How can we dynamically create variable names from changing value "x" on a loop?

Mark Waddingham mark at
Tue Nov 8 07:16:22 EST 2016

On 2016-11-08 12:48, Ben Rubinstein wrote:
> The point is that in my first pattern, I have outside the loop
> assigned column (item) indices to named variables (based on the items
> of the first, header, row). In the loop LC then has to locate the
> indexed items in an individual data row.

In the first pattern:

repeat for each line tRec in tTSVdata
	doSomething item viUserID of tRec, item viUserName of tRec
end repeat

The 'item <constant> of tRec' expressions cause the engine to iterate 
through tRect until it has found the relevant item. This means that this 
single line will be looking through the tRec string twice from the start 
- the first time up until the viUserID'd item, the second time up to the 
viUserName'd item. The speed of this will largely depend on how large 
the item indicies are, and how large tRec is (and where the items fall 
in tRec).

If the item indices are small, close and near to the start, and tRec is 
small, and you don't use 'item ... of tRec' anywhere else in the loop, 
then it will likely be faster than anything else.

> In the second pattern, the code which happens to be in a function for
> neatness has to create a new empty array, and chunk both the data row
> and the header row in order to get column names and values to put into
> the array. You can loop over one set of items, but not both, so LC
> still has to locate indexed items in at least one case.

put line 1 of tTSVdata into tColumnNames
delete line 1 of tTSVdata
repeat for each line tRec in tTSVdata
	put explodeRow(tRec, tColumnNames) into aData
	doSomething aData["User ID"], aData["User Name"]
end repeat

The performance will largely depend on the implementation of explodeRow 
and (as you said subsequently) what

> So in short, the function is doing what the inline code is, plus a
> whole lot more. (Not to mention that in many cases the 'do something'
> code only acts on a subset of the items in each row, whereas the array
> of necessity is built out of all of them.) It may or may not be
> significantly slower; but it definitely is slower.
> Ben
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Mark Waddingham ~ mark at ~
LiveCode: Everyone can create apps

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