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Programming Practices

1)  File Management and Revision Control
One of the key skills you need when using a computer, or even just storing lots of paper, is called File Management — this is the skill of naming and organizing files and folders in a way that makes them easier to find later (as opposed to just tossing everything in the same box, then having to look at every single piece of paper in the box just to find the one your looking for).  There's a lot to this, and it's also a bit of an art (everybody organizes things differently).  If you want to learn more (and you should!), take a look at this article:  Creating Order From Chaos:  9 Great Ideas for Managing Your Computer Files.

In class, we will start practicing file management with the simpler practice of Revision Control — making multiple copies of your program(s) throughout the process of writing them.  Why is this a good idea?  Because the programming tools we use are complicated programs themselves, and simple changes can have unusual  consequences.  A simple change may even completely break your program in a way that you will have start from the very beginning to get back to where you were — which could be an awful lot of work!

To start getting into the habit of saving the various versions of your program, here's how we're going to name our files:  every file will start with your first and last initials (that's why every file name in the table below starts with the letters "fl").  Then, depending on the program you're working on, the rest of the file name is shown in the table below.  IMPORTANT:  the name you use MUST be EXACTLY as shown — no extra spaces, no missing dashes, no changes in spelling.  Again, the details are important.

NOTE:  The names shown below are intended for use inside Stencyl.  When you export the game to your laptop's harddrive and upload it to your Gdrive folder, it will have the extension ".stencyl" added to the end of the name.  This extension is part of the file name and must be left there.

Now that you know how to name your files, the next step is when to create a new copy of your game.  Here's the process:
  1. At the end of each office hour: Use both “Save Game As” and “Export Game”
  2. On the last day of each week: in addition to “Save Game As” and “Export Game,” you ALSO need to copy your most recent export to your Google Drive

 Program  File Name
 Crash Course 1
 fl-14-cc1-tutorial  The "FL" at the beginning are your first and last initials.
 Crash Course 2
 fl-14-cc2-tutorial 01-new game
 Use one of these files names based on where you are
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 02-actors
 at the end of each office hour.  These file names are
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 03-collisions
 based on the different parts (or web pages) of this
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 04-more actors
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 05-sounds
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 06-scenes
 File Name Pattern:
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 07-music
 [F.I.][L.I.]-[year]-[tutorial name]-tutorial [part number]-[title]
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 08-ship movement
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 09-keeping the ship
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 10-firing bullets
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 11-destroying bullets
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 12-destroying ships
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 13-fonts
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 14-winning
   fl-14-cc2-tutorial 15-final touches
 Abigayl's 2.0 Tutorials
 fl-14-abi tutorial 1-basics
 Use one of these files names based on where you are
   fl-14-abi tutorial 2-jumping
 at the end of each office hour.  These file names are
   fl-14-abi tutorial 3-levels
 based on the different parts of this series of tutorials.
   fl-14-abi tutorial 4-animations
   fl-14-abi tutorial 5-menus
 File Name Pattern:
   fl-14-abi tutorial 6-lagless actors
 [F.I.][L.I.]-[tutorial name] [part number]-[title]
   fl-14-abi tutorial 7-tweens


Week 6 Comment Challenge
 fl-week 6 challenge-commenting

App Planning Doc
 fl-14-app planning doc
  [F.I.][L.I.]-[year]-app planning doc
Student Prj Backups
 fl-14-prj-game name-r05dd
  [F.I.][L.I.]-14-prj-[game name]-r05[DD]
  (note:  14=year; r=revision; 05=month; DD=2-digit day;
   also, if you rename in Google, make sure you keep the
   .stencyl extension)
   fl-14-prj-final-game name-rmmdd  Name for the last revision of your program