DAT

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OP DAT.png

See also Category:DATs for a full list of articles related to DATs.

Data OPerators (or DATs) are used to hold text data like strings, scripts, and XML. DATs either contain multiple lines of text as in a script, or a table of rows and columns of cells, each containing one string. You can edit the contents of the DAT directly in the DAT Viewer.

Sweet Sixteen DATs

The following 16 DATs are commonly used, we recommend familiarizing yourself with them.

DAT Purpose Related DAT
Text A place to edit and hold any text data.
Table Edit tables of text in rows and columns of "cells". Convert
Merge Merges tables or text DATs into one. Switch
Select Select specific columns or rows from a DAT. Substitute
Reorder Re-orders and repeats rows or columns in a DAT. Transpose
Insert Adds one row or column to a table filling with text in the new cells.
Evaluate Evaluates expressions in DATs. Script
CHOP to Converts CHOP channels to DATs. SOP to
CHOP Execute Runs the DAT as a script when a CHOP changes.
Panel Execute Runs the DAT as a script when a Panel changes.
DAT Execute Runs the DAT as a script when another DAT changes. Execute
OSC In/UDP In Receive data from other applications via Open Sound Control. OSC Out/UDP Out
Web Fetch a page on the internet based on a URL. XML
Render Pick Use mouse to pick 3D objects and surfaces. Info
Multi Touch In Receive input from Windows 7+ multi-touch devices.
MIDI In Get MIDI controller and button data. Serial

All DATs are documented in the Category:DATs.

DATs for Scripting

DATs can be linked together to select, re-arrange and evaluate data and expressions, making DATs a powerful procedural scripting tool.

DATs that contain scripts can be triggered by events like mouse clicks and any operation of gadgets in TouchDesigner control panels. DAT scripts can also be triggered by channel changes in CHOPs.

Script Example: This will create a button that plays a sound when you click it: Create a Button component (Tab -> COMP -> Button). Go inside it (Enter) and create an Audio Play CHOP (Tab -> CHOP -> Audio Play).
Then create a Panel Execute DAT (Tab -> DAT -> Panel Execute) and make its Viewer Active. Then click in its viewer and and change the offToOn() function to be:
def offToOn(panelValue):
    op('audioplay1').par.trigger.pulse()
    return

Click outside the node to end text entry. Go back up (u), make the button a Momentary button via its Button page and Button Type parameter. Then make the button Viewer Active. Click on the viewer of the button. It should make a Notify sound.

You can also run a script in a Text DAT by using the "run" command from the textport or another DAT.

DATs for Tables

DAT tables are rows and columns of cells containing text strings.

The DAT whose name is Table DAT is used to define new tables. To manually add, delete rows and columns of tables, press RMB over the table when Viewer Active is on and select from the menu.

The tables are then manipulated by the Select DAT, Evaluate DAT, Merge DAT, Switch DAT, Sort DAT and others.

You can use table DATs to export to parameters. See DAT Export.

DAT tables can be modified with the tabcell command.

Table cells are read with a tab(), tabr(), tabc() or tabrc() expression. See Help -> Commands and Expressions.

Table Example: This will create two TOP images with names in it: Create a Table DAT (Tab -> DAT -> Table). Make its Viewer Active. Right-click on the viewer and select Add Column, and then Add Row, and again Add Row, which should give you 3 rows and 2 columns of empty cells (or put 2 and 3 in the parameters.)
Click in the top left cell and type name, top right type age, and fill in the remaining cells with joe, 9, jane, 21.
Now create a Text TOP (Tab -> TOP -> Text) and in its parameter called Text, type this expression to retrieve a cell from the table: `tabc("table1", $OD, "name")`. You should see "joe" in the Text TOP viewer. Copy/paste the Text TOP (Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V). The new TOP should be called text2 and its viewer should say "jane".
That tabc() expression gets from the table, table1, the node you edited. It gets from the column called name. And the row is $OD, which is a variable you can use in any node that means "operator digits", the digits at the end of the operator name, which in this case is 1 and 2 for text1 and text2.
In the TOPs' expressions, you can replace "name" with "age".

DATs for manipulating Web and XML Data

The Web DAT gets HTML or other data by passing a URL to the internet and receiving a response. The result and any XML data can be filtered with an XML DAT, then further processed with the other DATs.

DATs for Raw Text

DATs can also be use to hold raw text which can then used by the Text TOP and Text SOP for use in compositing and 3D. They can also be used to leave comments your networks or for pop-up help messages for panel gadgets.

Editing DATs

DATs can be edited directly in their viewers by turning on the Viewer Active Flag.

You can also edit DATs in the Textport by right-clicking on a DAT and selecting Edit Contents in Textport.

Some DAT generators and most DAT filters can not be edited because their data is fed to them from their input. This is indicated in the viewer by a more muted text color compared to those DATs which can be edited. If you need to temporarily edit the contents of one of these DATs you can lock the DAT using the Lock Flag and then edit it. However, these changes will be lost when the DAT is unlocked and locking it keeps it from cooking, so this is generally only useful for troublshooting and debugging.

By default, text-type DATs display line numbers in the left margin area and table-type DATs display row and column numbers. The display of these numbers can be controlled in Preferences.

Editing DAT Text in an External Editor

In any DAT (or any parameter), if you right-click the DAT node and select Edit Contents... you will be editing the text in an external editor. Notepad is Windows default text editor.

To change the text editor to something else, like Notepad++, Vim, Sublime, etc. you need to add a Windows system environment variable called TOUCH_EDITOR. Set its value to the path of the installed application executable (.exe) of the editor you want to use. For example, C:/Program Files ...

Everyone has a favorite, have a look at Sublime Text 2.

To see how you set an environment variable, see Variables.

Using DATs

  • text data, text and table formats (tab delimited)
  • use for scripts, commands, storage of values and arrays
  • can be edited in the viewer, textport, or any external text editor
  • Import: Text DAT, Table DAT, Web DAT
  • Export: (right-click to save)