Program Browser Overview
The Fractal Science Kit fractal generator Program Browser is used to view/edit your Fractal Programs.
The different Fractal Programs include:
The set of built-in programs of a given type is named Built-in <Program Type>; for example, Built-in Fractal Equations. The set of your programs of a given type is named My <Program Type>; for example My Fractal Equations. Sets of programs can be exported to a file for backup purposes or for sharing with friends. The programs in Built-in <Program Type> cannot be changed and are opened in the editor as [read-only]. Of course, you can copy 1 or more programs from Built-in <Program Type> to My <Program Type>, rename them, and make any changes you wish.
The Program Browser is also used to view/edit program files. Program files are created using the Export command described below. To open a program file, use the Open File command on the Fractal Window.
When you change the list of programs or a program's property values or instructions in the Program Browser, the changes are immediate. That is, changes do not need to be explicitly saved but are automatically saved as you make them. A Save command is not required/supported. This is very convenient but you must be careful to backup your program file prior to making changes in case you decide to discard your changes at a later time.
Of course, as long as the editor remains open you can undo any changes you have made to the program's instructions or to the list of programs within a file (e.g., adding/deleting programs, reordering programs) using the Undo command on the Edit menu, but once the editor is closed, the undo buffer is lost and you would need to rely on your backups (or your memory) to put things right. Changes made to a program's properties cannot be undone, so please be careful. To backup some or all of your programs, you can use the Export command on the File menu to export the selected programs (or the entire file if no programs are selected) to a file. To backup all the XML files in your My Programs folder, execute the Backup My Programs command on the Tools menu of the Fractal Window.
The Program Browser is divided into 2 panes, the list pane and the editor pane. The list pane (the top pane) contains the ordered list of programs in the file. The editor pane (the bottom pane) contains the properties and instructions for the currently selected program. If the list selection is empty or contains more than 1 item, the editor pane is empty. There is a splitter control located between the top and bottom panes that controls the amount of the window allocated to each pane.
The Program Browser has 2 main functions. First, it is used to maintain the list of programs in the file. This includes adding programs to the list, deleting programs from the list, renaming programs in the list, and moving programs up/down in the list. These operations are performed by selecting 1 or more programs in the list pane and executing one of the list editor commands. For example, to remove programs from your list you would select the programs to remove in the list pane and execute the Delete command.
The second function of the Program Browser is to view/edit an individual program's properties or instructions. This is accomplished by selecting a single program in the list pane and viewing/editing the program in the editor pane. The program's properties are at the top of the editor pane and the program's instructions are at the bottom. The editor pane is a simple text editor. See Editing Text for details. If you are primarily interested in editing code, you can use the Code View command on the File menu to hide the program's properties and expand the program's instructions to fill the space.
The menu items provide complete access to all of the commands. Most of the commands have a toolbar button as well. The following description is aimed at the menu items but applies equally well to the toolbar buttons which are not described separately. Hold the mouse over the toolbar button to see the associated menu item text.
The commands apply to the program list editor unless you are editing a program's instructions, in which case the commands apply to the text editor used to edit the instructions. For example, if you select a program in the list pane and then invoke the Delete command, the selected program is deleted from the set of programs. However, if you select a word in the text pane and then invoke the Delete command, the selected word is removed. The rule is that if you are editing the program's instructions, the commands apply to the text editor. Otherwise, the commands apply to the program list editor. The status bar at the bottom of the window contains Editing Instructions or Editing List to let you know which editor will service the command.
The File menu has the following commands:
The Edit menu has the following commands:
The Help menu has the following commands:
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