Blawx 0.2.4-alpha RC1 Available Now
In addition to bug fixes and interface improvements, version 0.2.4-alpha RC1 has the following major new features:
Dates, Times, and Durations
Blawx now supports dates, times, and durations as basic data types!
In addition to the data type and value blocks, we have also added a set of method blocks for various kinds of date math. You will now be able to calculate when deadlines have been met, or missed.
We have renamed the “string” datatype “text”, and have added a number of method blocks that will allow you to manipulate text. These methods allow you to do things like adding a first name and last name together and returning them as a single text.
The method blocks are colour coordinated to the data type they use, but they also have icon hints as to the data type expected at each input.
One of the things that we hope to be able to do with Blawx code in the future is automatically generate expert-system-style interfaces that will collect information from end users. In order for that to work, we need to be able to tell Blawx “how many” values an attribute is supposed to have.
For instance, a “Person” has any number of “friends” but exactly one “birthdate”.
To make that possible Blawx has a set of 5 blocks that give you different cardinality options: “exactly”, “up to”, “or more”, “between”, and “any.”
The Blawx reasoner code has be re-written from scratch in order to dramatically improve its performance, particularly on small questions. Questions that used to take almost a minute to get a response can now get a response in seconds on the same hardware. And the reasoner’s speed now scales better with your hardware.
Easier Object Declarations
Blawx now automatically creates a category-specific new object blocks for each Category in your code. That reduces the number of steps involved in creating a new object and adding it to a category by more than half!
Silent and Unnamed Variables
In addition to the usual variable blocks, you now have the ability to use a variable that will match everything, or a variable whose contents are not reported in queries.
The difference between a great tool and a great tool that gets used is documentation and training.
In this new version the Blawx documentation has been moved inside the code, so you always have the documentation for your own version, linked from the help command. Also, the context menu of each block now has a help link to a block-specific help page.
The documentation also now includes a 6-chapter Beginners Guide to help new users get started with Rules as Code, and links to live versions of the example code so you can pick up where the tutorial leaves off.