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x basic and action scritping

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  • #16
    Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

    Originally posted by DickJames View Post
    To All --
    We have begun testing Build #2055, and have seen no issues. However, we will not upgrade until we have done more testing.
    -- Dick James
    Thanks for sharing your findings. Once you have finished testing 2055, I would appreciated very much if you could share your final thoughts about 2055. I keep putting off the conversion of our filemaker based system to A5 due to these bugs. Thank you

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

      Originally posted by gaby_h View Post
      Thanks for sharing your findings. Once you have finished testing 2055, I would appreciated very much if you could share your final thoughts about 2055. I keep putting off the conversion of our filemaker based system to A5 due to these bugs. Thank you
      Here are a couple points to keep in mind:

      1. There are more than a million variables. Everybody's app is different. Your apps are different from each other. The fact that someone has tested a patch and found it "bug free" doesn't mean it will be bug free for you.

      2. I know I speak for many when I say that Selwyn and his crew do a very remarkable job in fixing the bugs.

      And now for a suggestion: Why keep on waiting for something to be bug free? Theres's been more than one time when you've found that FileMaker is hung up. What makes you think one or more of those issues were not bugs?

      Get with it. Convet that app to A5. You will not regret it.

      kenn
      TYVM :) kenn

      Knowing what you can achieve will not become reality until you imagine and explore.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

        Gaby_h --

        If your application is for the desktop, I suggest you choose a version such as either #1938 or #2055 (with the old browse, not new one), and get on with your conversion. I think A5 is actually quite stable, despite some of the grumbling you might read on this forum.

        I looked carefully at Filemaker four years ago and concluded that A5 (Version 5 at that time) was a much more capable product. I think the difference is more compelling today than it was then. Even ignoring the web development capabilities, the action scripting is more extensive, the database design separates data from the application, the underlying Xbasic allows for much more custom applications, it is faster, and it is less expensive. In my opinion, you'll find A5 a much more satisfactory product.

        -- Dick James

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

          Our app is 100% desktop. Thanks guys for your encouragements; I'll will go ahead.

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

            Everything presented here makes a lot of sense.
            But action scripting is the methodology behind learning x-basic that Alpha promotes throughout it's learning materials.

            And this (action scripting) is what gets new users on-board in the first place. So it should be producing reliable (if not clean) code.

            Regardless, action scripting is promoted (by Alpha) as a major advantage. (It aledgedly eases the learning curve over other competing development tools.) The tutorials even suggest using action scripting instead of x-basic, (and suggest many veteran a5 users do on a regular basis) because of it's ability to promote sound x-basic coding practices. This sounds good (in practice at least.)

            With all this in mind, having finally decided to make the commitment & work "from the ground up", I'm "up to my elbows" in a5. And I'm arduously trying to methodically learn the ins and outs of a5. -With the hopes that I will be left with a more through understanding of how to best efficiently use all the programs' built in features (bag of tricks) as I become seasoned in x-basic.

            Having taken this "grass-routes" approach, I've run into quite a few surprises. I don't know when the last time anyone at Alpha looked at a5 from this "ground-up perspective." But I'd but that when and if they do, they will be shocked.

            I know the solution is to forgo action scripting for the x-basic alternative. (And that's where most successful users eventually end up.) But doesn't this approach negate many of the benefits and reasons of using this RAD tool over some other tool like MS Dev Studio?

            "To be safe to climb, a ladder must be be sturdy from the ground up."

            Enough said on this thread. Just my thoughts on the matter anyways.
            Besides, a5 remains unique in it's offerings. (And I do believe the developers are very dedicated. That means a lot.)
            Robert T. ~ "I enjoy manipulating data... just not my data."
            It's all about the "framework." (I suppose an "a5-induced" hard drive crash is now in order?)
            RELOADED: My current posting activity here merely represents a "Momentary Lapse Of Reason."

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

              Originally posted by SNusa View Post
              Everything presented here makes a lot of sense.
              But action scripting is the methodology behind learning x-basic that Alpha promotes throughout it's learning materials.
              Your "But" must mean you think what I said in my contribution to this post above is wrong. Well, it isn't!

              And this (action scripting) is what gets new users on-board in the first place. So it should be producing reliable (if not clean) code.
              It does, and if Ira suggests the contrary, he is wrong! And if you are having terrible results putting together a string of Action Scripts to perform something, then most likely the way you put them together is wrongheaded in some way or another. Perhaps if you posted samples of AS that doesn't work we could see what you are talking about. Who knows, I might even end up agreeing with you here or there!

              Regardless, action scripting is promoted (by Alpha) as a major advantage. (It aledgedly eases the learning curve over other competing development tools.) The tutorials even suggest using action scripting instead of x-basic, (and suggest many veteran a5 users do on a regular basis) because of it's ability to promote sound x-basic coding practices. This sounds good (in practice at least.)
              And it is good, in both theory and practice.

              ....

