Introduction to Operators, Lesson 3
Hi, and welcome back. Let’s dig into Equihack’s Operators. Operators are the system’s verbs. There are over 75 of them.
As you have seen, they perform logical tests such the as greater than and less than operators in the first lesson. They perform arithmetic operations, too. Obviously, with a list of more than 75 operators, that just scratches the surface of what’s available.
We’re going to concentrate on the grammar of Equihack for now. Once understood, you will find it easier to implement your “get rich screeners” down the road.
I think you’ll find Equihack is easy to master. There are few rules of punctuation. As you create search arguments, Equihack builds the underlying framework for you. You’ll see how that works as we explore operators. Let’s start.
Go to the Home page.
As before, click on “Create Stock Screener”,
give it any name and click Done.
Click on the red question mark to get an empty box.
A good way to find an operator is to click on the Tools tab in the lower left corner (just like when we were looking for Properties in the last lesson).
You will probably see a list of “Properties”–but you want “Operators”. Notice the three small icons to the right of the “Filter by” Box. Click the middle Gear icon to list the “Operators.”
Notice that they are purple; all the words are lower case; all are preceded with a round gear icon.
As you scroll over the Operators, notice the information in the box to the right explains what the operator does. At the bottom of the description, see a sample of how to use it.
If you click on a simple Operator, such “Greater Than”, the system expands the Term to three elements: two empty boxes waiting for Properties or Constants and the Greater Than Operator. We’ve seen this before in the first and second lessons.
So we are back where we started. Are you bored yet? Let’s vacate this slow walking tour and go for a quick tour of the Equihack “city”. Hold on to your hats!
This crazy cab driver we’ve hired doesn’t seem to understand exactly where we want to go and likes to drive 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. That’s fine. We’ll go back later and dig into key areas that we only glimpsed in the rapid tour.
Let’s put an * in the first box, to multiply some properties together. Do this by just typing the * or click the top choice in the tools listing: the gear with an x by it.
Equihack expands the term to five elements and groups the first three within parentheses.
Put a + sign in the first box by typing or dragging.
Now your term expands to seven elements and two sets of parentheses.
That gives you a glimpse of how arithmetic operators are laid out. Let’s check out how operators that modify Properties work. The top one on the list is “abs” which returns the absolute value of a term or calculation. Let’s add it to our first box.
This converts the first property to an absolute value before adding it to the second property. Suppose you want the resulting value to be absolute. To do that, drag or type abs over the first operator to the right of the addition parentheses,
and you get:
The “x” multiplier operator returns and the abs is positioned to the left of the parameters enclosed in parentheses telling Equihack to apply the change to the result of adding the properties together.
A particularly strong feature of Equihack is the ability to specify term-by-term the value of a Property on a particular date. Let’s see what sentence structures the “as of” operator creates. I am going to point out 4 of the 5 possibilities as we roar down this street.
First let’s drop “as of” on the first Property box.
This invites you to add a number of days ago to just the first Property.
Next let’s drop “as of” on the x operator instead.
Now all the Properties to the left of the > operator will be selected x days ago.
What happens if we drop “as of” on the property to the right of the > operator.
Notice that it, and only it, is modified to use a value x days ago.
So you want all the properties in this term to be as of x number days ago? How do you do that… just drop the “as of” command on top of the > operator:
Now all four of the properties are enclosed in parentheses and all for will be used as of x days ago.
Dizzy? What we have been doing I call “Henrying” the system. Henry Crutcher, a principal architect of Equihack, has an ability to tear into an unknown system and find things that experienced users didn’t know exist.
In my case I’ve watched him tear into complex video editing programs such as Apple’s Final Cut Pro or Adobe’s Lightroom that I’ve been using for months. In less than five minutes of random clicking around he has shown me things I never knew existed. He would be flattered if you would do this to Equihack.
I’ve been using the Undo command, ctl+z, will zap any failed attempts when trying something new. You can undo many steps.
Let’s tell our cabby to take a left here and run down the George Boole street to contemplate some Boolean logic. Normally each term in Equihack needs at least one operator that reports whether the conditions spelled out on the line are True or False. There are exceptions to one line one True/False where many lines of calculations are made before the big question is asked, but let’s not go there yet.
The six Boolean operators are <, >, =, <=, >=, not =. When you start by entering just a property in the first box, EquiHack gives you the > true/false Boolean by default.
You want to use one of the other Booleans. Just replace the >.
But what you really want is a “Between” true/false term. Here is a way to do that. Start with a > in the empty box.
You want P/Es between 20 and 5. Put 20 on the left and PE on the right for the top limit.
Then highlight any of the three elements and type a “,”. This generates another > and empty box to the right.
Enter 5 in the new box, press return, and you have your between.
the comma feature come from, you ask? It is one of the several options in the drop-down under Editor on the top line: Editor > edit term > Add term.
Most of the choices that show in the Edit drop-downs duplicate steps you can do by simple typing, dragging or selecting local prompts that drop down from the box you are working with. However, this is where you can find a number of keyboard shortcuts that true power users tend to love.
Let’s stop here. Hopefully you feel emboldened to explore the system on your own. You should feel comfortable creating simple trial screeners at this point. Study existing system screeners. Modify them to see what happens and save good results. Don’t worry; any changes are on your system only.
We have not covered Variables and Formulas yet. They both are simply ways to gather up a bunch of code, give it a name (the Variable) and store it away on a tab or save it as a Formula. This makes reading your screeners easier and allows you to use common code in as many other screeners as you want. We’ll cover that next.
Thanks for watching.