Language independent syntax line notations are given for each method and property in formats resembling those that describe C and C++ API functions and methods.
- Every method or property that has a return value is preceded by the type of that.
- Every parameter is preceded by its type.
- Properties are preceded by property.
- Optional parameters are surrounded by brackets [ and ]
- If an optional parameter has a default value (other than an empty string or zero) this is specified with = followed by that default value.
- The types are usually string , integer or Boolean , but in some cases also a more specific type like the name of a class.
For example, the syntax line for the OpenEntity method of the AbtEntity class looks like this:
AbtEntity OpenEntity(string Entity, [Boolean Refresh], [integer Seconds = -1])
This is similar to a Visual Basic declaration like:
Function OpenEntity(Entity As String, Optional Refresh As Boolean, Optional Seconds As Long = -1) As AbtEntity
This means that the method OpenEntity takes a minimum of one and maximum of three parameters. The respective types of the parameters are string, Boolean and integer (32 bits; in Visual Basic 6 this is the type Long , not Integer ).
The default value for Seconds is -1, in this case meaning not specified. For the Refresh parameter no default value is given (in the case of a Boolean parameter this means a default value of False).
The return value is an object of the class AbtEntity.
If an argument describes a menu choice, its value can consist of multiple items, separated by
-> . For example, in the Windows Paint application, this argument could look like:
view->zoom->large size. This means select the item zoom in the view, which in turn brings up a submenu of which the ITEM large size is to be selected.
- case (upper vs. lower)
&characters (which denote accelerator keys in Windows menus)
- Short-cut keys that are sometimes displayed as part of a menu item caption.
To illustrate this with the example of the menu selection in Paint, the menu item text above will select:
- The case of the letters is ignored, so are the underlined accelerator keys (like V in View) and the short key information (in this case Ctrl+PgDn)
- When tree items are specified as argument, the following convention is used:
- Items at different levels of the tree are separated by /.
- Case of letters is ignored.