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Expressions definitions

Posted: 28 Jan 2008, 09:07
by k_ahrendt
Hi Matthias,
I was trying the example of "mover" and realized that I don't have any idea of what expressions are available and what they do. So my questions are:
Are the expressions listed somewhere (book, helpfile)? Or are they a standard set listed in some -- gasp -- standard programming language?
Does that "somewhere" tell me what the expressions do?

I have a vague feeling that I did run across something that did list them but I have no idea where it was!
I'm enjoying the examples you have provided very much and they have really helped me with understanding what I can do with Interactive Design. Keep up the great examples!
Kathy Ahrendt

Expressions definitions

Posted: 28 Jan 2008, 10:30
by Matthias Guenther (Quark)
Hi, Kathy,

when we designed Interactive Designer we had a huge discussion how far "scripting" support should go.

Yes, a "one click" interface is nice but has limitations. A programming environment is flexible but hard to use and especially not a designer's world. So we tried to do down the middle, flexible and handleable.

I always compare it with a spreadsheet:
- Many people only know the interface and the buttons (e.g. to sum). That's the standard interface of Interactive Designer.
- Many people know how to key in formulas (=max(), avg() etc). That's expressions of Interactive Designer.
- And few people know how to code with macros. That's ActionScript and not available in Interactive Designer. If you need that, Adobe Flash is actually a nice coding environment.

Does that explain it?

And of course we looked at typical formula conventions of other languages, expressions are pretty similar to what JavaScript or ActionScript offers as functions. Expressions are NOT a programming language though.

The way they work is described in the Expression Editor itself (click on one, there is a small help at the bottom of the dialog). There's a section in the help file. And there's a section in the manual.

Anything else you need to know: There's the forum! ;-)

To learn trial and error works the best. Remember your first layout in QuarkXPress, your first picture in Photoshop? Back then - at least to me - it looked like magic.


Expressions definitions

Posted: 28 Jan 2008, 11:23
by k_ahrendt
Thanks for the reply. I had forgotten that there is a separate help for QID so I'll go off there and research some more.