Tinderbox Forum

Changing defaults of attributes in Outline column view

Probably a silly or simple question, but is it possible to change the default setting of an attribute to “empty” (=nothing) instead of ‘0’ for number or ‘never’ for a date? Specially in column view this would be handy to create a nicer overview. I’ve tried all sorts of things, but I don’t seem to find it. Thx for all the help.

In short, no. Usefully, attributes actually tell you what sort of data-type the they are via their default values.

I once had a similar question and did a work-around. I don’t remember all the details, but the essence was:

  • For the items in question, I created a parallel $FormattedDate or $FormattedSum attribute, to match the underlying $Date or $Sum attribute. But these formatted attributes were String-type attributes, and their entire function was to look nice in a column or attribute-browser display.

  • I created a rule for the prototype of the relevant items, saying that if the “real” value was either zero (for number) or never (for dates), the formatted version would be " " – that is, blank.

  • Then, in columnar display, I’d see blank values instead of either “never” or “0”.

  • If I wanted to change the values to something real, I wouldn’t be able to do it from the formatted column (since that was display-only). I’d do it in the item itself, through the Key Attribute view. These were for values that I wasn’t changing very often.

You get the idea I think. It’s one of those situations where the necessary tinkering wasn’t really “worth it,” but I liked solving the puzzle to make it look the way I wanted.

Hay James, thx for the reply. I’ll try that.