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Where are the Function's parms, options and arguments discussed in detail?

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  • Where are the Function's parms, options and arguments discussed in detail?

    Hi,

    While playing with ui_dlg_box(), I had a strange and un-expected behavior. I had a long title and no content, which caused the message box title to be truncated. Surely it would make the messagebox wide enough to display the title on one line, right? No not here, so as I looked for the arguments and parameters, I found nothing to indicate a size setting, or that there needed to be content. A fellow forum member pointed to a {size=n} argument and I found elsewhere a {Xsize=n} argument. What is troubling to me is there is no mention of these and/or other possibilities in the intellisense, or help system. I discovered the Zsize = in an example, with no description to its purpose or usage. I have been fighting the help system for months now, so I even purchased ALL of Liberty Manuals. Susan's "Functions Directory" manual too is falling short with nothing more than:

    UI_DLG_BOX() V5 Displays a dialog box and
    returns a character string.


    So the question is where do I see all the parms, arguments, and/or options for each of the functions? Where do I find complete descriptions on usage, restrictions for each function. I have Susan's book "Functions Directory" and was hoping there would all be covered there, but as you see above, it doesn't. Alpha's built in intellisense should be have complete and concise help on each of its functions so time is not wasted looking elsewhere, which it doesn't.

    I see this platform is very capable, but without a good and complete help system that can be instantly accessed via intellisense is too counter-productive... Videos are helpful, but is certainly not a replacement for a good help system. When I'm constructing a function, I need to see what is expected as params, their order, their arguments and possibly a description... and not be sent off to watch a video that I also have to search for...

    My question here is begging for help on how I can use the help system in a productive way and NOT as a reason to not use Alpha, after all, I did go to the conference, and purchase all of Liberty's manuals. But... at the end of the day, I need to be productive writing billable code and not researching on what parameters to feed a function...

    Thanks, Stanley

  • #2
    Re: Where are the Function's parms, options and arguments discussed in detail?

    ui_dlg_box() is part of 'Xdialog" which is a sub set of 'Xbasic' this is for 'Desktop' only! Info is here :

    http://wiki.alphasoftware.com/Xdialo...erence%20Title

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Where are the Function's parms, options and arguments discussed in detail?

      Hi Allen,

      While following your link to Alphapedia, I see the article referring to ui_dlg_box only refers to format_string and event_string. Here is a copy/paste from that page: Result as C = UI_DLG_BOX( Title as C, Format_String as C [, Event_String as C ] )

      This DOES NOT show me the possible options or parms that this function can do. Instead it only mentions non-linked format_string and event_string and nothing more. Because a fellow forum member suggested {size=xx} and I found another example with {Xsize=xx} we now know there is at least a size and Xsize parms exists, and the questions that still remains are...

      1. what other options, parms, and arguments could be used here?
      2. why arn't they mentioned in the function's help or in a help file?
      3. how would I even know what to look for?
      4. how would I know whats possible?
      5. how would I know how to use them?
      6. example code showing different usages?

      Speaking of the size, I was able to track down a height and width article that explained that size=2 represents a character width of 2 characters while size=2" represents 2 inches. Shouldn't that info be part of intellisense helping us in the construction of the dialog, instead of making us go hunting for unknown options, parms, and/or arguments?

      Thanks,
      Stanley

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Where are the Function's parms, options and arguments discussed in detail?

        Hi Stanley,
        Xdialog has its own venue in Xbasic. There is a database and a code library which is very helpful in learning how to write Xd.
        Robin

        Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Where are the Function's parms, options and arguments discussed in detail?

          there is samples in the tutorial database as I mentioned in your other thread in the web browser section
          when you load it up it gives samples and associated code for the xdialog. try it.
          alpha documentation is not the best. that horse has been beaten to death many times before.
          when in doubt reach out here in the forum. lots of willing people beyond belief, I bet.
          thanks for reading

          gandhi

          version 11 3381 - 4096
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          • #6
            Re: Where are the Function's parms, options and arguments discussed in detail?

            Originally posted by stanlyn View Post

            This DOES NOT show me the possible options or parms that this function can do.
            Actually it does. You need to follow through the links on that page.

            Xdialog is much more than a simple function. It's a language of it's own that integrates with Alpha.

            I've found that using the action script to build an xdialog using a genie is a good start.

            You can build a simple dialog and look at the code generated to help you learn the options available.

            xdialoggenie.PNG
            Al Buchholz
            Bookwood Systems, LTD
            Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

            Occam's Razor - KISS
            Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
            Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
            When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.
            "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."
            Albert Einstein

            http://www.iadn.com/images/media/iadn_member.png

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            • #7
              Re: Where are the Function's parms, options and arguments discussed in detail?

              Robin,
              << There is a database and a code library which is very helpful in learning how to write Xd.
              Can you point me to these references?

              Govindan,
              >> alpha documentation is not the best. that horse has been beaten to death many times before.
              Yes I know, so why doesn't Alpha do something about it? Just wading thru the documentation shows some real power here and an excellent chance to grab a lot (thousands) of VFP developers since VfP is no longer considered a viable language for building the next generation of apps. ALPHA SHOULD BE ALL OVER THIS!!

              Frankly, I'm impressed with Alpha, but find it very disappointing when trying to construct something, primarily because of the lack of a good integrated help system such as intellisense or the help manuals. From what I've seen so far, intellisense is lame, very rudimentary and certainly lacking in listing all the properties, methods, events, arguments, options, commented examples, remarks, exceptions, usage, gotchas and ??

              At this point, I would commit in a second to Alpha if they would address their help system in a way that makes me productive. Then throw in some VFP like features and I'd bet Alpha could grab literally thousands of VFP developers. And its the help system that is still in the way of me adapting Alpha as a VFP replacement.


              Al,
              << Xdialog is much more than a simple function. It's a language of it's own that integrates with Alpha.
              Is Xdialog and/or Xbasic a Alpha product? Does any other vendor use it? Just trying to understand its relationship to Alpha.

              << I've found that using the action script to build an xdialog using a genie is a good start.
              Thank you, good point... but talking about getting there the long way around, then this is it. Why shouldn't this be integrated into intellisense? Is it fair to say that even that way would not show all the options available?

              << Actually it does. You need to follow through the links on that page
              Its probably there buried in all the reference pages, if one only knew what to look for. My discussion is about the ui_dlg_box function's possible parms, options, events, properties and ?? So after going to the ui_dlg_box page ( http://wiki.alphasoftware.com/UI_DLG_BOX+Function) to find these pems, they are not there, and they are not on any of the links found on that page. Where do you see the size= and other unknown options, as I don't see any. I did find a page that had the size method which was surely out of place and not easy to find in the heap. A link from the UI_DLG_BOX page would be most helpful. Shouldn't that info be part of intellisense helping us in the construction of the dialog, instead of making us go hunting for unknown options, parms, and/or arguments?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Where are the Function's parms, options and arguments discussed in detail?

                Start up the A5 program without an app and it shows you that you can load the sample databases: Alpha Sports or Learning Xdialog. Take a look at both to get familiar with what Alpha can do. Open the Interactive Window or code editor from the controlpanel toolbar and you can view the Xdialog function library. I don't know of any program that doesn't require a look thru the menu options, properties & settings to get a feel for what is available; once you do that, searching the help will be more productive - when you know what you are looking for.
                Robin

                Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford

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