Sunday, September 04, 2005


Object Model

One of the reasons I started this blog was that every time I attempt to write about the object model, particularly the InDesign object model, I all too quickly become overwhelmed by the shear scope of the thing and I give up. But then, a few weeks later, I come back to it and start all over with yet another description of the Application object.

At least I start with the root object, the one that starts the whole ball rolling, rather than the AnchoredObjectDefault object, which happens to be alphabetically first on the list of all objects that InDesign knows about. But the problem with starting with the Application object is that it is (understandably) one of the most comprehensive objects there are in the whole model, so writing about it takes a long time compared to, for example, the Library object. Libraries are really rather simple objects on a lowly-populated branch of the model.

At one point, in my early days of JavaScripting, I even wrote a piece about the Library branch of the model, thinking that the lessons learned from that branch would serve as a basis for exploring the whole thing. The article is still posted on my website, here: Libraries Assets. It reflects my understanding of the issues around the time when InDesign CS first hit the street.

One of the problems that I run into is that of wanting to show examples of how to use various elements of the model, but it is rare that one can do that without drawing upon knowledge of other parts of the model. It happens that one of the jobs I'm working on right now is a text book for culinary arts students. I was struck by the fact that the book introduces sauté pans long before it touches on what it means to sauté food. Perhaps this is just one of the challenges of presenting complex information about interacting objects. The authors of the on-line description of the Ruby language say essentially the same thing in their introduction.

So, I am not alone grappling with these issues. This is the first of what I'm sure will be many items on this topic. Let us hope that I can quickly pass from philosophy to creating something useful (at which point, I'm not so sure that a blog is the best place to post, but perhaps I can use the blog as a place for public review of content).

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