              Having taken this "grass-routes" approach, I've run into quite a few surprises. I don't know when the last time anyone at Alpha looked at a5 from this "ground-up perspective." But I'd but that when and if they do, they will be shocked.
              I don't think so. Don't know why you are having so much trouble.

              I know the solution is to forgo action scripting for the x-basic alternative.
              I was afraid that was what you (and others) would get from what Ira said above. I don't think that is exactly what he was saying, and if it were, he would be wrong. AS is a great way for new (and not so new) users to both do a lot of things and learn some good Xbasic practices. I say this as someone who has one older application that uses a lot of AS because the client wanted to be able to change certain things without having to learn Xbasic. Using AS extensively in this application gave me not a single problem. Now, can the Ira's of the world (and many others) do things in a much better way with the other tools Alpha Five provides? Of course they can! But that hardly means you or anyone else should forego AS.

              But let's get back to the subject that you started with: Bugs. Let me start with a presumed (as opposed to known by me) fact: Many bug reports are not bugs at all but are some confusion or another by the reporter (shoot, I just reported something this very day that was simply me leaving off an obviously needed parameter in a function). Many others might be bugs but are not described in such a way that Alpha can repeat and then fix the problem. And some real bugs are so minor that they go way back on the back burner, some never to be addressed and rightly so given reasonable priorities.

              Another big problem, I suspect, is that many genuine bugs found by users are either never reported at all--or, to repeat, are reported in such a poor way that they may as well not have been reported. In my own applications I am constantly amazed at how long an obvious bug in my coding can go unreported by users even though they run across the problem at least once a day and a year can go by before anyone bothers to tell me about it. Why does this happen? Usually because the problem does not stop the user in his or her tracks–-they find a way to continue with their work. Just recently someone here was griping about a bug still being in V9 that he says was in V6. That was news to Alpha (supposedly no one had reported it), and when I reported it, it was fixed within 48 hours. Of course in an ideal world Alpha would have a team of 100 testers to find all these things before release of a new version, but that is just not the real world, especially for a relatively small company such as Alpha Software.

              Finally, here is a fact I know from long experience with Alpha Software. Bugs reported in a clear, repeatable way are acknowledged and fixed, generally so fast it will make your head spin. If that has not been the case for you, I could only guess the reason, so I won’t.

              Edit: And another thing: It's one thing to use older, more stable patches for live applications, but if developers don't develop in the latest patch version and report problems with it, genuine bugs will be more of a problem than they should be, i.e., many bugs introduced in the most recent patch won't get noticed and reported for several patches down the road.

              Sorry for the rant.

              Raymond Lyons
              Last edited by Raymond Lyons; 03-03-2009, 04:49 AM.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

                I have been using A5 for a number of years. Judging myself as a user on a scale of 1-10, I consider myself to be a 5 maybe a 6. I pick it up and use it extensively for a month, then put down because I get busy doing other things. I personally find it to be a very interesting and capable programing tool. From time to time, I find things that I think are bugs that most of the time turn out to be bugs in my logic. I have literally spent days fussing and cussing about what I consider to be a major bug, wondering why someone with my limited knowledge can find all of these bugs and all of the "Alphaholics" can't find them only to discover that I had done something illogical. Now I'm not saying that it's perfect or that some of the things I found weren't bugs. Many of the things I found and reported were responded to by Selwyn himself. When I do report something that is not a bug and is a flaw in my logic, he has even gone to the trouble of pointing out the error of my ways. Other times he has personally given me a work a round and then fixed the bug.

                From time to time I go looking to see what else is out there. As of yet, I have not been able to find anything from a single source that offers anything close to A5 for features or price. So I guess this 5 will keep plodding along working on becoming a 6. Maybe someday I will even become a certified "Alphaholic".

                Alan

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

                  Hi Robert,

                  Originally posted by SNusa View Post
                  I know the solution is to forgo action scripting for the x-basic alternative. (And that's where most successful users eventually end up.) But doesn't this approach negate many of the benefits and reasons of using this RAD tool over some other tool like MS Dev Studio?
                  No it doesn't. There are nice high level primitives in Alpha Five (e.g. append operation) that take only a little bit of code to do a large operation. 2nd, it's helpful to quickly generate the code using Action Scripting (particularly for things like like XDialog) and then convert it to XBasic and clean it up and make it faster. Either way, it's still faster than the alternative.

                  Hi Raymond,

                  Originally posted by Raymond Lyons View Post
                  Your "But" must mean you think what I said in my contribution to this post above is wrong. Well, it isn't!

                  It does, and if Ira suggests the contrary, he is wrong! And if you are having terrible results putting together a string of Action Scripts to perform something, then most likely the way you put them together is wrongheaded in some way or another.
                  Just as you later say that you had left off a parameter in a function, AS code has many, many more settings in their dialog boxes (the equivalent of parameters), and every variation could never be tested. Amazingly, new users mostly, seem to select non-sensical combination of settings (I think it is a shotgun approach to trying everything), and it can generate strange code that has issues.

