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Debugging with the variables list

The variables list is a view into the internal state of the session at any point. You can use it to figure out what variables have what state. This panel is automatically updated as needed whenever the player clicks on or says a command in the player window.

What the variables list is for

The variables list is very useful during debugging and testing. It allows you to see all
variables used in a certain way (as context, command, move, requirements, or changes). It also allows you to see at a glance whether a variable is true or not true. Often, if you have bug caused by a variable spelled differently in two places, this will often become obvious when using the variables list, because you will see two different entries for what should be one variable. Unlike the browser, the variables list allows more than one type of variable to be listed at once; for example, you can look at a list of both requirements and changes.

Parts of the variables list

The variables list has three areas. At the top is a drop-down combo box containing all the contexts in the world. At the bottom is panel listing
variables, which includes information on their name, whether they are true or not true, and how they are used (as context, move, requirement, change, or command). In between these two areas is a row of buttons which controls what shows up in the variables list.

Using the variables list to browse

Clicking on the little icons to the right of the variable name in the variable list will bring up the
browser on that variable in the world editor window, browsing on the field represented by the icon you clicked on. These icons are also useful to see at a glance if a variable is used in complementary ways -- for example used in both requirements and changes.

An example

In this example only two buttons above the variables list are pushed in: contexts and moves. All items are being shown whether or not they are true (because the plus button is not pushed in). The result is that only two variables are showing:
house and yard. We can see that right now the player is in the house because a) the house has a plus in front of it showing the variable is true, and b) the drop-down box above the variables list shows the context house.


A simple example of using the variables list

Using the variables list:

gif/chiclet.gif Showing or hiding the variables list

gif/chiclet.gif Changing what types of variables are listed in the variables list

gif/chiclet.gif Setting variables to true and false in the variables list

gif/chiclet.gif Changing the current context in the variables list

See also:

Reordering and reviewing rules in the table

Organizing rules in the map

Comparing rules and debugging in the browser

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.