About SCREEN DESIGN

If you are converting a text-based Clipper application, a FoxPro application or just writing an application from scratch, use this forum for your eXpress++ questions.
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alepap
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About SCREEN DESIGN

#1 Post by alepap »

eXpress++ comes with a lot a features for screen design. It is the objective of fast development.

With the set of @ xx,yy DCSAY ... GET you have all kind of stuff. Buttons, Pull Down, Radio, etc.
You have options like FIT, AUTORESIZE.

More than that, you can just add your items with no position reference and call the SCREEN DESIGNER mode.
In the sample c:\exp20\samples\design\*.* you will find the demonstration of this.

This is very powerful. It will rewrite the PRG file to save your changes.
NOTE: does not work with @ x,y DCSAY in FOR or DO WHILE.

// THIS WORKS FINE WITH SCREEN DESIGNER
@ x,y DCSAY something
@ x+1,y DCSAY something

// THIS WILL NOT WORK WITH SCREEN DESIGNER (BECAUSE OF THE REWRITE PRG FILE)
FOR i:=1 to 7
@ x+1+i,y DCSAY somthing
NEXT

DCREAD GUI

ATTENTION ROGER IF YOU READ THIS
A solution to this could be that SCREEN DESIGNER will automatically (You made lazy, sorry) remove everything inside a for and write the code in the PRG file. Because in theory, I would be allowed to move one of the items to the left and the other one to the right.
So they must all be independent.
---

Alaska xBase++ is trying to develop a IDE or some kind of similar development tool. It will be in the Polar, version 3.0. But we are not there yet.

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rdonnay
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Re: About SCREEN DESIGN

#2 Post by rdonnay »

SCREEN DESIGNER will automatically (You made lazy, sorry) remove everything inside a for and write the code in the PRG file.
This is not possible.

There are caveats to using the screen designer system.
It was not meant for such purposes.

It is very valuable when used as intended.
I have made a lot of improvements but I cannot, and will not, try to develop a system that eliminates programming.

I have been reluctant to document this feature because of the very kind of feedback I am getting from you now.
I can see this as opening "pandora's box" and I will get bogged down with this and will have no time left to do more important things.

Alaska Software has not been able to provide a screen designer for over 16 years because such a thing cannot eliminate structural programming requirements. VFP has this feature but it limits the programmer's capabilities and cannot stand up to the capabilities of declarative and imperative programming.
The eXpress train is coming - and it has more cars.

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alepap
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Re: About SCREEN DESIGN

#3 Post by alepap »

I agree with that. We can keep it simple and not use loops.
It makes a lot of sense.

This is a very useful feature.

c-tec
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Re: About SCREEN DESIGN

#4 Post by c-tec »

Hello,
I have to create dialogs based on a XML file from a digital pen & paper system with screen position, field type, length etc. for editing the form content. Each form can be different, so I cannot make a fix programmed dialog. For this I have with Rogers help successfully modified the designer, the user can now move and change fields on the fly and I write the position and data back in the XML file. It would be also no problem to make a designer where you can add controls to the dialog. So I think Roger offers a very good basis for developing such things ourselve. But this is a special solution where I need the designer, for standard dialogs I prefer the very simple coding with eXpress++.
regards
Rudolf
Rudolf Reinthaler
digital pen & paper systems
http://www.formcommander.net

Cliff Wiernik
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Re: About SCREEN DESIGN

#5 Post by Cliff Wiernik »

What might be nice to consider is the ability to use something like the form designer to paint a screen and generate the Express commands to define the screen. Not a two way form designer, but something to allow you to do the initial design in a visual mode. Something like the Xbase++ form designer. But even something like this requires alot of time to develop. I do just fine with the regular method of using Express++, but this might be something to assist with the initial screen design for alot of people.

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rdonnay
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Re: About SCREEN DESIGN

#6 Post by rdonnay »

But even something like this requires alot of time to develop.
Now we are talking about code generators again which takes us back to the limitations of VFP.
Designing screens like this would be slower than writing out the eXpress++ commands.

I am working on an alternative to this idea which I think will work better.
The eXpress train is coming - and it has more cars.

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alepap
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Re: About SCREEN DESIGN

#7 Post by alepap »

The most time consuming part of screen design is finding the perfect position.
The screen design option provided with eXpress++ takes care of that.

Cliff Wiernik
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Re: About SCREEN DESIGN

#8 Post by Cliff Wiernik »

I use cut and paste all the time. But if I was going to do something to assist design the screen, I would use something that would assist me in creating the Express++ code like I do. Not a code generator, but something that would make the process of typing

@ 1,1 DCSAY 'Object' GET oM:memvar ;
PICTURE '999.99' ;
VALID {|| validtest()} ;

faster. Click properties and putting in values is not faster. I can navigate excel faster without the mouse then with it. Just sometime tweeking placement can be easier than what currently works well as it is.

That is why I liked the text mode type report designer versus the graphical one. I can do things alot faster.

c-tec
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Re: About SCREEN DESIGN

#9 Post by c-tec »

Hello,
I thougt about this with a little application that put such code snippets in the clipboard for the editor. For example composing the code for a browser with all options for a choosen dbf. So you can use your favorite editor.
regards
Rudolf
Rudolf Reinthaler
digital pen & paper systems
http://www.formcommander.net

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RDalzell
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Re: About SCREEN DESIGN

#10 Post by RDalzell »

Shades of "FlashCode" days gone by...

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