Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Prototype is Dead!

Visit the High Level Logic (HLL) Website
— Home of XPL (eXtensible Process Language)

It's like XML, but you can store source code in it.

After getting back to concentrating on the core code for a little while, I'm happy to report that the HLL prototype is officially dead. The age of "clean up" has ended and everything ahead will have to do with improvement and expanding functionality.

The final throw may seem like a small thing. I had defined "trace" and "monitor" variables in every class I wanted to kick out program trace information to stdout and to the GUI. Pretty nice to see trace information in the browser while developing. It let me see anything I wanted to see in what was basically an ongoing end-to-end test while I worked. I also didn't need to go back and forth between the GUI and console to see what was going on. (For more detail on the browser-based GUI, refer to posts like this one.)

But, while focusing on everything else while building the prototype, I had set the values independently in each class. It never seemed a pressing issue while prototyping, because I would either focus on core development, or on GUI development for lengthy periods of time. So, the inconvenience of changing the values in each class never pushed hard enough against other pressing issues.

So, now there's a new config file called manage_cfg.xml, that's meant to be kindof a catch-all for this sort of thing. And when everyone else wants to switch between the two, they just set the values to true or false in the config file. One place - real quick - that's all there is to it.

Need more reason to understand my celebratory post? Here it is. I started writing error checking code in the program that processes the input. What if there is no value specified for trace? Do I want to warn people, or just let it default to false? "Wait a minute," I thought. This is really a job for an XML schema. So, I quickly created one.

Maybe it's just me, but that strikes me as moving forward. It's like development rather than clean-up.

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