Variable fields

A variable field stores a string as its value, and a string as its text. The value is an ID of a variable, while the text is the name of a variable.

Variable field

Variable field with editor open

Variable field on collapsed block

Creation

Untyped

JSON

{
  "type": "example_variable_untyped",
  "message0": "variable: %1",
  "args0": [
    {
      "type": "field_variable",
      "name": "FIELDNAME",
      "variable": "x"
    }
  ]
}

JavaScript

Blockly.Blocks['example_variable_untyped'] = {
  init: function() {
    this.appendDummyInput()
        .appendField('variable:')
        .appendField(new Blockly.FieldVariable('x'), 'FIELDNAME');
  }
};

Typed

JSON

{
  "type": "example_variable_typed",
  "message0": "variable: %1",
  "args0": [
    {
      "type": "field_variable",
      "name": "FIELDNAME",
      "variable": "x",
      "variableTypes": ["Number", "String"],
      "defaultType": "Number"
    }
  ]
}

JavaScript

Blockly.Blocks['example_variable_typed'] = {
  init: function() {
    this.appendDummyInput()
      .appendField('variable:')
      .appendField(new Blockly.FieldVariable(
          'X',
          null,
          ['Number', 'String'],
          'Number'
      ), 'FIELDNAME');
  }
};

The variable constructor takes in an optional variable name, an optional validator, an optional array of variable types, and an optional default type.

  • The variable name should be a string. This will be the name of the initial variable the field holds. If it is null or undefined a unique name will be generated.
  • The variable types should be an array of strings. This tells the field what types of variables the field can hold (i.e. what types of variables to add to the dropdown). If it is null or undefined, all variable types will be accepted (and added to the dropdown).
  • The default type should be a string. This will be used when creating the field's initial variable model. If this is defined, its should be included in the variable types array. If it is null or undefined this value defaults to an empty string, meaning the initial variable will be flexibly typed.

→ For more information on strict typing, see Type Checks.

Serialization and XML

The XML for a variable field looks like so:

<field name="VARIABLE" id="QJD^+@[RVIwbLSZoDb:V" variabletype="">name</field>
  • The node's name attribute contains a string referencing a variable field.
  • The node's id attribute contains the ID of the variable the field references. This defaults to character-soup, but any non-empty text string is valid.
  • The node's variabletype attribute contains the type of the variable. The variabletype follows the same rules as the constructor's default type parameter.
  • The node's inner text is the name of the variable. The inner text value follows the same rules as the constructor's variable name parameter.

Creating a variable validator

A variable field's value is a string, so any validators must accept a string and return a string, null, or undefined.

Here's an example of a validator that only accepts some predefined variables as options. These variables would need to be defined with the Workspace.createVariable function when the workspace is loaded.

function(newValue) {
  var validIds = ['Worf', 'Riker', 'Picard'];
  if (validIds.indexOf(newValue) == -1) {
    return null;
  }
  return newValue;
}