Richard (Rik) Brooks

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I'm considering changing my emphasis in my column. Since speaking with some people at Sybase I am convinced that PowerBuilder is poised for a mighty comeback. The fact is that still today PowerBuilder is by far the most productive development tool available. It eclipses all the rest. An experienced PowerBuilder programmer is demonstrably more productive and can finish tasks faster than C# or even VB.NET. So why is .NET used by more companies? Mine would just be a guess and in fact, the answer is irrelevant. I'm here to tell you that Sybase is making an obvious push to regain some of the ground that it lost. The programmer who positions himself as a PowerBuilder expert today will benefit tomorrow. I am going to split my writing. This month I'll do another article on the classic DataWindow. That architecture is not going away. I've discovered that many companies are ... (more)

Using the Tag Property - Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part article. In the last article we learned how to use the tag property to create our own microhelp and automate it. In this article we are going to go one step further and use the tag property for other things. The list of items that I used the tag property for has shrunk over the years as Sybase has tried to give us more tools. Apart from the microhelp the most common use I had was to implement a tool tip. Now Sybase gives us a tool tip without our having to code a pop-up window. Luckily I don't have to have a long list of items; one more is su... (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)

Advanced DataWindow Sorting

This article provides a means of automating the sorting of DataWindows... not just grid DataWindows as discussed in last month's article, but all DataWindows, regardless of display format. Bear in mind that we are writing programmer tools. When writing for programmers we want to give the programmer the maximum number of options while minimizing the programmer effort. In other words, default as much as possible but allow the programmer to move beyond the defaults. We have several action items to implement: Do the housekeeping to get an application going Create a window for sorting.... (more)

Dancing Checkboxes

Normally I write columns about the DataWindow or Appeon. This month though I ran into an interesting little logic problem and when I solved it I realized it was really a nice piece of code so, even though it is not in my normal genre I thought I'd share it. I was tasked with allowing the user to pick a combination of days of the week with these specifications. The user may select no more than three days prior to today. The user may select no more than three days in the future. The user may not have both prior and future dates in the same group If there are not three days in the ... (more)