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Richard (Rik) Brooks

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Top Stories by Richard (Rik) Brooks

One of the most useful custom objects that I've ever written is my master_detail object. It holds a prominent place in my toolkit. This article will take you through the steps of how to write one and in the process de-mystify the object. First we want something that looks like Figure 1. Selecting a row in the top DataWindow will display the details in the bottom. I'm sure that you've seen this kind of DataWindow and you've probably written many of them. The key here is not to tell you how to write this but how to simplify every one that you will write in the future. For our example I will again use the example database that came with PowerBuilder. To build the control I first need to create a new custom object. I click on File-New in the menu or just hit Ctrl-N and I get the dialog in Figure 1. I've circled what you need to click on to make it easy for you. Once y... (more)

Using the Tag Property – Part 3

This is the third and final part of a series presenting a proposal for the use of the tag property of DataWindow columns. My original thought was to provide a means to automatically set a microhelp for each column. Of course, if you are using an MDI application you have a function to set the microhelp, but that function is only available in MDI. If you are using any other application type, then this is not available to you. Even if you do have an MDI, I have found that the microhelp is not as useful as I would like. The microhelp is always on the frame, nowhere near the column. ... (more)

Professional DataWindow Sorting

In my last article we explored what I call Advanced DataWindow Sorting. We covered everything that we need for the DataWindow. In this article we are going to polish what we did last month and make it look professional. The main area of concern is our sort selector window as seen in Figure 1. It does the job. It's just amateurish and doesn't provide the full flexibility that we really need. You may recall that the text of the sortable column is specified in the tag property of the column in the DataWindow. (huh?) We open the sort selector window with a parameter, something like t... (more)

The PostOpen Event – Why It Is So Important

Normally I try to write applications on the DataWindow or Appeon but every now and then I get a question that makes me sit back and say, "Huh?" In this case the question concerns the PostOpen event. I've seen that event named different things: ue_post_open, postOpen, post_open, ue_postOpen, etc. It has, as far as I can see, always had post and open in the name of the event. Further, just about every framework that I've ever seen has had that event in the base window. The question that I was asked was, "Why is that event there?" The programmer wanted to know why there was code in t... (more)

DataWindow Sorting with Column Headers

This article describes how to create a grid presentation window that allows sorting by clicking on the column header. To begin we need to create a grid DataWindow. I'm selecting just a few columns from the employee table. Here is my sql for the DataWindow in Figure 1. Once we have created it I get the DataWindow painter shown in Figure 2. There are several changes that we need to make. Let's change the status column so it's no longer a set of radio buttons. This is a read-only screen so let's remove the status and add a computed field. To do this let's remove the Status column ... (more)