DescEditor is a very simple database to keep track of the content of a directory tree. Each file has an attached description plus some other (user defined) metadata. The editor supports the manipulation of those descriptions.
The collection description is contained in a distributed database composed by
a XML file (called
.desc.xml) for each directory.
I have a huge collection of chemistry files for demo, bug fixing, testing, etc. and I started loosing track of what each file is and why it is here.
The program requires Tcl/Tk and relies on TinyXML compiled as a Tcl extension. For now this library is provided as DLL (Windows) or Dynamic Library in the Linux kit. As soon as I have time, I will dig out the wrapper.
One environment variable should be defined before using DescEditor:
directory where DescEditor is installed
To invoke DescEditor you can use
run.sh as an example, or run
wish, the Tcl visual shell.
Invoke DescEditor a first time on a new collection to copy the necessary configuration
file in the collection root directory. To do so invoke DescEditor with the collection
root directory on the command line, or select the root directory from the menu with
File → Set root… or define the environment variable
pointing to the collection root directory before starting DescEditor.
Then select Tools → Edit configuration to edit the collection configuration file. This
file lives in the collection root directory and is called
The format of the file is described by the embedded comments. Remember that it is a Tcl source file, so the syntax should be strictly adhered.
For the Generate HTML functionality to work, you need the XSL processor XT.
The XSL program to convert a
.desc.xml file to
should be adapted to the file description you defined.
DESC_EDITOR_DATA_ROOTpointing to the collection root before starting DescEditor.
This functionality is launched by Tools → Generate HTML and creates an index page with a tree structured TOC to navigate the collection.
If fields are added or removed from the configuration or files are moved or deleted, the various XML files could start accumulating detritus. To clean them use the function Tools → Remove orphans.
This function saves the existing
.desc.xml file to the backup copy called
and creates a new
.desc.xml file with only existing files data and fields
I’m trying to “eat my own food” using DescEditor to describe my data collections. But always something is missing. You can contact me.
Anyway, here are the things to do: