Voice Card  -  Volume 24  -  John Card Number 5  -  Fri, May 8, 1992 8:56 AM

This is a response to VC 24 Drury 18 ("Voice card 101")...


You are an observant little rascal, aren't you? I can't help but to admire the way you kept typing away until your card exceeded the 182 mark. Good work!

This wacky word-o-meter problem is another one of those undocumented features that I've been meaning to fix for ages. It must seem a very odd phenomenon, and I am tempted to say that yes, 182 is a goal to shoot for, but the real explanation is quite simple.

New voice cards are made using a template card hidden inside the voice stack. This card is empty and normally its word-o-meter displays a zero. But occasionally, when I'm creating voice cards, I will use the clipboard option. That is, I will copy a hunk of text from some other place, push the New Card button, and push the CLIPBOARD button (which only appears in the New Card dialog box when something is in the clipboard) to automatically paste that text into a new card.

This seldom-used feature is a clever solution to a difficult problem. The Macintosh clipboard can only hold one thing at a time. In the process of creating a new card the template is copied to the clipboard and pasted into the appropriate location. But as soon as the template is copied, anything already in the clipboard, such as a hunk of text, is lost. How then can I create a card with that hunk of text in place?

The answer is to place the text into the template itself before the template is copied. This is precisely what the clipboard button does. Apparently, some time during the last few issues, I pushed that button and used it to insert a hunk of text that was 182 words in length. The program inserted the text into template card, copied the card with text to the clipboard, and then erased the text from the template. Unfortunately, due to the complex way messages are passed in the midst of script execution, the template's word-o-meter was set when the text was temporarily placed, but not reset when the text was deleted.

Of course, all of this happens behind the scenes. And it only has to happen once. Apparently I used this feature once and then failed to notice that subsequent cards still bore a tell-tale trace of my clipboard option. Later I did notice but somehow never got around to fixing the problem. And since new voice volumes rise from the ashes of previous voice volumes, the erroneous word-o-meter setting was carried on from one volume to the next.

But now, due to your vigilance, I have finally CORRECTED this subtle problem. From now on, whenever anyone uses the clipboard option, the program will be smart enough to reset the word-o-meter.

You may also notice another change as well. Before, whenever you finished making changes to the text of a card, the word-o-meter would fall to zero and then rise to the new value. Although amusing, this was also rather time-consuming, especially during harvesting when every single word-o-meter is reset. I have therefor changed the behavior slightly. From now on, if there's been a change in the word count, the word-o-meter will simply flash and jump immediately to the correct value.

These bug fixes involved changes both to the master script and to the text field scripts of the half-dozen different types of card templates. I have tested it and it seems to work OK. But, as always, if any of you spot any erroneous word-o-meter settings, send in a report.

Hmmm. 612 words. Now that's what I call a voice card!