Improved list management in Designer

Innes

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  • Posts: 1961
I have started to work with lists extensively, and I am finding the process a bit frustrating.

I have some Suggestions for features:

Select multiple items using Control, Shift or Mac equivalents.
Ability to delete multiple selected items
Insert several blank rows
Option to replace existing list with an imported list (as well as append)
Insert imported list at current position
Keyboard shortcuts for adding / removing items

It would also be a 'nice to have' if the list could be sorted and perhaps even have an option to remove duplicate items.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for the list editor?
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Sunflower

  • Posts: 591
I fully support this thread! Working with lists, especially large ones, is currently a much larger hassle than it should be!

Maybe not directly related to list management itself, but I also would like to have the "index of [ item ] in [ list ]" block, which would insert code "[ list ].indexOf([ item ])" in AS3 and whatever it is for iOS.

gplar

  • Posts: 1118
Agreed! And if nothing else, I´d really like to be able to clear a list to re-import it in the editor. Now I work on the lists in TextEdit and import to list Attribute. Problem is that you have to delete and recreate the attribute to import changes. (You can select many, but only the first gets deleted.) Which causes all kinds of havoc in the code blocks.

1MrPaul1

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  • Posts: 1268
Agreed! This functions are very needed for professional results

Epic428

  • Posts: 1118
Why not make lists operate like spread sheets? Then you have the option for a standard list or a 2D list. Most of the functions asked for are standard to a spreadsheet, and 2D lists are almost as common as standard ones.

Either way I support this thread.

Edit: if the spreadsheet editor works, I found this one which uses a gpl v3 license. Not sure how good it is though.

http://extentech.com/estore/product_detail.jsp?showdetails=true&product_id=315&product_group_id=228

« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 09:00:01 pm by Epic428 »
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ShivaFang

  • Posts: 248
+1 to what Epic wrote.  When I was programming for computers I used a spreadsheet to make my data and then saved it as a text file and imported it.  So much easier!

a 2D array is so basic for a lot of the types of games, and a spreadsheet like interface would make inputting the initial variables so easy rather than doing it in code.

It's one of the little features that will put this from 'works for simple games' to 'works for many types of games'
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Epic428

  • Posts: 1118
One nice thing abt the spreadsheet editor I linked to, if it was stripped down super basic, then it would allow the user to use an outside editor.

If excel was used then you could just import the .xls rather than convert to text and import.
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zerosimms

  • Posts: 699
Totally agree with you Innes
One other feature i'd like to see is to be able to re-size the list window, it would make overviewing the list the bit easier

Sunflower

  • Posts: 591
Hmm, well, yes, 2D Array would be nice to have, but I wonder how it would work.
The tricky thing is that it's not clear what do we understand as 2D Array. There's other approach when we make a table of fixed width and size, and another one when we make list of lists (and each list can have different size, woohoo!). One-dimensional list has this basic advantage that there's only one direction where it can grow and there shouldn't be undefined items in between different items. Note that in 2D Array the order isn't really that clear and there might be blank fields; how should they be treated in such case?

But yes, when you'd be able to import *.xls there, how would it work? Would it import there about 256 columns and 65536 rows or however many there can be in a single sheet? If I were in Stencyl staff, I would like to know how people expect 2D Array to work!

(I don't want to say that it wouldn't be useful; I found myself often using 2D Array system of mine in different projects, but that's one of possible models; perhaps someone would need something else)

ShivaFang

  • Posts: 248
Sunflower - Stencyl already supports 2 dimentional arrays (List within List)

I was helping someone understand how to do it in a question thread;
http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,10479.0.html

Having a 2D spreadsheet save as a list within list would be really handy.  When Dictionaries ('Maps') go in, I'd love to be able to have the 'keys' on the top, and be able to define lines in the editor rather than in code, which would also be easily done as a 2D spreadsheet.
Justin "ShivaFang" White
Aquamentos Games - The origin of challenging Strategy and Role-Playing Flash gaming!
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Epic428

  • Posts: 1118
It would import only the cells which have data, then you can have 2d arrays with varying indexes such as:


[1,1]
[2,1][2,2]
[3,1][3,2][3,3]
[4,1][4,2][4,3][4,4]
[5,1][5,2][5,3][5,4][5,5]

Why import empty/unused cells? That would be totally unnecessary. But the nice thing is that being able to manage data outside of Stencyl in a spreadsheet would be amazing.

I mean suppose you have certain formulas and calculations you want to perform on specific data that would be added in via a list (whether single or multidimensional), you can do so within a spreadsheet editor.

Then if you need to tweak certain values, you can make a few simple changes in the spreadsheet editor, let the formulas update, and re-import the .xls into Stencyl with the updated values. So this makes not only the importation, creating, and management of lists easy to work with in stencyl, but it also makes it easier to create and manage them outside Stencyl with more powerful tools.

It's like Stencyl allows you to use a 3rd party image editing program by clicking a button, you can code with a 3rd party program, etc. Why not create lists this way also, at least for the more advanced needs, and offer a basic editor for the most general cases?

Edit: And sunflower, unless Vectors were being used in Stencyl rather than Arrays, you wouldn't have to worry about fixed sizes. Arrays will grow and contract based off whats added and removed, which is exactly how lists work. But vectors allow you to specify an absolute size and data type to work with, so if you intend to have the list as a point of reference and it is not something that dynamically changes, then Vectors could still be supported under this method. It would just mean that whatever data is imported via .xls is exactly how big the Vectors will be, considering the classes are generated at compile-time.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 12:12:10 pm by Epic428 »
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ShivaFang

  • Posts: 248
Hm... I don't know about ignoring blank cells.  I think it should read up to the maximum length of any row with data, otherwise it could create an issue when looping through something and it's looking for data in a 'column' but it's nothing there.  (Say, at 4,5 in your example)

Also, epic, it would start at 0,0 ;)  but that's a minor nitpick.
Justin "ShivaFang" White
Aquamentos Games - The origin of challenging Strategy and Role-Playing Flash gaming!
Visit our Developer Blog and Google+ Page!

id8games

  • Posts: 205
I have started to work with lists extensively, and I am finding the process a bit frustrating.

I have some Suggestions for features:

Select multiple items using Control, Shift or Mac equivalents.
Ability to delete multiple selected items
Insert several blank rows
Option to replace existing list with an imported list (as well as append)
Insert imported list at current position
Keyboard shortcuts for adding / removing items

It would also be a 'nice to have' if the list could be sorted and perhaps even have an option to remove duplicate items.


Are the quoted features going to be implemented soon?