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Richard (Rik) Brooks

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Top Stories by Richard (Rik) Brooks

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. The user might miss it entirely. In order to implement something that might be a bit more useful, we created several objects in our tool library that, when used together, will give us the functionality that we seek. You will need those objects to reproduce what we are doing here. If you don't... (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)

Using the Tag Property – Part 1

Have you ever seen a form that has its own microhelp that changes when a field gets focus? I'm sure you have. You might see a window and at the bottom of the window is a line that says, "OPTIONAL - Enter the employee birth date," when a field is entered. We are going to create a simple automated solution that will allow you to carry the microhelp along in the DataWindow. Take a look at Figure 1. It's a freeform DataWindow with a SQL data source. I chose the Employee table from the sample database that comes with PowerBuilder. I didn't do anything special to it. My goal here is to ... (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)

Appeon Developer Configuration

Have you ever used a datastore that ran without a problem while you were developing your application, but once you've compiled it stopped running? Let me tell you that's a difficult bug to fix. I remember it so well. I kept going back and forth. How in the world could the DataWindow work at design time yet not in the executable? I remember that I checked the return value of the datastore. I finally noticed that the datastore returned a -1. That's such a strange thing. The datastore returns the number of rows that were returned or a -1. The help files used to say that a -1 was in ... (more)