Thursday, June 21, 2007

Life Outside Vr 4

We've looked at external files with the goal of getting useful information out of them. At the same time how about saving something there. We use a program that takes symbols in a certain layer, compares their elevation to an active dtm, and if they are over a specified distance from the elevation displays the error. It is a very useful program and when it was first written had all the variables hard coded, but stored at the beginning of the file so they could be easily found and changed. With the advent of PromBox it just became too easy to allow the user to confirm and change the variables each time. You could even easily use the old hard coded values as defaults. However it seemed like a certain set of values would be used over and over again based on job specifications. The obvious solution would be to have the last values used stored between runs to be used as the new defaults. Storing values like this is easy enough, but what elements would the most elegant solution contain? I have no idea but I did come up with a couple of features I really wanted.

First lets store them in a logical location like /vr/hostdir where all the other function parameter files are stored. Truthfully it would probably be better to make a user parameter directory, but I'll be lazy for now because the next thing I wanted was a test to see if the parameter file existed already and if not, would create one with the original default values. Yes I could test for a folder and if it wasn't there create it but maybe that will come in the next version but for now I didn't really want to change the directory structure.

import os
# os is necessary to test the existence of the parameter file.

# Call it what you want, this is great code to save for later use in other
# programs that require persistence.

if not os.path.isfile(ParFileName): # Does the file exist.
open(ParFileName,'w').write('%d %.3f %.3f'%(86,.2,0.0))
# If not then create it in write mode and write an integer and 2 floating
# point numbers with 3 decimal places.

# Since it either existed or was created all we need to do now is open, read
# and split the values into a list that would look like ['86','.2','0.0']

PromBox=VrPromBox('Display Sym to Dtm',20,1)
PromBox.AddInt('Layer to Check',int(Params[0]),1,1000)
PromBox.AddDouble('Display delta >',float(Params[1]),2)
PromBox.AddDouble('Text Rotation',float(Params[2]),1)
# Using the values stored in the Params list make a prombox which will allow
# the user to change the values.

if (PromBox.Display(0) == 0):
# Grab the new values.

open(ParFileName,'w').write('%d %.3f %.3f'%(LayerToCheck,DisplayDelta,TextRot))
# And write them out to a file.

I won't spend the time on all the uses for keeping persistent variables between sessions, but this is the basics.

This just about wraps it up for reading and writing files, except for maybe writing parameters as a binary file, just for the fun of it and maybe walking through the single line parser I posted on the forum. It isn't very flexible but offers some interesting lessons. Here's a peek.

for line in open('hughes.pxyzopk','r').readlines():Alist.append(line.split())

No comments:

For anyone interested in trying VrPython for the first time or if you are early in the game, I suggest going to the earliest posts and working forward. I use VrPython every day for many wonderful things, needless to say it will change and could potentially damage a file. Any risk associated with using VrPython or any code or scripts mentioned here lies solely with the end user.

The "Personal VrPython page" in the link section will contain many code examples and an organized table of contents to this blog in a fairly un-attractive (for now) form.