At the moment, the platform is available as a desktop app
We are preparing Forloop.ai also with a browser interface - coming soon
Supported platforms: Windows, MacOS, Linux
Donwnload stable release of Forloop from: http://app.forloop.ai/
Run the downloaded file to install the platform
If on Windows - do not install into Program Files folder!
Launch the platform
Register on http://app.forloop.ai/register (if not done before)
Use registration details to log in Forloop.ai platform
Possible issues - macOS¶
After a successfull installation (drag n’ drop to your Applications directory) of Forloop on your machine you might encounter an error pop-up window saying that The file is damaged and should be moved to the trash. when trying to run Forloop.app or Forloop Server.app for the first time.
The probability of encountering this specific situation is much higher on newer versions of macOS starting with Monterey which is due to new Gatekeeper’s security features. It is less likely you’d encounter this on older versions such as Big Sur.
The solution to this problem is fairly simple. Firstly, open the Terminal (hit cmd + space to open Spotlight, type “terminal” and hit Return):
In the Terminal enter the following two commands (execute each command by hitting Return).
$ xattr -d com.apple.quarantine /Applications/Forloop.app
$ xattr -d com.apple.quarantine "/Applications/Forloop Server.app"
After executing the commands above you can close the Terminal, run Forloop Server and Forloop and have fun 🎉🚀
Get to Know Forloop¶
Okay, so you got your copy of Forloop installed, you are registered, loged-in and…now what? Forloop greets you with a nice clean working grid accompanied by all kinds of buttons doing all kinds of useful things. But how to get a grip of all of this? Let’s take a little tour!
Despite it being pretty useful sometimes the workspace grid is not enough. In some occasions we would like to view loaded data in a data table, view loaded databases and their tables, code of the loaded icons or scraping functionalities in a built-in browser. Luckily, all of these cases are covered by View buttons! Note that they work only in combination with specific loaded icons (eg. data grid view will show data which are loaded as a dataframe, code view works with view code icon etc.). In addition, not only do they add some additional viewing options but they offer additional functionalities as well!
For some general usage of View options see Working with View Options.
For storing and working with data Forloop presents the Variable Explorer. It stores data of various types (numbers, strings, lists etc.) in a form of color coded rectangles. These can be the interactively used in Forloop icons.
Let’s take a look at how the variables can be added. It can serve as a good training of creating an icon as well. So, let’s find a Create New Variable icon first. Clicking on an item in one of the menus creates a corresponding icon. By clicking on the icon in the working space we select it (its edges get colored). When an icon is selected its UX appears above the variable explorer. In our case, a New Variable icon, we just need to enter a name of the new variable and its value. Its type will be detected automatically. The whole process is shown in a short GIF below.
New Variable icon is not the only way of adding new variables to variable explorer! There are in fact many other options like Load Excel/CSV, Define function, New Datetime etc., which all create a new variable (dataframe, function, datetime, …). See Build Your First Pipeline or documentation of specific icons for more information.
Build Your First Pipeline¶
In previous sections we here and there mentioned Forloops capability of building pipelines. After all it’s mentioned in the What is Forloop? section that it is one of the main features. So how does it work?
In previous sections have we seen a very basic creation of icon and an interaction with it. But since working manually with only one single icon at a time would be extremely dull, Forloop introduces an extremely elegant and easy way to build pipelines from these icons. The process is fairly simple. Let’s start by explaining how the icons get connected.
In order to connect two icons with the idea being that the Icon 1 will run first and after its task is done then the Icon 2 will do its duty. To setup this process 3 elementary steps are required:
create two or more icons as shown in previous sections
with a double-click on one of the icons you bring it to the “ready to connect” state (its edges is colored differently than in case of a single click)
after we click on another icon after a double-click on the first one both icons get connected (we see it as an arrow)
Building even an infinitely long pipeline can be done just by iteratively reapeating this process. However the Forloop team strongly discourage you from building an infinitely long pipeline as it can turn out to be a little time consuming.
Running the Pipeline¶
Okay, now we’ve got some icons connected but what now? Now we can use the Pipeline Control Options in the upper panel.
We can either save the pipeline if we like it, empty it if we don’t, load a new saved one or run the one present in our working space. The last option is what we will use.
Building a Basic Notepad Opening Pipeline¶
By combining all the knowledge we collected so far building a simple pipeline should be a piece of 🍰. Let’s build a really elementary one which only opens a notepad (or its macOS/Linux counterpart). What we need is:
Use key icon to hit win button (or cmd + space combination to open Spotlight on macOS)
Write icon to write notepad (or some other app) into search
Use key again to hit enter (return)