1.53 New Features

1.53 New Features

Postby Adrian Jones » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:58 pm

Hi all,

Just posted up a new PDF describing three changes affected by the auto-layout dialog, to help you create Ffenics documents faster!

See link in the news box on the home page at http://www.ffenics.com.

See also the December 15th 2011 entry in the news listing:

http://www.ffenics.com//home/morenews.php

Any and all comments welcome!

Regards, Adrian
User avatar
Adrian Jones
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 4 times
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Adrian Jones » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:27 pm

And another one about 1.53: how to use accelerator shortcurts to speed data-entry.

(Also lets you trigger a button action from a menu ... see the end of this article for more on that).

Get reading via he news box on the home page at http://www.ffenics.com.

See also the December 16th 2011 entry in the news listing:

http://www.ffenics.com//home/morenews.php
User avatar
Adrian Jones
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 4 times
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Graham Smith » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:55 pm

Oh, boy - another toy to play with...

It would seem that the labels don't actually have to be linked. The shortcut seems to take you to the field that is immediately after the label regardless. You can even move the field quite some ways away down the page, and it will always take you to the first field on the form after the label. Give the OOP nature of the design, I'm rather surprised that this action was tied to a label rather than to an Object Name, but I suppose it was done that way for the visual clue of the underlined letter.

As to the shortcut on the button. When I try that, it changes the focus to the button (as it does with a field) but does not activate it.
Graham Smith
DataSmith, Delaware
"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)
"X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett"
User avatar
Graham Smith
 
Posts: 2501
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Delaware, USA
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 1 time
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Adrian Jones » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:16 pm

Re linking -- see the article I posted. It has nothing to do with linking. (Which I take you mean that linked labels check box on the layout dialog).
User avatar
Adrian Jones
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 4 times
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Adrian Jones » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:24 pm

As to how it is implemented -- see the FIRST para of the article I posted.
User avatar
Adrian Jones
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 4 times
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Adrian Jones » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:25 pm

As to the rest of your observations -- is this a new document, or an existing one?
User avatar
Adrian Jones
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 4 times
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Graham Smith » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Adrian Jones wrote:Re linking -- see the article I posted. It has nothing to do with linking. (Which I take you mean that linked labels check box on the layout dialog).

Page 2 "How Do I Know If A Label Belongs to a Field?" - it doesn't seem to matter.

Adrian Jones wrote:As to how it is implemented -- see the FIRST para of the article I posted.

I did read that. I was merely commenting on how/why it was ORIGINALLY set up the way it was. I understand that you just turned it on. I am aware of several things like that.

Adrian Jones wrote:As to the rest of your observations -- is this a new document, or an existing one?

I've been testing using an existing document.
Graham Smith
DataSmith, Delaware
"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)
"X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett"
User avatar
Graham Smith
 
Posts: 2501
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Delaware, USA
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 1 time
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Adrian Jones » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:42 pm

Then I recommend you try this with a new document, and I probably recommend that the accelerator is not added to existing documents.

Why? Because I have no idea where they've been, how they were created, etc.

We had to turn this on, and then we had to make it work :)
Last edited by Adrian Jones on Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Adrian Jones
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 4 times
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Pete Tabord » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:46 pm

The slight problem is that there is no way to tell for certain if the label is linked. It will depend on how you created the field in the first place. Which might be a very long time ago!

Assuming you didn't have 'linked labels' ticked, if you originally typed the label first then the field (so it picked up the label as the field name) or created the fields then used any of the automatic 'generate field names' I think they will be linked. But if you created the field first then manually added the label they won't be.

I did put in logic that will try and find a matching field if there is no link but it is not foolproof.

If the label and field _are_ linked you can move them anywhere you like. If the linked label option is ticked you'll have to untick it if you want to seperate the label and field. I'm not sure under what circumstances the link would be lost - certain kinds of relayout? Cut and paste? - the problem being that you can't tell and can't easily repair it without turning the link labels option back on.

So, generally, you can use them with reckless abandon and not bother with the 'linked labels' option, but under those circumstances don't be surprised if occasionally something refuses to recognise the 'right' field and you have a certain amount of fiddling to get it working again.
Peter J. Tabord
Head of Development
Database Software Ltd.
ptabord@ffenics.com
Pete Tabord
 
Posts: 1881
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:48 pm
Location: Caernarfon, Gwynedd, UK
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 3 times
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Graham Smith » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:51 pm

Adrian Jones wrote:Then I recommend you try this with a new document, and I probably won'recommend that the accelerator is not added to existing documents.

Re: The button shortcut trick... I created a new aspect and tried it and it worked just fine. Might be something screwy with the form I tested this on - it's a test database and I need to wipe it and replace it with a fresh version before I do anything else.

Pete Tabord wrote:The slight problem is that there is no way to tell if the label is linked unless the linking option is ticked and the labels recreated. It will depend on how you created the field in the first place (which might be a very long time ago!). If you originally typed the label first or created the fields then used any of the automatic 'generate field names' I think they will be linked. But if you created the field first then manually added the label they won't be.

I did put in logic that will try and find a matching field if there is no link but it is not foolproof.

