DFM (Data Folder Manager) Help Doc
Author: Jeff Platt
Date Last Modified: 10/10/2011
The DFM (Data Folder Manager) is an interface that allows the player to point JCapper at target folders anywhere on a machine. The interface allows the player to persist up to 3 predefined folders (although more than 3 can be used for data storage.) Folders persisted in the DFM are recognized by all of the JCapper modules.
The DFM (Data Folder Manager) also contains a Card Loader. The DFM Card Loader provides a drag and drop enabled interface for loading past performance data files into JCapper on up to 3 folders simultaneously.
Launching the DFM (Data Folder Manager)
Individual DFM launch buttons are found all throughout JCapper wherever and whenever selecting drive and/or folder might be appropriate. To launch the DFM, simply click one of the launch buttons. Hint: They are all labeled DFM.
The above screenshot shows the DFM (Data Folder Manager) interface. Note that the interface displays the folder name for each of the 3 user persisted folders. Also note that folder 1 is persisted as checked – making folder 1 the current active data folder.
Edit Folder Buttons
There are Edit buttons located immediately beneath the visual display for each of the 3 user defined folders. Clicking this button brings up a set of Folder Nav tools.
To bring up the Folder Nav Tools for a specific folder (for example folder 1) click the Edit button for that folder.
Folder Nav Tools
The Folder Nav Tools used in the DFM can be found throughout JCapper wherever and whenever selecting a drive and/or folder is called for.
Drive can be selected using a simple mouse click.
Folder can be selected using a double click.
After drive and/or folder have been selected, and the Nav Tools are no longer needed, the Nav Tools can be hidden by clicking anywhere on the module where you launched the Nav Tools from (in this case the DFM) outside of the Nav Tool border. Note that this same behavior for hiding the Nav Tools once they are no longer needed is the same all throughout JCapper.
There are Folder Checkboxes located immediately beneath the visual display for each of the 3 user defined folders. Each checkbox has a label that displays the folder name.
Checking a box (followed by clicking the Save button) persists that folder as the current active data folder.
Current Active Data Folder
When a folder is persisted as the current active data folder in the DFM, all JCapper modules recognize and auto point to that folder when they are first launched.
Example: The user persists c:\2011 as the current active data folder in the DFM (and then exits the DFM.) The user then launches another JCapper module such as the HDW File Manager or the Past Performance Generator. When first launched, the new module will auto point at the c:\2011 folder as both the target folder where it writes to and as the source folder for reading data that it needs.
For The HDW File Manager, files downloaded from HDW are saved to and .JCP and .XRD files built during a file build routine are written to the current active data folder as persisted in the DFM (in this case c:\2011.)
For the JCapper Past Performance Generator, the default folder for loading past performance data files and for generating html past performance reports will be the current active data folder as persisted in the DFM (in this case c:\2011.)
Inactive Data Folders
Only one folder, the current active data folder, can be active at any one time. However, the DFM provides an interface for persisting up to 3 folders concurrently. That means that the other two, although persisted for easy access, are inactive until called upon by the user.
To persist a folder in the DFM:
Changing the Current Active Data Folder
To change the current active data folder: check the box for the folder you want to persist as your new current active data folder and click the Save button.
Clicking this button persists folder names and status (checked for active or unchecked for inactive) as they are currently displayed on the interface.
Note that persisted data is written to the SystemInstall table in the c:\2004\JCapper.mdb file (where other JCapper modules can retrieve that info as needed.)
When first launched, the DFM will store the current folder display in memory. At any time (before exiting the DFM) while navigating the drive and/or folder structure on your machine you wish to make the DFM reset back to the original folder display stored in memory, click this button.
Click this button to exit the DFM.
DFM Card Loader Launch Button
Clicking this button launches the DFM Card Loader.
--DFM CARD LOADER SECTION--
The DFM Card Loader provides a drag and drop based interface for loading past performance data files into JCapper. Data Files can be loaded on up to 3 folders simultaneously.
Why Multiple Folders?
A JCapper Calc Races routine is designed to handle no more than 12-15 race card files concurrently. The actual upper limit varies from one user to the next and is determined by the number of active UDMs times the total number of horses in data files included as part of a Calc Races routine.
The DFM (Data Folder Manager) was created as a way for the player to get beyond this limitation. The DFM Card Loader interface allows the player break up the race card files for a single race day into multiple folders (without having to physically copy files from one folder to another.)
After loading files on multiple folders into JCapper with the DFM Card Loader, the player can then run separate Calc Races routines for individual folders. This cuts down on the number of data files per Calc Races routine. Therefore, individual Calc Races routines require less memory and execute faster than if they included a larger number of data files.
Note that while Calc Races routines execute on an individual folder, it is not (repeat not) required that data files themselves be copied from one folder to another. (In fact, I recommend that you simply leave your data files on whatever target folder you downloaded them to.)
Note that if you never plan on loading 12 or more past performance data files into JCapper at any one time for Calc Races purposes, you can get by using just one folder (even though the DFM Card Loader interface allows you to use more if you want to.)
Clicking the Help Menu brings up a screen where you can read Basic Operating Instructions. The basic operating instructions are should give 99 percent of you enough info to be up and running with the DFM Card Loader in a very short time.
BASIC OPEARTING INSTRUCTIONS
The basics as presented in the DFM when you click the Help Menu:
Those are the basics.
Suggestion: Before going any further, spend some working hands on with the program. Practice finding, clearing data files from, and loading data files into JCapper using the basics of the DFM Card Loader as presented above.
