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Richard (Rik) Brooks

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Top Stories by Richard (Rik) Brooks

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 the post open and why was it not just put at the end of the open event? At first I was really confused by the question. It was like he was asking me why do we have arrays? I just couldn't imagine not knowing the answer. Then it occurred to me that I learned the answer to that question from a ... (more)

DataWindow Magic: Master_Detail Object

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 exam... (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)

Automating Formats and Edit Styles

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... (more)

Service-Based Architecture for the DataWindow

Service objects were introduced for PowerBuilder at about the same time as the PowerBuilder Foundation Classes. Much like the PFC, most programmers found reasons not to use them. In this article we will reduce the complexity of these objects and in so doing perhaps open a new world of efficient objects that are easily maintained and understood. This article is going to create a service object for the DataWindow. The idea behind this object and others like it is to minimize the footprint of the DataWindow. We want to minimize the amount of memory that the DataWindow requires and ... (more)