Dolly the sheep. Copy and Clone

If you look under the Edit Menu of IMS Web Engine or IMS Web
Spinner you will see a Cut, Copy, Delete, Past-Copy, Paste-Clone
and Include commands. Why are there all these options and which
ones should you use?

These options are an indication of a powerful capability of IMS
Studio software that I don't believe any other HTML editor supports.

IMS software uses a component object model. What this means is
that any Object such as a text string or picture, is comprised of
several separate parts. In the simplest case an Object may contain a
single Geometry component such as a GIF image. In IMS Web
Engine, the most complex Object may contain text Geometry, a
Shading component, Sound Component, Action Component and
Behavior component. Because each component is defined
independently, it is possible for an Object to share some or all of its
components with one or more other Objects.

Try this experiment. Create a text Object by selecting the ABC
button and typing "This is geometry component 1". Exit the Text
editor and with the text Object still selected open the Shading
Dialog (RGB circles button) and say yes when asked to create a new
Shading definition. Select the Attributes tag and adjust the sliders to
mix any color you like. Exit the Shading Dialog. Your text Object
should now be filled with the color you just created.

If you are using IMS Web Engine, the Object Toolbar should display
the name of your Object "Obj1", the name of your Geometry
component "Geo1" and the name of your Shading component
"Shade1". If you are using IMS Web Spinner, you can see these
components listed in the Object Editor by right clicking the Object.
Exit the editor by selecting the Cancel button.

Create a second text Object by selecting the ABC button and typing
"This is the second text geometry". Exit the text Object and position
the second text Object next to the first. The first Object will still be
colored but the second will not. Enter the Object Editor by right
clicking the second text Object. The editor should display the
Object's name "Obj2" and list a single component "Geo2" in the
geometry window.

The Shading window will display "****" indicating that this Object
does not include a Geometry component. Select the drop button
(down arrow) of the Shading window and select "Shade1". Exit the
Object Editor. Both Objects should now be filled with the same

It is important to note that the second Object does not include a copy
of the same Shading as the first. It IS the same Shading component.
This can be verified by selecting the second Object and selecting the
Shading dialog again. Since this Object now has a Shading
definition you will not be asked to create one. Select the Attributes
tab and use the sliders to change the color. Exit the dialog by
selecting OK. Both Objects will now display the new color since
they are both using the same component.

What other components can be shared this way? All of them can.
Try changing the Geometry of the first Object in the Object Editor to
"Geo2" Both Objects will now display the text string "This is the
second text geometry". Now if you change the text of one Object in
the text editor, the text in the second Object will also change. In this
example now Objects "Obj1" and "Obj2" are exact 'Clones' of each
other because they are comprised of the same components. In fact
they are more than Clones since unlike Dolly the Sheep, these
Objects are fully interdependent. If you sheer Dolly, only Dolly
would get cold. In the IMS example, both clones would get cold.

This then explains some of the differences in the Edit menu. If you
Copy an Object and then 'Paste-Copy' you would get a new Object
with new components that appear the same as the original but are
not. If you "Past-Clone" however, you will get a new Object with the
same components as the first. Changing a component in a Cloned
Object will consequently change it in all the clones.

I have posted an example of cloned and copied Objects at:
This is by no means all there is to this topic however. Next week I
shall continue with some of the major advantages, features and
capabilities that this unique IMS component data model provides.

"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright 2000 Virtual Mechanics

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