On 2011-10-25 09:45, Pawel Sztromwasser wrote:
> Hello,
> I was wondering if the project defaults are used in batch importing,
> i.e. when a property is not specified in tab-delimited file but set as
> default in an active project? I did a quick test and it didn't work, so
> I thought I could suggest it. This way setting project properties
> upfront would save some work latter when editing the batch-import
> spreadsheets.
> I can imagine that in some cases it is not desired to set default
> properties automatically, so maybe a plugin configuration option to use
> project defaults would suffice. When updating with 'use defaults' option
> set, the plugin should overwrite existing properties.

The batch importers doesn't really care about "project default values". 
It is handled entirely by the core code which has a "contract" to set 
default values when creating new items, but only if no explicit value 
has been set.

The key issue here is that if a column is mapped in the batch importers 
an empty value is considered as an explicit request to set the value to 
null, and the core will not use the default value. In other words, when 
using the batch importers the project default values are only used for 
unmapped columns.

There are also a lot of changes in this area in BASE 3. It is now for 
example, possible to have more than one default value and the core tries 
to match everything depending on the subtype of an item.

So, I don't really know what is the best solution here... Maybe, instead 
of using "hard" column mappings (eg. \Protocol\) we could add support 
for expressions. Something like =default() would always select the 
project default value, or =defaultIfNull('Protocol') select the mapped 
protocol if a value is specified, but uses the default if the column is 

> The second suggestion is also about the project default properties. We
> appreciate the nice and very useful links in the experiment
> overview/validator that help correct the experiment, and we saw a need
> for a new one(s). When an item is missing a protocol/software/hardware
> (or similar), the link could help in setting the default value in the
> active project. Or even suggest doing it for all the items of the same
> type having the property missing. This would be an awesome option
> allowing to fix the experiment quickly when one forgot to set the
> defaults in advance.

The "fix it" links can currently only provide a link that opens an edit 
dialog. The user must do the change manually. "Automatic" fixes would 
really nice and could probably be done for several other problems as 
well. It is not straight-forward to implement since we'll probably have 
to keep track of a lot more information related to each suggested fix.

Maybe we could define some kind of 'FixIt' interface and then use a 
'FixItFactory' to provide actual implementations. Seems like something 
for BASE 3.1 or later...


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