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DataFlux Data Management Studio 2.5: User Guide

Customize - Chop Table

Before using the Customize Chop Table Editor, you should define all of the chopping characteristics for each value in the default character table.

A chop table is a collection of character-level rules used to create an ordered word list from an input string. Each character in the default character table has both a classification and an operation specified. You should build one chop table per parse definition. The Chop Table Editor allows you to build a chop table.


Unicode Block - The Unicode Block drop-down list provides a list of character subsets, see Unicode Block for the complete list.

Character Name - The Character Name is the actual name of the character, for example, semicolon.

Character - The Character represents the actual appearance of the character, for example the Character Name is semicolon and the Character is ;.

Classification - The Classification drop-down list includes:

Operation - The Operation drop-down list includes:

Value - This is the ordinal value of the Unicode code point.

Hex Value - The hexadecimal value of the Value (above).


The rules-based chopping algorithm works by matching portions of an input string from left to right using search criteria and states. These are specified by rules which can be defined from the Rules tab. These rules are processed from top to bottom and the search criteria includes:

The system uses the search criteria to first match the input string at the current position. If it fails, it proceeds to the next rule and attempts to match using the criteria for that rule, and so on. If no rules match, the input string position is advanced by one character and the algorithm run again. This process is repeated until the process reaches the end of the input string.

If the system is able to successfully match a substring, it then attempts to validate the state. At any point in time, the system maintains a state of zero or more flags, which are just variables that either exist or not. Each rule has the ability to check for the existence of flags in the current state using a simple Boolean syntax. This is called the Prerequisite State Condition. If this validation fails, the rule fails to match and the next rule is checked, and so on. If it succeeds, then the following occurs:

This part of the Rules tab sets up an initial state before any rule processing is performed. This is useful for identifying a pre-existing state in order to force certain rules first.

The Initial Flags list has two controls. Click the Add icon to open the Add New Flag dialog. Here, you will enter the name of the new initial flag. As you create new flags, it is added alphabetically to the list. To delete an existing flag, select the flag and click the Delete icon.


This section displays each rule and its associated components, in order.

Method - The Method is either Vocab or Regex, depending on the type of criterion for the rule. This determines the format for the Search Criterion column.

Search Criterion - This section displays the search criterion. The exact format differs, depending on the method selected for the rule. If the method is Regex, then this field displays a regular expression. If the method is Vocab, then this field displays the name of the vocabulary selected, a comma, and the name of the category in the vocabulary.

Prerequisite State Condition - This displays a logical Boolean expression describing the desired flag configuration of the current state in order for the rule to match. It consists of flag names separated by various operators. The expression is parsed left to right, with precedence given to sub-expressions in parenthesis:

Operator Description
| OR operator
& AND operator
! NOT operator
() Parenthetical operators, for precedence

Output State - This field displays a comma-separated list of flag names that become the current state should this rule be matched.

Chop Mode - This option tells the system what to do with the input string when the match is successful. The possibilities include:

Value Description
None No chop. This option is helpful if you want to change the state on a certain condition.
Before Chop the string before the match.
After Chop the string after the match.
Both Chop the string before and after the match.

Notes - This is a comment field used to display informational messages about each rule.

Use the buttons on the right to create, edit, and delete rules.

Icon Description
Add Add new rule
Edit Edit rule
Delete Delete rule
Move Up Move rule up
Move Down Move rule down

When you click Add a rule, the Add Rule dialog opens.

Matching Method - In the Matching Method section, select Regular Expression or Vocabulary. When you select Regular Expression you can type the regex directly into the accompanying field. If you select Vocabulary, you must select one of the available vocabularies from the drop-down list. When you select a vocabulary, the Category drop-down list becomes active. All of the possible categories for the selected vocabulary appear. The All category is always present in this list. This category allows all words in the vocabulary to be used as possible matches.

Prerequisite State Condition - This is a Boolean text expression.

Output State - The Output State list can be populated with flag names just like Initial Flags.

Chopping Mode - The Chopping Mode drop-down list allows you to select one of the possible modes.

Notes - The Notes field allows you to add 128 characters of text. This is used for documentation purposes.


The test area is used to test input strings against the chopping configuration.

Input string

The Input string field accepts any form of text input.

Go - Click Go to run the string through the Chop Table Editor for a result. The result is displayed in the Result section.

Clear - Click Clear to clear both the Input string and Result fields.


The Result section includes two columns, Phrase and Source.

Phrase - The Phrase column shows the chopped substring.

Source - The Source column displays whether the corresponding chopped phrase originated from the table or the rules by displaying Table or Rules. The first rows in this table always show None in the Source column because this represents some beginning prefix of the input string that was not chopped. All subsequent rows have an explicit source specified.

Double-click any row in the Result table to see why the substring on that row was chopped.

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