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By now, you may know that items on the tree in EASAP Builder are known as “objects”. There are well over 100 different objects available in EASAP Builder, and each of these objects has been designed for a particular purpose in defining the overall functionality of an EASAP.
However, you will not need to use all of these objects to produce a high-quality EASAP. Using less than half of these objects will often suffice. As an author, you will create objects on the tree and then edit them to perform as desired by setting “Values” for any object “Parameters” that are available.
Note: EASA Objects are processed in the order in which they appear on the tree from top to bottom. For objects that affect the User Interface, you can check the effect of their tree location on the appearance of the GUI by using the ‘Toggle to Preview’ button.
Tip: You should find that the ‘Copy’, ‘Cut’ and two ‘Paste’ buttons prove to be very useful in populating the tree of an EASAP with the necessary objects in the necessary order.
Each of the different objects has a unique function, but these objects can also be grouped into two object types:
Singletons are characterized by names that are all capital letters and cannot be modified. As their name implies, only a single instance of a particular singleton object is allowed as a child object to a particular parent object. This means that a singleton object can appear more than once on the EASAP tree, but only once per parent object.
Conversely, standard objects can occur multiple times under the same parent, and their names can be modified and made up of a combination of upper and lower case letters.
For standard objects, EASAP Builder automatically provides a default name for each newly created object. However, you have the ability to rename a standard object to something more representative of its purpose. You modify an object’s name in one of two ways:
When renaming an object, there are a couple of restrictions to be aware of:
To aid you with finding a unique object name when a repeat name is entered, a drop down showing existing object names that are the same or similar to the current name will appear below the object name box in EASAP Builder. An example of the object naming aid is shown below.
The behavior of an object is controlled by specifying the values for its parameters. There are two types of parameters: 1) Essential and 2) Optional. Setting the value for any Essential parameter is mandatory and EASAP Builder will return error messages when an unspecified Essential parameter is detected. As their name implies, setting the values for Optional parameters is indeed optional. However, setting Optional parameters will often be extremely useful, and even necessary, for proper functioning of an EASAP.
For every parameter in every object, EASAP Builder contains readily available information to help you in the setting of Parameter Values. To access this information, you select the Parameter Name for the parameter of concern in the first column of the Parameter table. Once a Parameter Name is selected, information will appear below the table. An example of parameter information that will appear is shown below.
Note: When a Parameter Name is selected, its Parameter Information will remain visible until another Parameter Name is selected for the same object or until a different object is selected on the EASAP tree.
All new objects are added to the EASAP tree in a similar manner. The following steps provide the generic method for adding objects to the EASAP tree.
Once the EASAP tree has been populated with objects, it is often important to find objects so that they can be referenced properly by other objects. The Find capability within EASAP Builder, accessed by clicking on the Find button in the toolbar or selecting Find under the Edit menu, helps to locate objects. When Find is accessed, a form appears, as shown below, that allows you to specify the text to find and the location to find it in, either object names or parameter values. In addition to just finding text within object names and parameter values, the Replace tab on the Find form allows you to find and replace text within objects on the EASAP tree.
Due to the importance of creating and defining objects on an EASAP’s tree, EASAP Builder contains a variety of methods for adding, copying, cutting, pasting and deleting objects.
The methods for copying objects are as follows:
The methods for cutting objects are as follows:
To paste an object that has been cut or copied as a child, select an object one level above the intended location for the new object and then do one of the following:
To paste an object that has been cut or copied as a sibling, select an object on the same level as the intended location for the new object and then do one of the following:
You can export an object and all of its children objects for use in a different EASAP. The methods for exporting objects are as follows:
Upon invoking either of the methods described above, you will be prompted to provide a folder location and file name in which to save the object information. These exported object files will have the
.ccl file extension.
To compliment the object exporting capability described above, you also have the ability to import previously saved objects, including any children objects saved with it, into an EASAP. There are two steps in importing an object: 1) read in the saved object file (
*.ccl), and 2) paste the object into the Tree in the appropriate location. The methods for first reading the saved object file are as follows:
Upon invoking either of the methods described above, you will be prompted to provide a folder location and file name in which to read the object information. These saved object files will have the
.ccl file extension. Once the object file has been read, you then paste the object into the Tree as you would when using the Copy or Cut methods detailed above.
There are a couple of quick ways to reorder existing objects on the EASAP tree.
Note: When object movement is not valid, the buttons will be disabled.
The Add/Edit Comments button on the EASAP Builder toolbar is used to add comments to objects on the EASAP tree. Adding comments to objects may prove useful to you or other authors, by making it easier to determine what is being defined in the different parts of the tree. To add a comment to an object, just perform the following steps:
The newly inserted comment will now be displayed as a tool tip when the cursor is hovered over the object. Also, commented objects are denoted by a small red triangle placed in the upper right corner of the object’s icon on the tree.