Wildcard searches & Frame doc error

Subject: Wildcard searches & Frame doc error
From: Barbara Hallnan <barbara -at- EJV -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 15:55:13 -0500

barbara -at- ejv -dot- com
Customer # 44696
Frame 5 on a 486 33MH PC, 16MB RAM

Hi Framers and Tech Writers, ,

Being in a bold mood and facing the task of preparing
ascii database output laden with (horrors!) spaces
between data elements for large tables in Frame, I
shook myself out of my business_as_usual attitude toward
learning new features in Frame and read the documentation
on doing wildcard searches.

Here's what I had to do:

Massage data like the following so that the first
and last fields are tab-separated with no spaces in
front of the first item --- all ready to be copied
into a Frame table.

DS_Age DS_INT 176552 age
DS_AmortizationTerm DS_INT 161600 amort_term
DS_AmortizationType DS_STRING 165167 amort_type_cd
DS_BalloonTerm DS_INT 179906 balloon_term
DS_IOPercent DS_DOUBLE 165330 cpn_adj

And so on.

First, to deal with placing a tab where the spaces and 2 middle
fields are:

Based on the writeup of wildcard searches on pp. 8-7 - 8-8 in the
FrameMaker documentation "Using FrameMaker" for Windows and Mac, I
entered the following in the Find text box:
|DS_*|[1-9][1-9][1-9][1-9][1-9][1-9]|
And I checked the Use Wildcards checkbox.
And I entered \t in the Change text box.

To my initial delight and subsequent puzzlement, this search
entry very nicely replaced the two middle fields and all the
spaces with a tab for entries 1 and 3 in the example, but not
for the others.

After some brain teasing, I realized that the search string
had to contain [0-9] for all the numbers. The numbers
containing zeros weren't being replaced, because the
search string didn't match them!

It all seems so obvious once you figure it out!

The doc neglected to include 0 as a possible search number:
"If you type "Number[1-9]" in the Find text box, FrameMaker
finds all occurrences of the word "Number" followed by any
number between 1 and 9."
It ain't wrong, but it ain't complete!

Here's a classic case where an unclarity in the documentation
can aggravate the hell out of you, and make you _hate_ to
have to refer to it for anything. For me, this reinforces
my unadventurous, "I can get along ok with what I know" type
of attitude toward Frame.

BTW, fixing the 2 spaces in front of the first entry was easy,
once the other fixes were made.

Framers: Is there an easier way to do this search that I'm missing?


comments -at- frame -dot- com: Could you fix the doc please?

Tech Writers: Here's the kind of stuff we need to be careful of
when we write!!

Cheers!

Barbara

Barbara Hallnan
Technical Writer
EJV Partners, NYC

barbara -at- ejv -dot- com


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