List Manipulation Functions

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Media Center supports several different types of fields, one of them being the List type. A List type is a library field of type List, or an expression coerced into a list type.

The functions in this section provide the ability to manipulate lists and list items. A list is a sequence of strings, each separated from one another by an arbitrary delimiter. The default delimiter is a semicolon. Media Center does not make a strict distinction between a string and a list of strings. In fact, a list is just a string, and it is safe to think of a string as a list with zero or more arbitrary delimiter sequences. For example, the string "2013-08-17" can be thought of as a dash-delimited list with the three items "2013", "08" and "17".

This weak typing is very useful since a list, for example, "John; Sally" that contains the two items "John" and "Sally" can be manipulated not only using the list functions in this section, but because it is just a string, it can also be manipulated with string functions. For example, taking the same list above and combining it with the string "; Joe" adds a new item to the list "John; Sally; Joe", and removing the first 6 characters with RemoveLeft() would produce a now shortened string/list "Sally; Joe". The list manipulation functions make this job easier, especially when using the default semicolon delimiter. Furthermore, since any character or sequence of characters can be considered as a list delimiter, any string can be treated as a list, and the functions in this section can be used on any string as needed.

In some areas such as a panes column, or a category view, Media Center gives special treatment to List types. For example, using semicolon as the delimiter, a List will be automatically split apart into its individual items.

ListBuild(…)

Constructs a list from a series of items.
Description listbuild(mode, delimiter, item1, item2, )

The ListBuild() function constructs a list from item1, item2, ... using a supplied delimiter to separate the individual items in the resulting list. The construction mode affects how empty items are handled - they can be included or excluded. The mode typically used exclude empty items, so that lists do not contain empty slots. However, there are occasions when retaining empty slots is useful, such as when using a list to act like an array where data is stored in particular slots so that the ListItem() function may later retrieve values at a given index. It can also be useful when calculating several expressions and combining the results into a single list for presentation; by including all items, items can be made to line-up for visual inspection in a column.

Available mode values:

0Include empty values
1Exclude empty values

The delimiter argument specifies the character or character sequence to be inserted in between items in the list. An unspecified delimiter will result in a delimiter-less concatenation of the supplied arguments item1, item2, etc.

Argument delimiter is optional (defaults to EMPTY).

Examples listbuild(1, ;, Bennie, June)

Returns a standard semicolon-separated list containing two items Bennie; June.

listbuild(1, \, [album artist (auto)], [album])

Builds a backslash-separated list combining the two fields album artist (auto) and album. This is useful for building panes column or categories hierarchies in a view.

ListClean(…)

Various list operations.
Description listclean(list, mode, delimiter)

The ListClean() function performs one of the operations specified by mode on the given list. The specified delimiter separates list items.

Available mode values:

1Remove duplicates
2Reverse the order of items
3Remove empty items
4Trim (Removes any trailing delimiter)

Argument delimiter is optional (defaults to SEMICOLON).

Examples listclean(c;b;c;a, 1)

Removes duplicates from the list, returning c;b;a.

listclean(d;c;b;a, 2)

Reverses the list items, returning a;b;c;d.

listclean(\a\x\x\x\z, 1, \)

Removes duplicates from a backslash-separated list, returning \a\x\z.

ListCombine(…)

Combines two delimited lists into a single delimited list.
Description listcombine(list1, list2, input delimiter, output delimiter, mode)

The ListCombine() function returns a single list after performing the operation specified by mode on the two lists list1 and list2. An input delimiter and an output delimiter may be specified. The input delimiter is effective for both list1 and list2, and the output delimiter will be used in the returned list, replacing the input delimiter from both list1 and list2.

Available mode values:

0Combine lists removing duplicates (order is preserved).
1Output only items contained in both lists (order is preserved).

Argument input delimiter is optional (defaults to SEMICOLON).

Argument output delimiter is optional (defaults to SEMICOLON).

Argument mode is optional (defaults to 0).

Examples listcombine(a;b;e, a;b;c;d)

Returns a;b;e;c;d. This example uses the default mode 0 to combine list1 with list2, preserving the order of items. The default ; input delimiter and output delimiter is used.

listcombine(a;b;e, a;b;c;d, ;, ;, 1)

Returns a;b. The input delimiter and output delimiter are both specified as ;, and mode 1 is used to produce a list of only items that exist in both list1 and list2.

listcombine(a-c, c-f, -, ..., 0)

Returns a...c...f. The input delimiter is -, while the output delimiter is ..., and mode 0 combines both lists.

listcombine(a#@#c, c#@#f, #@#, ., 0)

Returns a.c.f. This example demonstrates how to combine two lists with duplicates removed while replacing a multi-character input delimiter #@# with a single-character output delimiter ..

listcombine([people], [places])&datatype=[list]

The result here would be a single, semicolon delimited list containing all the list items from the [people] and [places] fields. For example, if [people] contains Family\Mum; Family\Dad; Family\Gran, and [places] contains UK\Scotland\Edinburgh; UK\Scotland\Edinburgh\Edinburgh Castle, the output list would be Family\Mum; Family\Dad; Family\Gran; UK\Scotland\Edinburgh; UK\Scotland\Edinburgh\Edinburgh Castle. Using the &datatype=[list] cast makes the expression split individual list items in a panes or categories view.

