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The function collect returns a List by collecting all the notes in scope (defining scope), and adding the value of each list item evaluated using the designated expressionStr. Be aware that the per-item value might be a literal value, an attribute value, or a value/string of content based on that item's expressionStr.
For a related, more focussed, operator see collect_if().
scope may be any group designator, or group defined by find(). In addition, scope may be argument that designates a particular (single) note other than 'this'. collect() omits notes for which $Searchable is
expressionStr can be any expression, but is typically an attribute's name. If the collected per-item value type is multi-value, i.e. Set or a List type data , collect() adds its elements to the returned list. Thus if an item's evaluated value is a list of 3 terms, that item contributes 3 items to the operator's returned list rather than 1 item.
If the collected expressionStr is not a Set or List type attribute, but contains a semicolon, quotation mark, or parentheses, the value will be added to the result as a quoted string. This behaviour is designed correct a variety of confusing edge cases.
$MyList = collect(children,$Name);
constructs a set with the name of each child of the note.
$MyList = collect(children(/agents/books),$Name);
does the same for children of the note 'books' inside 'agents'.
$MyList = collect(children,$Width * $Height);
collects a series of numerical values of each child's map icon height/width in Tinderbox map units. Thus if a child had a $Width of 4 and $Height of 2, the collect() result for that item would be 8.
If a list of unique values is required, i.e. a set rather than a list, simply pass the output to a Set attribute. Thus if:
$MyList = collect(children,$FavFruit); $MyList is "Apples;Oranges;Pears;Apples"
$MySet = collect(children,$FavFruit); $MySet is "Apples;Oranges;Pears;"
collect() vs. List/Set.collect()
For working with Lists or Sets of actual values, also see List/Set.collect().