Showplay was designed to be a generic program for running carefully timed bahavioral tasks. The software consists of a main Showplay program (showplay.imp), which in turn calls on a collection of separate software modules to carry handle different parts of the processing. The modular design was intended to make it easy to expand or customize the program simply by substituting the relevant modules, without losing the functionality of the rest of the program.
All of the components of Showplay, including the main program, all modules, dialogs, and menus are plain text files that you are free to view or replace with your own versions. The standard files are found within the CIGAL system folders (PDIGMS, CodeBlocks, or DLOGS). To substitute your own versions you can simply copy a standard file to your own task folder, edit it, and then have CIGAL use your version instead of the original.
The components of Showplay can be divided into two main types of files (not including dialog or menu files). The first type are program scripts written in CIGAL's main programming language; these are all text files with a .IMP file suffix. These program files prepare the task paradigm before running, and clean up and save data after the paradigm ends. The second type of files are modules of real-time code that control what happens during the behavioral paradigm itself. These modules are written in CIGAL's real-time programming language, which has its own command repertoire and programming syntax. This language is specialized for very fast execution and accurate timing of all operations. The real-time module files are found in CIGAL's “CodeBlocks” folder; the filenames all start with “rt_” and have a “.txt” suffix. In order to run the real-time paradigm, Showplay catenates all the necessary real-time modules into a single real-time program file (rtime.tmp), and then executes that program using CIGAL's realtime command.
The following lists summarize the component modules of Showplay:
|showplay.imp||PDIGMS||Main showplay program – calls all the rest|
|show_load||CodeBlocks||Reads PPF file and loads stimulus table|
to be continued…