3rd Fundamental Law of EnScript

The Third Fundamental Law of EnScript is:

Most of the EnScript classes are auto-generated by handlers from the EnCase view. WYSIWYG.

What does this mean? What is a handler? In a nutshell, if there's a view/table of data you can see in EnCase, whether filesystem "Entries," Keywords, File Signatures, and so on, then there's probably an EnScript class that corresponds to the type of data in the table.

For example, consider the Entries view. There's an EnScript class named EntryClass. The Entries view has a Description column; EntryClass has a Description property. Entries view also has a "Deleted" column; EntryClass has an IsDeleted property.

To be clear: If you can see it, you can [probably] program it.

Most of the classes you see in the EnScript Types view are very simple classes that just expose data from different views. Consequently, only a relatively small number of classes do anything interesting, that is, requiring documentation. For example, KeywordClass simply holds the data fields you see in the Keywords view and does little else.

So, what's a handler? In EnScript, there's HandlerClass, and what it allows you to do is create an intermediary between an EnScript class (one of your own if you'd like) and the table view, giving you control over the columns and how they're displayed. If we were more interested in philosophy than forensics, we could discuss how a HandlerClass is like the notion of an interpretant in Charles Sanders Peirce's theory of semiotics. (For an excellent treatment of Peirce, check out The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand.)

In a similar manner, HandlerClass objects are used by the EnScript engine to expose access to data in EnCase. When you work with an EntryClass object in EnScript, you are working through a lightweight handler to manipulate the actual C++ object in EnCase. The important things to keep in mind are that these internal handlers are more-or-less automatic and idiomatic, making basic data access reliable, and that you are working directly with data you see in EnCase, not with a copy or query results or somesuch.

There's quite a bit more to write about HandlerClass and reflection in EnScript and I'm excited to tackle those subjects.

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