ListContains(…)

Checks for a value being in a list.
Description listcontains(list, value, flags)

The ListContains() function checks for a value in a list.

Argument list defines the list. Argument value defines the value to search for. Argument flags defines the search flags. 1 for case sensitive. 2 for full match only

Examples

listcontains(a;b;c,a)

Returns 1.

ListCount(…)

Returns the number of items in a list.
Description listcount(list, delimiter)

The ListCount() function returns the number of items that exist in a list delimited by delimiter.

Argument delimiter is optional (defaults to SEMICOLON).

Examples listcount([keywords])

Returns the number of keywords for the file.

listcount([filename (path)], \)

Returns the number of the directories in a Windows drive-based file path. The example demonstrates that non-List type fields can be used with the functions in this section. While the delimiter specified here is \, an escaped forward slash // could be used when applicable.

ListEqual(…)

Checks for equality between two lists.
Description listequal(list 1, list 2)

The ListEqual() function checks for equality between two lists.

Argument list 1 defines the first list. Argument list 2 defines the second list.

Examples

listequal(a;b;c,a;b;c)

Returns 1.

ListFind(…)

Returns list items containing specified text
Description ListFind(List, Search, Default, Mode)
  • Argument default is optional (defaults to Empty (Returns nothing)).
  • Argument mode is optional (defaults to 0).
"List" is the list to be searched and can be a literal given string, library field, or nested expression result. Only semi-colon delimited lists are accepted.
"Search" is the character or string you wish to locate within the "List" value. The search performed is always case insensitive.
"Default" specifies what the output should be if Search is not found. This is ignored if using Mode 1 to retrieve the list index #, where all 'not found' items return "-1".
"Mode" has two available values, defaulting to 0 if not specified... 0 returns the text of the found list item and 1 returns the zero-based index number of the item found in the given list.

Available mode values:

0Return the text of the found list item
1Return the index of the found list item

As already mentioned, Search is always case insensitive. It begins at the start of the string, and stops when it finds the first match. If Search appears later in the list, it is not reported. When using mode 1, the zero based list index of found items is returned, and if not found, -1 is always returned. This is useful for combining with other zero-based functions such as ListItem(), where the index may not be known, but can be returned using ListFind().

Examples ListFind(Rod;Jane;Freddy, Jane)
Returns: Jane

In this example, Default and Mode have not been specified, and so defaults to empty and zero respectively.

ListFind(Rod;Jane;Freddy, Bungle)

Returns: Nothing

In this example, Default and Mode have not been specified, and so defaults to empty and zero respectively. "Bungle" is not found, so nothing at all is returned.

ListFind(Rod;Jane;Freddy, Bungle, Bungle is not in this list)

Returns: Bungle is not in this list

In this example, Default has been specified, and will be returned if Search is not found. Mode has not been specified, and so defaults to zero. "Bungle" is not found, so "Bungle is not in this list" is returned as specified.

ListFind(Rod;Jane;Freddy, Bungle, Bungle is not in this list,1)

Returns: -1

In this example, Default has been specified, but will not be used as Mode 1 has been specified to retrieve the item's list index #. As "Bungle" is not found, -1 is returned.

ListFind(Rod;Jane;Freddy, Freddy, ,1)

Returns: 2

In this example, Default has not been specified as it is known that Mode 1 will be used. The list index of 2 is returned as, starting from zero, "Freddy" is the third item in the list.

ListGrep(…)

Returns list items containing specified text
Description ListGrep(List, Filter, Mode)
  • Argument mode is optional (defaults to 0).

The ListGrep() function searches a given list for all items containing specified text, returning results as a semi-colon delimted list. The source list can be given literally or as an existing list type library field, such as [Keywords]

Available mode values:

0Perform a case insensitive search
1Perform a case sensitive search
Examples ListGrep(redneck;blue;Red roses, red)
Returns: redneck; Red roses

In this example, Mode has not been specified, and so defaults to zero for a case insensitive search.

ListGrep(redneck;blue;Red roses, red,1)

Returns: redneck

In this example, Mode 1 has been specified for a case-sensitive search, so, "Red roses" is not a match.

ListItem(…)

Returns an item from a location in a list.
Description listitem(list, position, delimiter)

The ListItem() function returns the item from the specified position in the list. Items in a list are zero-based, so the first item in the list is located at position 0. Nothing is returned with the position is outside the bounds of the list.

Argument delimiter is optional (defaults to SEMICOLON).

Examples listitem(a;b;c, 1)

Returns b, since position 1 is the second item in the list a;b;c.

listitem(1:04:47, 2, :)

Using the delimiter :, returns item at position 2, which is the seconds value 47 from the time 1:04:47.

ListLimit(…)

Caps the number of items in a list.
Description listlimit(list, limit, start)

The ListLimit() function caps the number of items in a list.ca

Argument limit defines the number of items to cap at. You can use negative numbers to return items from the end of a list. Argument start optionally defines the start item.

