Thursday, June 06, 2019

Integrating Project Explorer with Search Utilities

I’ve been using Project Explorer as a replacement for the VFP Project Manager for a couple of years now. However, I recently ran into a gotcha that I need to handle better. Here’s the story.

If you have it configured to do so (and I do), Project Explorer automatically generates the text equivalent of a binary file such as a form or class using whatever conversion tool you’ve specified (I use FoxBin2Prg) when you’re finished editing the item. I rely on this heavily: every day, I’m modifying some class or another, knowing the VC2 file is automatically created so I don’t have to do it manually. Since our source control repository contains only the text equivalents, not the binary files, this is very important.

The build process for Stonefield Query Enterprise Studio, the developer tool for the web version of Stonefield Query, runs on a build server. It pulls from the remote repository, uses FoxBin2PRG to generate binary files from the text equivalents, builds an from the PJX file, and uses Inno Setup to generate a setup executable.

Recently, one of our developers discovered a bug in Studio. It sounded like something I had just fixed, so I couldn’t reproduce it in my copy, but could in the version generated from the build server. I checked the VCX/VCT files from the build server and sure enough, the class had the unfixed bug. I checked my copy: it had the bug fix. Then I looked at the VC2 file on my machine and saw that the bug was still there. But how could that be?

Then I remember how I’d fixed the bug. I opened my project search utility (yes, I’m aware of GoFish and even use it from time to time, but my utility does 99% of what I need and is way faster), searched for some text, double-clicked the class it found, fixed the bug, and closed the Class Designer. The problem is that since even though Project Explorer was open, it wasn’t asked to open the class, so it didn’t know the class had been changed and didn’t call FoxBin2PRG to generate the VC2 file, so the bug still existed in that file and in our repository.

Of course, it was easy to resolve the problem: generate the VC2 file for the class, commit the change, push to the repository, and run the build process again. But I wanted to make sure this didn’t happen again, so I added a new method to Project Explorer: EditFile. It has the same syntax as EDITSOURCE, but when you close the editor, Project Explorer automatically calls FoxBin2PRG if the file is a binary just like it does if you click the Edit button in Project Explorer. Then I edited my project search utility:

if type('_screen.oProjectExplorers') = 'O' and _screen.oProjectExplorers.Count > 0
    loPE = _screen.oProjectExplorers[1]
endif type('_screen.oProjectExplorers') = 'O' ...
do case
* Other code here.
    case FILES.TYPE = FILETYPE_FORM and vartype(loPE) = 'O'
        loPE.EditFile(lcFileName, lnLineNo, justfname(lcFileName), lcMethod)
        editsource(lcFileName, lnLineNo, justfname(lcFileName), lcMethod)
    case vartype(loPE) = 'O'
        loPE.EditFile(lcFileName, lnLineNo, lcClass, lcMethod)
        editsource(lcFileName, lnLineNo, lcClass, lcMethod)

So, when I tell my utility to edit a file containing the search text, it either uses EDITSOURCE if Project Explorer isn’t open or it calls Project Explorer’s EditFile method if it is. Problem solved. The latest version of Project Explorer on GitHub has this change.

I haven’t updated GoFish or Code References but posted an issue with both projects in case the developers or someone want to add support for Project Explorer.

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