Building Intelligent Macros: Driving a Variable Parameter System with Metadata

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Abstract

When faced with generating a series of reports, graphs, and charts; we will often use the macro language to simplify the process. Commonly we will write a series of generalized macros, each with the capability of creating a variety of outputs that depend the macro parameter inputs. For large projects, potentially with hundreds of outputs, controlling the macro calls can itself become difficult.

The use of control files (metadata) to organize and process when a single macro is to be executed multiple times was discussed by Rosenbloom and Carpenter (2015). But those techniques only partially help us when multiple macros each with its own set of parameters are to be called. This paper discusses a technique that allows you to control the order of macro calls along with each macro's parameter set using a metadata control file.

Online Materials

View the pdf for the draft of this paper.

Sample code and control files are in a ZIP file and can be downloaded here.

Contact Info

Contact the author at Art Carpenter's user page.