Option Profiles

Background

Before version 233, if you wanted to change some cataloging check options, you would enter the options form from the main menu, make your changes, click Save, and go back to work.

In some scenarios, the activity described above might involve quite a few changes.

For example, we want to run Batch mode on a large file (the LC bib database), and instead of pushing the program over the edge tracking error messages, we only want to find records that have invalid characters in them. So, first we visit the Validation page and turn off validation; then, on the Cataloging Checks page, we turn off everything except the first two checkboxes; next, create a custom set where all cataloging check messages are disabled except those that contain brief messages with the words 'Invalid' and 'character' in them. Once thats done, we will probably head over to the Batch Reports tab and tweak a few output options there. (For a step-by-step tutorial on how to find all invalid characters in a file, please click here.)

So, after making all these changes and saving them, we can go ahead and run the report. But after that, to return to a more general cataloging check setup, we will have to go back to the options and unset all of the changes made above.

In version 233, all of the cataloging check decisions described above can be saved as an options profile, which can then be activated at any time from the main menu with a mouse-click. In addition, you will be able to revert to your main (or 'default') profile just as easily.

Enable option profiles

To start with, you must first select the 'Enable option profiles' option on the main menu under 'Options'. This option is not set by default, and if you leave it that way, you can keep using the options in MARC Report the same way as you always have (and won't need to worry about option profiles anymore). When option profiles are enabled, a check mark will appear next to this caption in the menu; and once you have created a different profile, a sub-menu will appear allowing to quickly change profiles:

Default profile

If you enable options profiles, the options that you have used in the past will not go away–they will now become known as your 'Default' profile. These are the options that will be loaded whenever the program starts.

Creating a new profile

If option profiles have been enabled, you can create a new profile by going into the options and selecting 'File|Save As' from the menu:

At this point a typical windows explorer dialog will open, prompting you to enter a filename for the new options profile.

Change profile

Once you have created profiles (i.e., once you have at least two profiles, the default, and one or more others that you have created), you can activate that profile in MARC Report using the new 'change profile' option on the main menu:

change_profile.jpg

Editing a profile

Whenever you select one of the option categories from the Options menu, the options form will display as usual. However, the page that will be shown will be the page representing the options for the currently loaded profile.

Once the Options form has been loaded, you can switch from one profile to another via the 'File' menu (see the second screenshot above): select 'Open default profile' to edit your default options, or 'Open profile' to select any other profile that you want to edit.

Changes to the Options form

The Save, Cancel, and Help buttons that used to appear at the bottom of the form have been replaced by a menu (again, see the screenshot above) which also includes the new options to support profiles. The options form can also be closed by clicking the '[x]' in the top right corner; if no changes have been made, the form will simply be dismissed; if changes have been made, a standard 'Options changed' acknowledgement will display.

Visual feedback

If option profiles are enabled, whenever the main screen of MARC Report is displayed, the current profile name will be displayed in the bottom left status bar. Also, when you are viewing or editing records, the currently loaded profile name will also be displayed at the bottom left (in blue text). In Batch mode reports, a new line at the top will report the name of the options profile that was used during the run.

When the default options are being edited, the form's caption will read 'MARC Report options' and the status bar display will display 'Current profile: Default'; if another profile is being edited, the profile name will be shown both in the form's caption and in the status bar.

Profile toggle

If you only have two profiles, and want to quickly switch from one to the other, simply click on the 'Current profile' caption at the bottom left corner of the screen. This click signals the program to: make a list of all of your profiles, find the current profile in that list, and then load the next profile in the list (the order of the list is alphabetical).

Thus, if you have two profiles, clicking the 'Current profile' caption quickly switches from one to the other. But if you have created a large number of profiles, it is probably much quicker to select the 'Change profile' from the Options menu.

New options in new versions

When new options are added to MARC Report in a program update, each option's value is initialized to a default, regardless of whether you are using profiles or not1).

If this default is the value that you want, then you do not need to check the new option in each profile. However, if you do not want the default value of the a option, you will need to open each profile, set the value for the new option to what you want it to be, then save the profile.

Technical notes

Option profiles are saved in a folder called 'profiles' in your My Documents 'MarcReport' folder2). If you save or move a profile to a different folder it will not be recognized by the program.

There is an empty file named 'default' or 'default.ini' in the profiles folder. This file is really a link to the default options file, marcreport.ini, which is locatde in a different folder. This link makes it possible to select the default options from the 'Open profile' menu.

To delete a profile, make sure the program is not running, then go into the profiles folder with Windows explorer and delete the file.

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Limitations

The purpose of profiles is to allow the user to create different groups of options for viewing cataloging error messages in MARC Report. They should not be used to change options for the utilities.

Profiles should not be manually edited to change folder names (whether these folders are visible on the Options form or not). The behavior of the program will become unpredictable if this is attempted.

Importing a profile

Moving a profile from one computer to another will not work unless all of the paths used in the default profile are exactly the same on both computers–something that is highly unlikely. To workaround this problem, use the 'Import profile' option on the main menu.

When a profile is imported, the profile is first copied to your profiles environment, and then all of the parameters that contain paths in the profile being imported are replaced with the corresponding paths from your default profile. However, keep in mind that this solves only one of the two possible problems that arise when importing a profile from another computer. The other problem is that the imported profile may reference sets that exist only on the other computer. In this case, the only solution–apart from falling back to the 'default' sets–is to get the referenced sets from the other computer and copy them into your Options folder.

Also, if the location of your My Documents 'MarcReport' folder somehow changes, any profiles that exist before the change will become unuseable in the new location3). Again, you may use the 'Import profile' option to revive these profiles–after first moving them all to a different folder4).

When a profile is loaded, we try to take steps to ignore the pathnames in the profile, and fall back to the known good pathnames in the default.ini, but there is at least one exception where this practice is not followed.

1) This initialization occurs whenever the options are loaded into memory. New options are not physically added to a profile (or to the default marcreport.ini, if you are not using profiles) until you open the profile in the Options and save it
2) for example, C:\Documents and settings\[user]\My Documents\MarcReport\profiles
3) In the event that a drive letter has changed, it may be possible to quickly edit the profiles to reflect this change–but keep in mind the caveats above
4) because the profile importer will complain if a filename 'already exists' in the profiles folder
233/option_profiles.txt · Last modified: 2016/11/22 10:40 by richard
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