Usage: Making and Editing Projects
To make the best use of ABCD it helps to have a basic understanding of
the program organization. A project consists of a directory tree of
Folders and a list of files. Folders can contain child Folders and
References to files. Each object (Folders, files, file References)
can have optional data associated with it. This data includes things
like short text, longer description, date, and anything else a user
might want to add. This data is easily accessible in the template
files, and so can be used to customize a project.
Each time you upload photos from your camera you can run ABCD to
classify them. When you are ready to make a CD you can then create a
new project, merge in the project data from as many existing projects
as you want, edit the results if desired, and then generate web pages
from the data.
The general process to follow in making the database is:
This is just a general outline, of course more Folders can be added at
- start the editor
- create the desired Folders in the directory tree
- load the files you want to classify
- add References to the files into the desired Folder(s)
The first step in using ABCD is running the database editor, which is
used to enter and edit ABCD databases. When it starts up, you will see
3 main sections to the screen.
CREATING AND MANIPULATING THE TREE
The box on the left is for building the directory tree. It shows
existing Folders in a tree display.
The Folders in the tree are displayed, and can be selected. The number
following each Folder name gives the number of References currently in
the Folder. The red arrows show Links, which point to other Folders.
ADDING A NEW FOLDER
New Folders are added by using the ADD operation. You can call this
either by selecting an existing Folder and using the ADD button on the
Tree panel, or right-clicking on the Folder you want to add to.
ADDING A LINK
Sometimes it might be convenient to have more than one way of getting
to a Folder. For instance, in a family photo album, a Folder for me
might belong both in one for my parent's family and one for my
family. In this case it is possible to create a Link, giving more than
one way to get to a folder. A Link simply points to a Folder somewhere
else on the tree.
The order of child Folders within the parent can be changed by
selecting a Folder and then either Move Up or Move Down, repeatedly
until it is in the desired position.
REMOVING A FOLDER
A Folder and its subtrees can be removed by selecting it and clicking
the REMOVE button on the left-hand side. A confirmation box will pop
up to avoid accidental deletions.
Folders can contain 2 types of objects: other Folders and References.
To avoid making it too large, the tree only shows the Folders.
References are displayed in the Reference panel on the right. The
Reference list shows all the References in the context Folder. The
context Folder can be any Folder on the tree, or one of 2 special
Folders, All and Unprocessed. The All Folder contains every file which
has been loaded into the project. The Unprocessed Folder contains all
files which have not yet been added to a Folder in the tree. These
Folders can be selected as context by clicking their buttons under the
"Set Context " section on the left.
Folders on the tree can also be used as context. This lets you examine
and change the References in any Folder. To set a Folder as context,
either right-click on it in the tree and select "Set as context" from
the popup menu, or click on it and then use the "Folder" button under
"Set Context" on the right side.
The current context is displayed above the file List.
ADDING AND CLASSIFYING FILES
The right side of the screen is the Reference list. This lists all the
References in the current context and lets you operate on them. The number
following each Item name is the number of References it currently has in
ADDING FILES TO THE PROJECT
The most important thing a project needs is input files. These are
loaded by using the "Load" button on the buttons on the right-hand
side. Click on the "Load" button, and you will be prompted for files
to load. In the file dialog that opens up, you can select multiple
files by using ctrl-click. If you choose a directory all files in that
directory will be loaded.
ADDING References TO THE TREE
Once files have been loaded in the project, the next task is to add
them to the tree. This is done simply by selecting a file in the
Reference List, selecting one or more Folders on the Folder tree, and
clicking the "Add" button on the right side. This will add one
Reference to the currently selected file into each of the selected
Folders (unless a Reference to that file is already in the Folder).
If a Reference has already been added to a Folder but you decide that
it does not belong, you can remove the Reference by selecting the File
in the Reference List, selecting the Folder(s) you do not want it in,
and clicking the "Remove" button on the right side. The Reference to
the file will be removed from each of the selected Folders where it
appears. Other, non-selected Folders with References to it will not be
affected, and selected Folders where it does not appear also will not
If you are not sure where the References to a file are, you can find
out by selecting the file and then clicking the "Show" button on the
right. This will select all the Folders in the tree which contain
References to the file. To remove all References, just click "Show"
and "Remove". To remove only some of the References click "Show", then
deselect the desired Folders, and click "Remove"
The order of the References within a Folder can be changed. Like child
Folders, one way is to select one and move it manually with the "Move
Up" and "Move Down" buttons on the right.
All References within a given context can also be sorted in several
different ways by using the remaining buttons on the right-side panel.
The supplied sorting orders are:
- Sort by Date: Sort by the contents of the Date attribute for each file
- Sort by Name: Sort alphabetically by the name of the file
- Sort by Count: Sort in order by the total number of References for each
Reference on the list. This is a way to see which files have few
Putting References into Folders is one way of assigning data to them.
Attributes are another, much more flexible way, by which data can be
associated with References, files, Folders, or the entire project.
An attribute is a key/value pair which can be attached to an object so
that the value can be retrieved if you know the key. This allows
simple lookups once you have an item. Some attributes, such as Date
for References, are special, and used by Abcd. Others can be added by
users, and all attribute information is easily accessible by the
templates to generate custom web pages.
Keys are case-independent: Caption matches caption.
If a Reference is checked for an attribute and has no value, it checks
to see if its associated Item has a value, and uses that. In this way,
the data for an Item serves as default values for all associated
References. Assigning a value for an attribute to a Reference
overrides the default. This way a Reference can have a default value
for an attribute but override it in a special case - for instance, a
Photo can have a short text attached, but be given a longer text for a
Popping up the window to change attributes is OK for less commonly
used ones, but some data needs to be filled in practically every time
a Reference is added. To make this easier, a few of the common
attributes can also be filled in on the bottom of the screen. These
attributes are caption, text, and date
Usage: Project Editing