After you get the hang of things – and can find past performance data files, clear currently loaded data files from the program, and load new data files into the program (onto individual target folders and at will) – you will have accomplished the main goal.
(That’s another way of saying that 95 percent of what you need to know about loading past performance data files into JCapper using the DFM Card Loader is presented above.)
Further detail about this module, is presented below.
The above screenshot shows the DFM Card Loader. Note that the File List Box has been filtered to display .JCP files for 10/08/2011 and that file names (based on post time for R1) have been dragged and dropped onto folders 1 and 2.
Current Active Data Folder
When first launched, the DFM Card Loader auto points to the current active data folder as persisted in the DFM.
File List Box
The File List Box displays a list of data files (of the file type selected in the File Type Drop Down and/or filtered by date and track code after clicking the Apply button in the File Filter Tool) for the Current Active Data Folder.
Note that the name File List Box refers to the column of file names on the left hand side of the DFM Card Loader visual interface (beneath the brown label that reads Current Active Data Folder.)
Files appearing in this list box can be filtered by the user through the File Type Drop Down and by applying a Date in the File Filter Tool. Filtering the File List Box for specific data file types and for specific dates (track codes too) enables you to find and load specific data files into JCapper.
File Type Drop Down
Use this drop down to select the data file type you intend to be working with. Note that the file type selected in this drop down must match the Data Vendor Setting as persisted in the User System Definitions Screen.
Selecting a file type from the drop down will filter the File List Box for the file type selected.
File Filter Tool
Clicking the File Filter Tool button launches the File Filter Tool.
The purpose of the File Filter Tool is to enable the user to define specific parameters for track code, date and file type – and then click an Apply button to populate the File List box with data files on the current active data folder matching the specific parameters supplied.
Note that the file type specified in the File Filter Tool must match the file type specified in the File Type Drop Down.
Populating the File List Box
To populate the File List Box with data file names on the current active data folder for a specific file type and for a specific date:
The File Filter Tool will close and the File List Box will populate with a list of data files matching the user defined criteria.
Clearing Previously Loaded Data Files
Clear Files buttons are provided for clearing previously loaded data files (and scratches) from the program.
Best Practice (Workflow)
Get in the habit of clearing previously loaded data files from the program at the start of each new race day before loading new data files into the program.
Clear ALL Folders 123 Button
Clicking this button clears data files loaded into the program on folders 1, 2, and 3. The clear files routine initiated also clears scratches on folders 1, 2, and 3.
Clear Loaded Files (Individual Folder Buttons)
A Clear Files button for each of the individual folders is presented beneath the visual display for each folder.
Clicking this button clears data files loaded into the program on that individual folder only. The clear routine initiated also clears scratches on that folder.
Loading Data Files into JCapper
The purpose of loading data files into JCapper is to enable JCapper to run Calc Races routines and/or generate past performances using the loaded data files.
The primary mechanism for loading data files into JCapper using the DFM Card Loader is to: 1. Clear previously loaded data files using one of the clear files buttons. 2. Populate the File List Box with names of data files for a specific race date. 3. Drag and drop data files to be loaded onto the visual display for a target folder. 4. Highlight individual data file names on the visual display for a target folder. 5. Load highlighted data file names into the program by clicking the Load Files button for that folder. (Or optionally, auto highlight and load all data file names displayed on the visual display for all 3 target folders by clicking the Select ALL and Load Folders 123 button.)
Note that it is not (repeat not) necessary or even desirable to load data files into JCapper when building databases. (See the Building JCapper Databases Help Doc and/or the JCapper Message Board for further information about building JCapper databases.)
Dragging and Dropping Files to a Target Folder
The File List Box and Visual Display elements for Folders 1, 2, and 3 are drag and drop enabled.
Loading a Single Data File into JCapper
To load a single data file on a single folder:
Loading Multiple Data Files (on Multiple Folders) into JCapper
To load multiple data files on multiple folders:
Note: To highlight multiple file names on the File List Box so that you can drag and drop them elsewhere, click the first file name and then CTRL-Click subsequent file names. CTRL-Click highlighted file names to deselect them.
Also note that file names can be dragged and dropped from one folder to another.
Also note that file names dropped onto a folder by mistake can be removed from that folder by dragging and dropping them back onto the File List Box.
Take Snapshot Button
Clicking this button takes a snapshot (creates a restore point stored in program memory) of file names as they are displayed on the visual display for folders 1, 2, and 3.
Restore Snapshot Button
Clicking this button accesses the latest restore point and puts file names back onto the visual display for folders 1, 2, and 3 as they existed at the point in time the most recent snapshot was taken.
The snapshot and restore snapshot features can be helpful in the middle of July when you are working with 40 or more data files for an individual race day. Take a snapshot (create a recovery point) any point in time you have not yet loaded files but have dragged and dropped a significant number of file names onto target folders (and would prefer not to have to start over in the event you make a mistake.)
Note that the Take Snapshot and Restore Snapshot features do not affect loaded data files. Snapshots only affect visual display of file names as they appear (visually) on the user interface.
A +ALL button is displayed just above the visual display for folders 1, 2, and 3. Clicking this button highlights all file names displayed on the visual display for that folder.
A -ALL button is displayed just above the visual display for folders 1, 2, and 3. Clicking this button deselects all highlighted file names for that folder.
Display Loaded Files Buttons
A Display Loaded Files button is displayed just above the visual display for folders 1, 2, and 3. Clicking this button causes the interface to display file names currently loaded into the program for that folder.