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Thread: make autocomplete stuff

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    make autocomplete stuff

    Hi folk,

    Example: In the Excel, if you type "=s" in one of the cells, a list of commands with their required format opens up which is a great help in a sense that you don't need to memorize the exact format of commands.

    My problem:
    I'm using an engineering software. It needs me to write codes based on its specific internally designed language (so it's not a known language like c++ or ...) and the commands have definitely specific formats.
    The software is not very old so it doesn't have an "interpreter" or those facilitating things that we have in Java GUIs like Netbeans.
    I need to write the code in a text editor, save it as .dat and call it through the software.

    My dream
    For example one of the commands is "gen" and the format is:

    gen id= , rad= , x= , y= , z= ,

    and it basically generates a number of balls with the IDs as I specify.

    Is there anyway I can make something like Excel, kind of easily, so that when I type "gen" something shows up and tells me the format?

    I appreciate any opinion.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Please could you tell us exactly what software, and supply a link?

    We are good, but I doubt if any of us claim to be that good

    Also, if you would like me to have a look...........which version of Windows?



  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Of course,
    There is this company called Itasca

    It has a couple of softwares two of which are FLAC (fast Lagrangian code) and PFC (particle flow code). They have a built-in language called FISH. The FISH language is C++ based by which I mean there should be some internal codes to do the stuff but since most engineers are not that good in programing they have, I suppose, assigned commands to these internal codes to make life easier.

    I'm using windows 7 professional in my DELL Studio XPS 435T setup for doing these stuff.

    FYI: One example is the ball command that I wrote above. For example if you want to model a particulate medium like soil by "distinct (or discrete) element modeling" you're gonna need to create bunch of particles. So instead of having to write a long c++ code to do that, you just need to use that "ball" command and then you need to make "walls" and apply forces and blahblahblah

    FYI: This is one very simple sample of code:
    The software does not have an interpreter so it's really a pain...if you make mistakes like typos it gives you errors but not that type of neat cute concise errors that we get in like Netbeans! So yea I was just wondering if I can make my life a little bit easier by making such a autocomplete thing to write codes....actually now that I'm thinking about, maybe having them on a piece of paper besides me will be easier but there are really so many commands...below example contains lots of normal mathematical stuff that I'm NOT talking about...I'm talking about the internal commands like "gen" "wall" "fric" "print" etc.

    ;fname: expand.DAT
    SET random ; reset random-number generator
    ; ---------------------------------------------
    def expand
    ;--- input data ---
    n_stiff = 1e8 ; normal contact stiffness
    s_stiff = 1e8 ; shear contact stiffness
    width = 10.0 ; width of box
    height = 5.0 ; height of box
    depth = 5.0 ; depth of box
    tot_vol = width*height*depth
    poros = 0.40 ; desired final porosity
    num = 200 ; number of particles
    rat = 1.5 ; ratio of largest to smallest radii
    ;--- derived data ---
    mult = 1.6 ; initial radius multiplication factor
    n0 = 1.0 - (1.0 - poros) / mult^3
    r0 = (3.0*tot_vol*(1.0 - n0)/(4.0*pi*num))^(1.0/3.0)
    rlo = 2.0 * r0 / (1.0 + rat)
    rhi = rat * rlo
    ;--- add six infinite walls to bound the specified volume
    wall id=1 ks=s_stiff kn=n_stiff norm=( 0, 1, 0) orig=(0,0,0)
    wall id=2 ks=s_stiff kn=n_stiff norm=(-1, 0, 0) orig=(width,0,0)
    wall id=3 ks=s_stiff kn=n_stiff norm=( 0,-1, 0) orig=(0,height,0)
    wall id=4 ks=s_stiff kn=n_stiff norm=( 1, 0, 0) orig=(0,0,0)
    wall id=5 ks=s_stiff kn=n_stiff norm=( 0, 0, 1) orig=(0,0,0)
    wall id=6 ks=s_stiff kn=n_stiff norm=( 0, 0,-1) orig=(0,0,depth)
    ;--- generate the balls and give them their properties
    gen id=1,num rad=rlo,rhi x=0,width y=0,height z=0,depth
    prop dens=1000 ks=s_stiff kn=n_stiff
    _mult = ((1.0 - poros) / (1.0 - pmeas))^(1.0/3.0)
    initial radius mul _mult
    cycle 1000
    prop fric 0.2
    cycle 250
    ; ---------------------------------------------
    def get_poros
    sum = 0.0
    bp = ball_head
    loop while bp # null
    sum = sum + (4.0/3.0) * pi * b_rad(bp)^3
    bp = b_next(bp)
    pmeas = 1.0 - sum / tot_vol
    plot create the_view
    plot add ball yellow
    plot add axes black
    plot add cf blue
    plot set rotation (30 0 30)
    plot show
    print pmeas
    save expand.SAV
    Last edited by boyboy400; February 23rd, 2011 at 08:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington

    Firstly, it is not in the interests of the vendors of this type of application to make it simple or easy to use. They make money out of training, and want the ability to use their software effectively to be a skillset in its own right.

    I see not much has changed since my days in the armaments industry.

    The first thing you might like to look at is creating your own user defined model templates. This works if a lot of what you do falls into groups of similar items. If possible create the template data in a different font or colour so that you can easily see what you have overwritten or not Because there are already data there it should prompt you to remember the parameters and values?

    You could also look at a database of commands and input forms in something like Access? This might slightly speed things up, but it would take a fair bit of setting up I would imagine. I haven't looked at very recent versions of office but Access certainly used to let you define your own prompt screens and to verify input against permitted parameters.

    I really don't see any future in looking at the underlying code. What they appear to have done is created their own "higher level language" that sits on top of it.

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