If the label and field _are_ linked you can unlink them (untick the box) and move them anywhere you like. Although the link won't necessarily survive a relayout and there are probably other ways to break them once the box is unticked such as a cut and paste.

If I follow you... IF the label and field are linked, then the shortcut will take you to that field regardless of the relative position of the two objects? I assume then, that if fields are not linked then it will take you to the very next field on the form?
Graham Smith
DataSmith, Delaware
"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)
"X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett"
User avatar
Graham Smith
 
Posts: 2501
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Delaware, USA
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 1 time
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Pete Tabord » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:59 pm

If I follow you... IF the label and field are linked, then the shortcut will take you to that field regardless of the relative position of the two objects? I assume then, that if fields are not linked then it will take you to the very next field on the form?


For linked fields, you are correct.

For unlinked fields _usually_ it will be the field next to the label, but it isn't 100% reliable - if the field is prevent entry funny things can happen, also remember the order fields appear is not necessarily always the order they are in the object hierachy. (This is nothing to do with the order in the table). I've got one form where the labels aren't linked in which it resolutely jumps to the field after next :scratch:

It's not random, though - for a given form the results are consistent, so if when you test it it is going to the right field it will carry on doing so until you next do something major to the form definition. Not that it will always break then, but it might.

I might be able to enhance the thing in future so (in the unlinked case) it searches by object name instead of location. That would probably be better.
Peter J. Tabord
Head of Development
Database Software Ltd.
ptabord@ffenics.com
Pete Tabord
 
Posts: 1881
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:48 pm
Location: Caernarfon, Gwynedd, UK
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 3 times
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Graham Smith » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:41 pm

Pete Tabord wrote:I might be able to enhance the thing in future so (in the unlinked case) it searches by object name instead of location. That would probably be better.

Hence my prior head scratching about using the label rather than object name. Just knowing what I know about the history, I'm assuming that this all came out of compromises in the early versions of DFW and trying to make migrated menus work like DFD menus.

I can see some cases where this might be of use, but I'd have to think about it quite a bit. As an example, I can think of forms with a lot of fields in the middle that are only of use for a percentage of the records being entered. Having the ability to jump past that to the next "section" might be interesting. I'll have to do some testing to see what happens if the label and field are on a Tab. Which reminds me if you cut/copy/paste a linked label/field, I would guess that the linking gets lost.

Digging deeper into the code later might well be worth while because it seems that this "trick" might be using something associated with SetFocus() which was implemented in NetPlus but not DFW.
Graham Smith
DataSmith, Delaware
"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)
"X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett"
User avatar
Graham Smith
 
Posts: 2501
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Delaware, USA
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 1 time
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Pete Tabord » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:02 am

I can see some cases where this might be of use, but I'd have to think about it quite a bit. As an example, I can think of forms with a lot of fields in the middle that are only of use for a percentage of the records being entered. Having the ability to jump past that to the next "section" might be interesting. I'll have to do some testing to see what happens if the label and field are on a Tab. Which reminds me if you cut/copy/paste a linked label/field, I would guess that the linking gets lost.


Well, that was our idea, that the accelerators would help navigation. Not that you would use it for every field or every button. It might help if you've got a form that is longer than the screen - you could use it to create something like the 'pages' of a DFD form.

I don't know if copy/paste loses the link or not. I imagine it would depend on a number of things.

All the complications with this feature are to do with fields and labels incidentally, with Buttons its very straightforward. Except it won't go to a button with 'no action' which is rather a pity. (It has to jump to something that can have focus.)

An enhancement for the next version might be to have an action like 'marker' to create a button that can have focus but not be 'pressed' - the marker could say Page 1, Page 2 etc., or something like Main Customer Details, Transaction Details etc., to jump around a form that brings lots of detail together. What do you think?
Peter J. Tabord
Head of Development
Database Software Ltd.
ptabord@ffenics.com
Pete Tabord
 
Posts: 1881
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:48 pm
Location: Caernarfon, Gwynedd, UK
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 3 times
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Graham Smith » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:01 pm

Pete Tabord wrote: An enhancement for the next version might be to have an action like 'marker' to create a button that can have focus but not be 'pressed' - the marker could say Page 1, Page 2 etc., or something like Main Customer Details, Transaction Details etc., to jump around a form that brings lots of detail together. What do you think?

We used to sometimes use single character text fields with a derivation that blanked anything entered. I think they were just to "jump" over sections with two or three subforms in a row. I just can't recall the details.

My first thinking about these is to see how the work inside tabs. It might be a way to jump into a tab.

As for the buttons, I rarely use buttons with words so I'm not sure if I will be able to find use for this. But in many ways I see more use for this than the fields.
Graham Smith
DataSmith, Delaware
"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)
"X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett"
User avatar
Graham Smith
 
Posts: 2501
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Delaware, USA
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 1 time
 

Re: 1.53 New Features

Postby Adrian Jones » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:25 pm

Re no action buttons:

A button with the action execute ELF and an expression of, say , 1, will get focus but effectively do nothing.
User avatar
Adrian Jones
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 4 times
 
 
Next

Return to News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest