Dumb Newbie Questions -- 1 of N

J. Landman Gay jacque at hyperactivesw.com
Thu Apr 30 21:41:56 EDT 2009

Judy Perry wrote:

> I'm trying to figure out what new (to me) things are worth spending time 
> on this summer (worth = useful for me) and which are not.  I honestly do 
> not see myself doing 32,000 card stacks anytime soon as my little things 
> are just educational aids for my kids, so I thought I'd pick custom 
> properties since everyone seems to be of the opinion that they are the 
> bee's knees. Howevder, I need to see an example along the lines of the 
> sorts of things I'd be likely to use them for as well as an extremely 
> detailed set of instructions with explanations of why as well as how.

They're the bee's knees when they're the best way to do something. ;)

So, suppose you wanted to make a little quiz stack for your kids. Maybe 
something to help with their homework. You have multiple choice buttons 
on each card. Each card has a question or a puzzle or something on it, 
and they choose the right answer by clicking the correct button.

There's a different correct answer per card. Where do you store the answer?

There are lots of ways to do it. A hidden field could store the answer, 
but then you've got an extra object to work around. Sometimes that 
doesn't matter, sometimes it does. Or you could label each button with a 
special name when it's the right answer -- but that would mean you 
couldn't share the buttons in a background, you'd need a complete new 
set on each card, because they'd need different labels on each card. 
That's a lot of extra buttons for nothing. You could have a list of 
right answers in a text file and read those in, but that's way overkill, 
and then you have a separate file to keep track of and a bunch of 
scripting to do.

The bee's knees in this case is to store the right answer as a custom 
property of each card. That would behave the same way as a hidden field 
but without the extra object overhead. Custom properties are just 
convenient hidden storage, and they are immediately accessible by any 
script without any extra scripting.

It would be great if you could talk about some of the things you want to 
make. Then we could opine on whether custom properties are suitable for 
those projects. Bear in mind there is usually no "right" way to do 
something, though there may be a more efficient way. We have some great 
opiners here. :)

Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     jacque at hyperactivesw.com
HyperActive Software           |     http://www.hyperactivesw.com

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