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Richard (Rik) Brooks

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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. We must open this window with an argument of the DataWindow to sort. Interact with the user and sort the DataWindow. It would be nice to be able to save searches and reload them but we will save that for the next article. Get Your Application Going We are going to use the RikLib.pbl that we'... (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)

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)

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)

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)