Troi Text 2.1
Tuesday 28th August, 2001
Peter Baanen, the head of Troi Automatisering, is a busy lad right now. The release of both FileMaker Pro 5.5 and Mac OS X has required an overhaul of the entire Troi plug-ins suite. As well as ensuring that the plug-ins work with OS X, it’s also given Troi a chance to add a few features. This is an excellent group of utilities that no serious FileMaker user, or developer, should be without.
Troi Text plug-in 2.1 is first off the starting blocks. Version 1.0 (see Reviews, 5 March 1999, p37) allowed you to manipulate text fields using operators more usually associated with Boolean functions. The ANDText function returns any lines that are the same in the two fields. The XORText function returns those lines that are not shared by the same two fields. This is great for manipulating the fields set up by checkboxes or radio buttons. Version 2.1 adds a NOTText function that returns lines in one field but not the other - a sort of textual subtraction.
As well as subtraction, version 1.0 provided a SUMText function that allowed you to dynamically link text fields from a relation, just as you would with the Sum() function for number fields. There are also functions for getting the unique lines of a text field (great for cleaning up checkbox fields), unique words (great for indexing), getting the n-th line and even sorting lines within a field. The one glaring omission with this function, reverse sorting, is fixed with the addition of a SortLinesEx function, that has an option for forward or reverse alphabetical sorting.
For real codeheads, the most important addition since version 1.0 and version 2.0 is the XML function that allows you to parse XML formatted documents. While it won’t tell you whether your XML document is well-formed (it won’t deal with DTDs), it allows you to retrieve both nodes and node attributes, either a node at a time or in groups. The slight drawback is that you can’t ask for individual attributes.
Unlike rigorously written parsers, the XML command will try to work with poorly formed documents, although the results aren’t guaranteed. If you’re just trying to extract some data from some third-party source, it does just enough of what you need.
As with all the new plug-in versions, there are two extra functions: one to bring up the plug-in’s info dialog box to display registration details and another for checking the version of the plug-in, so your scripts know if functions are available before they are called.
All of Troi’s plug-ins (bar the bizarre ‘Ranges’ plug-in) ship with extensive user guides and example databases showing how to make use of the functions. If your FileMaker solutions manipulate checkboxes in any way, or if you need to access XML formatted data, this plug-in is essential.
PRICE: Single user license: $32, Developer Single Platform $129, Developer Cross Platform $189
This is an excellent utility that no serious FileMaker user, or developer, should be without
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|Pros||OS X compatible + XML parsing + Checkbox manipulation easy|
|Cons||Doesn't validate XML documents|
|Originally Published||MacUser, Volume: 17, Issue: 16, p28|