Edition: Futurama Website/Futurama Export/Futurama Webservice
Module: Futurama Editor
- Futurama Editor has to be installed
This page describes the Futurama Editor when it is started initially. In a general sense the structure of the Editor is explained and the several windows which exist in the Editor are briefly examined as well as how to move and resize them.
Opening the Futurama Editor
To start the Futurama Editor do a double click on the executable 'ActuIT.Futurama.Editor.exe'. This file is located in the installation directory of Futurama. For easier access it is recommended, however, to first create a shortcut to this executable, to give it an appropriate name and place it, for instance, on the desktop.
Navigating the Futurama Editor
After starting the Futurama Editor a blank window will appear containing a number of windows. Here a brief overview of these windows will be given. Each one will be covered in depth in other pages.
- In the top left is located the Document Explorer. Every Futurama application consists of a number of 'objects' (building blocks) defined by the user. In this window the objects of the application are shown in a tree view.
- In the top right three windows are located as indicated by the three tabs. The first is the Design-window. After selecting any object in the Document Explorer this window will show the objects which are on the same level as the selected object. In the Design-window new objects can be created and existing objects can be moved as will be shown later.
- In the top right is also located the Dependencies-window. After selecting any object in the Document Explorer this window lists the objects which are used by the selected object (i.e. the Determinants) and the objects which make use of the selected object (i.e. the Dependencies).
- The third window in the top right is the Layout-window. This window is only appropriate for Website objects which will be shown on the website like a Textbox or a Button. In Futurama the 'look and feel' of all Website objects will typically be defined in a CSS Stylesheet. If a Website object is selected the Layout-window will show the selectors in the stylesheet which are applicable on the object selected.
- In the lower right the Properties-window is located. After selecting an object this window will show its properties and their values. These values can then be set/altered.
- In the lower left four windows are located as indicated by the four tabs. The Errors-window will report any errors that arise while working on the application. After a validation is performed on the application The Validation-window will show any irregularities in the definition of objects. The Find-window can be used to search for objects based on criteria like the name, value or ID. The Results-window shows the result of objects which generate a value be it a number, string, XML, date etc.
- Finally, at the top op the Editor a menubar can be found. It contains a number of typical Office commands such as Open, Close and Save as well as a number of Futurama specific commands. These will be explained in a later stadium in more depth.
Resizing and moving windows
The windows mentioned above can be moved and resized to suit the users taste. By using the mouse the width and height of the windows can be altered but leaving the position of the windows intact. By selecting the bar which contains the name of the window it is possible to drag and drop the window to another location which can even be outside the window of the Editor! A double-click on the name has the same result. The width and height of the window can now be adjusted as well. To place the window 'back' inside the window of the Editor another double click on the name of the window will suffice.
When the Editor is closed the current layout, size and location of the several windows will be stored in the files settings.xml and docksettings.xml. These files are located in the user specific directory C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\ActuIT\ (Vista, Windows 7 and later) or in C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\ActuIT\ (Windows XP and before). Note that in Windows versions using languages other than english these directories will have other names. The next time the Editor is started these custom settings will be applied instead of the default settings.
If you remove a window by accident, you can return to the default window layout by pressing ‘View – Reset window layout’. This button is available form Futurama 17.04.
The Futurama Document
The Futurama Document is the starting point of modelling an application in Futurama. As such it can be compared to a Word Document, an Excel Workbook etc. The Document will contain all objects created by the user as well as their properties. The Document is also the item that is in fact fysically saved to disc (as an XML-file). In general it is recommended to save Documents on a regular basis, for this will prevent the loss of work when, for instance, the computer hangs or when the Editor shuts down unexpectedly.
In this example a Document is created. This document will be used in forthcoming examples. It is also available as a download.
- Open the Futurama Editor.
- To create a new Document select File | New, press CTRL+N or click on the icon with the blanc page.
In the Document explorer an object is created named 'Document1'. This is not a meaningful name however so it has to be renamed.
- Select the Document in the Document Explorer and press F2.
- Change 'Document1' to 'My first document' and press Enter. Note that the new name will be shown in the Document explorer.
Aside from the Name, the Document object has a number of properties such as the DocType and VersionNumber. A complete list of the properties of the Document can be found here. Before continuing with the objects it is recommended to first save the Document to disc.
- First create a directory in the Windows Explorer to store the file.
- In the Editor select File | Save or press CTRL+S.
- Give the document a suitable name e.g. MyFirstDocument.xml and save it to the directory created.
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