i.e. string or numeric? Will it cope with dates?
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Re: Multi Variable Editor

Postby Davin Church » October 30th, 2018, 12:28 pm

Ajay Askoolum wrote:Does the new editor include facilities for the simultaneous editing of multiple 2-dimensional variables of equal length, with variables being of different types i.e. string or numeric?

That seems like a rather unusual situation to be needed in a general editor. But I could see possibilities for custom implementation of such things by a programmer who needs them, if the editor provides event handlers and methods for various operations (such as scrolling and line insertion/deletion).
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Re: Multi Variable Editor

Postby Davin Church » October 30th, 2018, 12:29 pm

Ajay Askoolum wrote:Will it cope with dates?

What do you mean by "dates"? APL doesn't have a native "date" datatype.
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Re: Multi Variable Editor

Postby Ajay Askoolum » October 30th, 2018, 2:46 pm

That seems like a rather unusual situation to be needed in a general editor.

Really?

Imagine that you have an application that does pensions quotations and/or valuations. Your data will comprise of name, dateOfBirth, gender, dateJoined, salary, addedYears, TVIn,ContRate etc .etc. In other words, you have umpteen variables of types string, numbers, and dates. Your application validates the data. If it needs correction/verification, how would you present the data to the user for editing?

Sure, the APLGrid is one option but it does not read CSV files, its XML is cell based rather than column based and it requires some clever programming especially since the number of rows and columns are variable and not known in advance. A more enticing alternative is to use Excel.

Do you see why APL is losing its credentials as an all inclusive environment?

In the late 70's I had an editor that could do this; APL+Plus's screen had a fixed number of rows and columns. The column widths were determined dynamically and under program control. I could simply say EDIT variableList where variableList was a 2-dimensional array consisting of variable names in the workspace.

By the way, APL does not need to have a date data type. Date calculations are beyond my request. The Editor simply needs to validate that a column designated as a date is a valid Gregorian date.
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Re: Multi Variable Editor

Postby Davin Church » October 30th, 2018, 3:00 pm

Ajay Askoolum wrote:Imagine that you have an application that does pensions quotations and/or valuations. Your data will comprise of name, dateOfBirth, gender, dateJoined, salary, addedYears, TVIn,ContRate etc .etc. In other words, you have umpteen variables of types string, numbers, and dates. Your application validates the data. If it needs correction/verification, how would you present the data to the user for editing?

That, to me, is explicitly in the domain of application programming, and not in the domain of a system editor. In general, in my applications, I need much more control over what the user does and can do than would be available in any general editor, and thus I would not want to use such a thing for my applications. I would generally use the Grid control, or perhaps Excel, to provide the user interface. Back before we had Grid I used whole groups of separate Edit fields for the same purpose. And I don't use the Grid's XML interface for most things, either -- I code directly to its properties, methods, and events for what I want it to do, and it is not particularly complicated or difficult for me. I would not use []EDIT in any form for production applications.
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Re: Multi Variable Editor

Postby Davin Church » October 30th, 2018, 3:10 pm

Ajay Askoolum wrote:Do you see why APL is losing its credentials as an all inclusive environment?

I think I might disagree, not with your apparent point, but with the terms that you use to state it.

I do not feel that APL's programming environment is or should be connected to the applications produced with it and their interface to the users. APL should give you the tools needed to build sophisticated applications, but the language itself should not (IMO) be there to do the application job for you.
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Re: Multi Variable Editor

Postby Davin Church » October 30th, 2018, 3:15 pm

Ajay Askoolum wrote:By the way, APL does not need to have a date data type. Date calculations are beyond my request. The Editor simply needs to validate that a column designated as a date is a valid Gregorian date.

Then what you seem to be asking for is some event handlers that are capable of running custom code to validate entries as a general process. I don't have a problem with that, but neither do I find it particularly necessary for me as a programmer. I do not think that the system editor should do special data handling as a fixed feature.

And especially, as I mentioned before, I would NOT use such an editor in a user application.
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Re: Multi Variable Editor

Postby Ajay Askoolum » October 30th, 2018, 3:15 pm

is explicitly in the domain of application programming
I disagree completely - could not disagree more strongly.

In the early 80's in the UK, the insurance of wound up final salary pension schemes comprising of several hundreds of members was buoyant business. No COM, no Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V. Lotus 123 could create CSV, APL*PLUS could read the CSV and present it to the user/Actuary in columnar format for verification/editing. A junior staff might liaise with the data provider to make the corrections.

If the proposed editor can cope with nested arrays, and nested arrays can comprise of equal length columns, it follows that the editor can cope with the editing of multi-columns. This might omit column headers and won't handle dates.

Hence my original explicit question: will the new editor cope with multi column edit sessions and possibly with explicit dates.

I suppose the supplementary question might be this: could the editor be invoked programmatically as it used to be?
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Re: Multi Variable Editor

Postby Davin Church » October 30th, 2018, 6:29 pm

Ajay Askoolum wrote:
is explicitly in the domain of application programming
I disagree completely - could not disagree more strongly.

So you insist that the language developers write your application for you? I suppose that's fine for you, but I'd rather write my own and have complete control of it. Just because we used to take shortcuts in the old days so we didn't have to write our entire application ourselves, doesn't mean that we should continue to use that method preferentially.

Side question: What will happen to your application if the user decides to drill down into an edit cell and create (or remove) a level of nesting, or change the type of the data to something you didn't intend?
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Re: Multi Variable Editor

Postby Ajay Askoolum » October 30th, 2018, 9:21 pm

I think you misunderstand. And this is NOT an academic debate about where the interpreter stops and the developer takes over, which, at any rate, is a highly subjective preference.

It is not about the editor offering all the functionality/safeguards of, say, Excel.
It is about the editor allowing you to browse (quickly) and edit several variables at once, preserving the requirement of retaining the same number of rows and type across the variables.

No drop down, no (further) validation, no defaults etc. etc. out of the box.

[]EDIT was a feature of APL. It was a highly valuable means of seeking run time input from the user be it an override formula (with APL symbols) or whatever else.

Imagine an input box (like Visual Basic's, one-liner & modal), only with several of them laid side by side and each permitting multi-line entries.

What will happen to your application if the user decides


Users don't have nefarious intent, especially when they know that the end result is the loss of their own work in progress. If they were, they have simple means than those you suggest.
Last edited by Ajay Askoolum on October 30th, 2018, 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Multi Variable Editor

Postby Davin Church » October 30th, 2018, 9:28 pm

My apologies. I thought you were asking for the interpreter to supply an editor that you could use in your end-user applications. I can see you needing to edit several global variables at once during development, at least for old applications. I've gone out of my way not to split parallel data structures into pieces ever since we got nested arrays, so I don't seem to have the same needs that you do.
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