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Segments: Script Includes

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Introduction to Script Includes

Beginning with the DesktopX 3.2 Betas, DX has the ability to "make its scripts external" using Object.SetScript. This capability has some drawbacks, namely, only one script can be set and that script is a total replacement of the traditional DesktopX script.

I found a more flexible solution in this Cutting Edge article (from November 2000). By adding a short function, Include(vbsFilePath), to the body of our DX script, we can "include", or incorporate the contents of, any number of external vbs files. This is achieved by Call Include("MySampleFileName.vbs") statements in the Object_OnScriptEnter Sub, as shown below.

Demonstration Code

Option Explicit

'Called when the script is executed
Sub Object_OnScriptEnter
   Call Include("C:/MyScripts/ButtonBehaviorLibrary.vbs")
   Call Include("C:/MyScripts/HandyStringManips.vbs")
End Sub

' ///
' Any Object specific code you want can be written
' and saved here in the DX script
' ///


' ///
' The Included files will behave as if
' their text is in this location
' directly above the Include function.
' This rarely matters, far as I can tell
' ///

Function Include(vbsFile)
   Dim fso, f, s
   Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
   Set f = fso.OpenTextFile(vbsFile)
   s = f.ReadAll()
   f.Close
   ExecuteGlobal s
   Set fso = Nothing
   Set f = Nothing
End Function

'Called when the script is terminated
Sub Object_OnScriptExit

End Sub

As you can see, this can be a helpful tool. If you add scripts as Custom Files to an Object from the Summary panel, they can be referenced: Call Include(Object.Directory & "MyFile.vbs") in the script. This is helpful for packaging, but to update such an included file you need to either re-add the file to Custom Files or overwrite directly in the Object.Directory (access yours through DXBuilder main panel). Whether the file is a local like this or absolute reference, the dx script must be restarted to show changes made in the included files (as with Object.SetScript).

The Include(vbsFile) function itself does not exactly have to be understood for this to be useful. The FileSystemObject is useful enough that it should be familiar to all DX-Scripters, but the ExecuteGlobal is a bit more esoteric.

Comments/Suggestions

The files included in this manner will behave differently depending on whether the Call Include statement is placed within or above the OnScriptEnter sub. Thanks to thomassen for figuring this out! For best results, place the Call Include statements above the OnScriptEnter, not inside as article suggests. External scripts included from within the OnScriptEnter sub need special overriding for events defined in them. (rr)

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