Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tutorial 17 - A Simple File Manager for Codea

17.1 The Main Class

Tutorial 16 explained the various ways that data can be stored using Codea. In order to facilitate the loading and storing of data for our level generator we created a simple file management class.
This version handles Local Data, Project Data, Project Information and Global Data. Remember that all of this data is stored in string format using a pList which is accessed by a unique string called the key.
The File Manager is constructed using two ListScroll objects (a class written by sanit over on the Codea Forum), a text box showing the value of the selected key and a MenuBar object (a class written by dave1707 also from the Codea Forum).
The Main class is used to load some test data into the four data stores and then instantiate the FileManager class. We have provided stubs for the functions called when the MenuBar items are tapped. The only menu item which has been implemented is delete file. WARNING - file deletion can NOT be undone and there is no confirmation required to delete a file so back up your data and use this class with care (or delete this functionality). Feel free to delete the test data which is loaded in setup(), this will be recreated every time you run the App.
The data you need to take particular care with is Global Data as this may have been stored by another Codea App. For example, if you have used Spritely (the sprite creation example program which comes with Codea) then any sprites that you have created will be stored in global data.

The delete function has not been implemented for Project Info because there is no way to determine what keys are in there (i.e. there is no listProjectInfo function).

To delete a file we just assign the value of the selected key to nil. We will provide examples of the load and save function when we incorporate FileManager into our Tower Defence Level Generator (dGenerator).
The line FileManager:init() will setup your FileManager class and prefetch the keys for each persistent data store.
The class handles both portrait and landscape orientation. The orientationChanged() function adjusts the FileManager position when the iPad is rotated. It works but not very well as ListScroll wasn't designed to handle this. You may have to drag the ListScroll box to show the contents. We haven't had a chance to modify this.

17.2 The FileManager Class

Most of the hard work is done in this class. We start off by defining variables to represent the four supported Directory Types to make the code easier to read. The init() function creates the two ListScrolls (one for the list of Directories called directoryList and one for the keys it contains called dataKeyList).
We then pre-load the keys for Project Data, Local Data and Global Data (we already know the Project Info keys since we loaded them). We set the current directory to Project Info and set the current key to the first one. There is a variable called valueString which we use to contain the value of the selected string. Only the first 150 characters of the saved value are displayed. The last thing we do in init() is setup the MenuBar.
One of the modifications we had to make to the MenuBar class was to prevent touches on the ListScroll when a sub menu is displayed (otherwise you could accidentally delete the wrong file).

17.3 Download the Code

You can download all of the code for this program using the following links:
  1. FileManager Complete Code v1.1 - All of the code in one file.
  2. Main.lua - The Main tab class only.
  3. FileManager.lua - The FileManager v1.1 class only.
  4. ListScroll.lua - The ListScroll class from sanit.
  5. TextItem.lua - The TextItem class used in ListScroll from sanit.
  6. MenuBar.lua - The MenuBar class v1.1 from dave1707 (modified) .
Next up we will incorporate FileManager into our Tower Defence Level Generator.