[EpiData-list] Re: Re: FW: Suggestion for automatic checks in new Epidata manager

epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca
Fri Mar 12 23:04:01 CST 2010

I would like to share my experience on the following suggestion by Jamie

< A great addon or standalone module will be a simple XML editor for recxml files, to be used at our own risk. I don't know if such things exist in other areas, but there must be.>
I have only recently started using epidata (Epidata Entry, the stable release) and must say the simple check file format was a great relief. The one thing lacking in the check file editor was lack of tools that can assist while writing the Check file codes  (syntax highlighting). 
What i did was to start using a third party text editor (notepad++) and created a custom scheme that included coloured codes for if-then loops, various commands, comments shading etc. Immediately I was able to collapse the if-then loops, check if my commands were complete etc. I found it quite helpful in writing the CHK code.
I can see if there is a way that it can be shared with the group. 

>From here on, I am afraid a wishlist starts :-) 
Having a XML editor within Epidata Manager I believe is a great idea. As a personal choice, for an XML editor for Epidata, I would like to have the following features w.r.t. check code:
1. Assistance that creates a termination code as soon as a command is inserted. Will help in creating compete codes 
2. Syntax highlighting: Will decrease spelling mistakes and omission of closing sections (use of multiple brackets, END, ENDIF etc ),  
3. Variable list: Will decrease spelling mistakes !
4. Command list and assistance: type initial letters and the possible commands come as a dropdown !

An XML template can also probably be developed that has sections on:
1. Legal values and codes
2. Missing values
3. Before file commands
4. Before Record commands
5. Variable specific Commands: Calculations, If-then loops, Hide, Unhide, Key Unique
6. After Record commands
7. After File Commands
But I agree that this would be probably a very low priority task.
Wishlist ends !



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