Cleanup and Order in v5

"There will be ORDER in the $courtroom!"

This document describes ways to display, rearrange and remove contents from objects like rooms, binders etc.

1. Cleanup

A common task for an introduction to the platform is the creation and dropping of testdocuments. After the newbies disconnect, the teacher (or wizard) is often left to tidy up after them. In the course of a semester, rooms tend to be littered with all kinds of objects, few of them really usefull.

Other times, the $housekeeper is not doing its job properly, and disconnected players, or their sleeping bodies, remain in rooms that are not their homes.

In order to ease the cleaning up in those (and other) cases, v5 has a convenient function in the Object Editor, the "Cleanup"-tab. Both owners and co-owners ("Shared owners") have access to the Object Editor on a given object and thus to this function.

Room owners may quickly remove other's stuff

All objects with contents have the cleanup tab. The contents of the object in question is searched, and all objects which do not belong to the owner of the containing object are listed. Objects which belong to owner of the containing object will be jumped over. The list is then further specified:

For convenience, the items in this list are clickable; they will appear in the web frame when clicked.

Ticking the appropriate boxes and hitting the submit button will perform the actions. As with all checkboxes in v5, these are labeled, i.e., the box is may be checked by clicking the text next to the box. Note that these actions imply moving, not recycling/deleting. An alert box will confirm the actions, or inform of any possible error occured.

2. Order

When new objects are added to the contents of a room, a binder, a container, or anything, they are appended to the tail of the list of objects. In other words, when a note is dropped somewhere, it will appear as the last item. This is logical in programmers' terms, but annoying in everyday life. Most often, the last note dropped, or the last object moved to a binder, tend to be the most recent one and thus the one with the most interest, or urgency, to be read or viewed.

The only remedy was to move everything out of the room and back in again in the desired order. This was tiresome and error prone. Therefore, v5 has now a convenient function in the Object Editor, the "Order"-tab. Both owners and co- owners ("Shared owners") have access to the Object Editor on a given object and thus to this function.

Room owners may quickly rearrange stuff

To change the order of objects in the room (or binder, container, etc.), just highlight an option in the select box and move it up or down with the buttons "raise" and "lower". All items can be moved up and down, but only one object at a time. When the order is perfect, hitting the submit button will rearrange the contents in the desired order.

If the object is a room, it will be searched for exits. They can be rearranged in exactly the same manner. Exits are not listed by their names, but by their destinations.

There are two additional choices in this section: reverse order and keep parents together. Note that the submit button "clear values" only applies to these two choices.

2.1. Reverse contents

Since new objects tend to be more important than older objects, they should appear first. I decided not to touch the way the moo server actually adds items to object stacks, but leave it as it is and rather do somthing with the graphical representation of object lists. This makes it more flexible, as the representation can be switched for each single object.

The default setting is thus "reverse", meaning the newest object appears first. It can be set individually for each object, or semi-globally for object classes, or globally throughout the MOO (and back again for individual objects or classes). Note that the order displayed in the select box is the underlying, "real" order of things. Switching the "reverse" radio button will not turn the list in the Object Editor upside down - but it will do so in the web frame (or other places in the GUI).

2.2. Keep parents together

In some objects, especially boxes containing older semesters' resources, it might look tidier if all notes are kept together, all URLs, all recorders, all projectors etc. Turning this feature on will not actually change the object order in the containing object, but the display in the GUI.

Changes

Will there be changes to these features and functions?

There might come an addon to these functions, a "sticky object" function (by request of Ron Broglio). In short, all objects might have a place where they are "supposed to be", and if they are moved away from that location, they could be called back to there. An interface to do that could include the setting of the sticky location, and the calling back to those places. It should be a batched command, with checkboxes as in the "cleanup" tab.

I don't know when this will be available.

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