Examples

listlimit(a;b;c,1,0)

Returns a.

listlimit(a;b;c,-1,0)

Returns c.

ListMix(…)

Combine corresponding values from multiple lists into a new list, using a template to process each item.
Description ListMix(template, mode, list1, [list2, ... listN])
  • Argument mode is optional (defaults to 0).

The ListMix() function processes the elements of one or more lists, returning a new list where each element is similar to the provided template modified with the elements of the list argument(s). The number of list arguments to be mixed is variable, but at least one must be provided. The lists can have different lengths, with mode controlling the length of the returned list. The first element of the returned list is generated by applying the first element of each provided list to the template; the second element is generated using the second element(s) of the list(s), and so on until all elements are processed, according to mode.

The template is a text string with placeholders like [L1], [L2], etc, indicating where the elements of the provided lists should be inserted. [L1] refers to elements of list1, [L2] refers to list2, and so on. The special placeholder [N] refers to the item number within the resulting list.

A template is also itself an Expression, so it can contain other functions/expressions. A template can be escaped using the escape sequence /#template#/. This is usually not required but may be useful to enter templates containing functions, commas, or other special symbols.

The default semi-colon list delimiter is used for both input and output lists.

Available mode values:

0Return as many elements as the longest provided list
1Return as many elements as the shortest provided list
2Return as many elements as the first provided list
Examples ListMix(Actor #[N] is [L1],, a;b;c)
Returns Actor #1 is a; Actor #2 is b; Actor #3 is c

This example uses mode 0 and demonstrates the usage of [N] and [L1] on a single list.

ListMix([L1][L2]=[L3], 0, a;b;c;d, 1;2;3;4;5, blue;red;green)

Returns a1=blue; b2=red; c3=green; d4=; 5=

Mode 0 returns 5 elements which is the length of the longest list. Note that on the last two the missing values on the template are also missing on the output.

ListMix([L1][L2]=[L3], 1, a;b;c;d, 1;2;3;4;5, blue;red;green)

Returns a1=blue; b2=red; c3=green
Mode 1 returns only 3 elements, the length of the shortest list.

ListMix([L1][L2]=[L3], 2, a;b;c;d, 1;2;3;4;5, blue;red;green)

Returns : a1=blue; b2=red; c3=green; d4=
Mode 2 returns only 4 elements, the length of the first list.

ListMix(FixCase([L1],3)=Math([L2]*[L3]),, aa;bb;cc, 10;20;30, 5;4;3)

Returns : AA=50; BB=80; CC=90
This example uses two different functions on the template to further transform each element of the lists before inserting it into the output.


ListMix(<img src=tooltip:actors\\[L1]> \ , 1, [Actors], 1;2;3;4;5)

Returns (example): <img src=tooltip:actors\Daisy Ridley>  ;<img src=tooltip:actors\Adam Driver>  ;<img src=tooltip:actors\John Boyega>  ;<img src=tooltip:actors\Oscar Isaac>  ;<img src=tooltip:actors\Mark Hamill>
This example transforms the [Actors] field into a list of <img> tags ready to load the actor thumbnails into the Theather View or Movie Tooltip. It uses mode 1 (shortest list) with a dummy [L2] list of 5 elements to make sure the resulting list is at most 5 items long. An alternative way to accomplish the same would be to use ListLimit([Actors],5) as [L1].

ListRemove(…)

Removes a string from a list.
Description ListRemove(List, String, Mode)
  • Argument mode is optional (defaults to 0).

The ListRemove() function removes a given string from a list.

Available mode values:

0Searches for a given string, removing it if found
1Zero-based index mode, will remove the specified list item

Notes

When using mode zero, the search performed is case insensitive
When using mode zero, there is no sub-string option. The string to be removed must match the whole list item, otherwise, nothing is removed.
Examples listremove(This;Is;a;List,is)
Returns "This;a;List"

This example defaults to mode 0. Note that "is" in List and and This are not removed, and the search is case insensitive

listremove(0;1;2;3;4;5;6,5,1)

Returns 0;1;2;3;4;6

Mode 1 has been specified, which is a zero-based index mode, so "5" has been removed from the list as it is the fifth list item.

ListShuffle(…)

Shuffles a list.
Description listshuffle(list)

The ListShuffle() function shuffles the given list.

Examples listshuffle(c;b;a)

Shuffles the list, returning some arrangement of the letters.

ListSort(…)

Sort a list of values.
Description listsort(list, mode, delimiter)

The ListSort() function sorts a list in the order according to mode, using the specified delimiter.

Available mode values:

0Ascending sort
1Descending sort

Argument mode is optional (defaults to 0).

Argument delimiter is optional (defaults to SEMICOLON).

Examples listsort(c;a;b)

Returns a;b;c, using the default ascending mode and (:) delimiter.

listsort(Joe Baxter/, Sally Henson/, Sue Smith, 1, /,)

Returns Sue Smith,Sally Henson,Joe Baxter. Note the requirement to escape the , characters within the list string and in the specified delimiter itself.

listsort([artist];[composer])

Sorts the combined artist and composer lists in ascending order. Note the simple manual construction of a single List by combining the two List type fields, and forcing a ; between the two.