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Feature request: external accessible variables

Pace: discussion/comments on variables/constants -

I'm currently building a site where I have to maintain price lists and other information that changes and keep it consistent with a paper version that is similar (but not quite identical).

An obvious way to deal with the issues here is to derive all the potentially variable data from a database, which I could do with other tools. However, I'd like to be able to do this simply with CityDesk.

If there were *real* variables that could pick up/maintain  their values in/from the program environment in one of several possible ways (from an ASCII or CSV file, actual environment variables, whatever) then it would seem to me feasible to achieve the limited amount of database-driven functionality that I need.

Of course, you may not want to go down this road - where do you stop? :-)

Why not use Access tables? Well, I'm running an instance of CD in Linux so Access is not ideal...


James Roberts
Monday, April 14, 2003

But a .cty file is just an access file.
Monday, April 14, 2003

<But a .cty file is just an access file.>

Yes. That was my point :-)

I'd rather have something that is not Access.


James Roberts
Monday, April 14, 2003

I know you're using Linux, so this might not help you, but it might help someone else out there.

It should be fairly straightforward to use something like Excel to modify CityDesk variables in the Access database. So you could have a spreadsheet where you maintain all your prices in a nice table, and then hit a button to run a macro to update your CD variables.

The same sort of thing could be done from any scripting/programming language that has an Access DB interface, such as Python etc.

I've wanted to play with this for a while now, but never seem to be able to find the time. Anyone else care to have a go and post us instructions/results?

Darren Collins
Monday, April 14, 2003

Variables are all stored in a table named tblVariables. From Excel you should be able to just use Data, Import External Data, New Database Query to get it linked to your worksheet. What you do with it there is up to you, but it should be very straightforward to deal with variable editing from any tool that understands the Jet database format.

Mike Gunderloy
Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Thanks for the various responses.

I *am* using Linux, Darren, but not exclusively. I am trying to break away from MS because I don't like the T&C of XPropriate, and Win2K has an EOL in sight. I have managed to get just about everything I need from Win to run in Linux  under Win4Lin - except my Sound Studio software <sigh>

Following your and Mike G's comments I'll try this out, and thanks for the suggestions.

However I'd still like the original feature I requested: a generic non-proprietary format to allow interaction through assigned variables.


James Roberts
Wednesday, April 16, 2003

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