                  If someone is not sure if it's a bug (and I know both Cal, Bill and I have all posted code with a potential bug for others to verify), then post it here unless it security related (in which case I would probably be careful of discussing it in a public forum and would contact Alpha directly)

                  The other most important thing for readers of the forum to realize, is that no one posts that their script worked or that they have no problem. The forum addresses problems and solutions, and thus it skews the view that there are more significant problems with the tool. This is true for just about every software support forum, Alpha or otherwise.

                  Originally posted by Raymond Lyons View Post
                  And another thing: It's one thing to use older, more stable patches for live applications, but if developers don't develop in the latest patch version and report problems with it, genuine bugs will be more of a problem than they should be, i.e., many bugs introduced in the most recent patch won't get noticed and reported for several patches down the road.
                  Very true. I always develop in the latest version's latest patch (to effectively test for problems) as long as backward compatibility to older a5 versions is not required (e.g. A5v6). But I release in "stable for my application" releases (which is generally any release).

                  The most important thing to remember, is that at the end of the day, most of the A5 developers should come out ahead in their development time & dollars and probably deliver more bang for the buck than the alternatives!
                  Regards,

                  Ira J. Perlow
                  Computer Systems Design


                  CSDA A5 Products
                  New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
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                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

                    Alan,

                    Thx for your encouraging words. I still have a way to go but I agree; looking at what's out there I find A5 something quite different with an acceptable learning curve compared to anything els I've seen. I guess I'm going to get into it as deep as I can!

                    Frank
                    Frank

                    Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

                      I find with most things, the more zealous you are about the better you become. Every time I work with Av5 I discover something else it will do that I did not know. The more you the faster, easier and better you become.

                      My advice on Action Scripting is to use it as a tool to learn Xbasic. Many times when I struggle trying to code something, I use AS to show me the way or at least to point me in the direction to go. You can even use AS to generate code in a Xbasic script. There is little question in my mind that the more Xbasic you know, the better off you will be. Inevitably you will end up needing something AS can not address. While AS can do a lot for you, real programmers still write code.

                      Alan

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

                        To all

                        I personally feel that some of the comments made above are more out of frustration than anything else. Itís easy to blame Alpha rather than applying some lateral thinking.

                        I am sure if you looked at the message board for Filemaker, Access or any other engine you would see similar comments.

                        Bugs are often down to interpretation, loosely defined objectives, assumptive thinking, unrealistic expectations, poor design and a lack of thorough testing.

                        And yes sometimes manufacturer quality assurance lets some slip through the net. But compared to what I hear from fellow developers who do use Filemaker and Access, Alpha are a million light years in front when it comes to quickly and effectively fixing them.

                        The fact of the matter is that if you want to write great looking, robust and dependable applications in Alpha. Applications that are going to dovetail Windows, Microsoft Office, accounting software etc, you have to serve a solid apprenticeship learning Xbasic.

                        And once you have mastered it, you then have to use Xbasic wisdom to build your applications, and satisfy ever demanding clients.

                        Action scripting is a good tool, but it ainít good enough on its own.

                        Thank heavens Alpha provides us with both.

                        Itís like buying a sports car and believing that you can as good as Michael Schumacher.
                        Database Software Solutions Limited
                        www.dbasesolution.co.uk
                        http://www.precise360.co.uk
                        PRECISE360 -
                        LYNCHPIN -

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Bug after bug after bug.....

                          Originally posted by alexmuir View Post
                          The fact of the matter is that if you want to write great looking, robust and dependable applications in Alpha. Applications that are going to dovetail Windows, Microsoft Office, accounting software etc, you have to serve a solid apprenticeship learning Xbasic.
                          I beg to differ and no doubt, others will as well. While AS has its' place, it is capable of a robust application and a developer need not "serve a slolid apprenticeship learning xbasic".

                          And once you have mastered it, you then have to use Xbasic wisdom to build your applications, and satisfy ever demanding clients.
                          Action scripting is a good tool, but it ainít good enough on its own.
                          I disagree!!! I disagree!!! I disagree!!! I disagree!!! I disagree!!! Yes, there are some things that require Xbasic but it does stand on it's own, at least for me!!! I've written a robust app for my investigative work using AS. Keep in mind, a ROBUST application does not have to be complicated. It has to be user friendly (intuitive).

                          kenn
                          TYVM :) kenn

                          Knowing what you can achieve will not become reality until you imagine and explore.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: x basic and action scritping

                            Kenn

                            If you are just writing one application for your personal use, then you are probably correct.

                            When you are developing a dozen or so applications per year, each costing many thousands, and where you have to integrate with common day tools such as MS Office, or accounts packages, or VB applications, you need the power of Xbasic.

                            The applications need to be user friendly, simple, and intuitive. For simple requirements AS will suffice. Anything with a little bit of meat and you need a higher tool to achieve these objectives.

                            Unfortunately in trying to solve complicated business user problems you need a tool that is going to help you achieve simplification, which in turn facilitates robustness.

                            Xbasic helps us achieve that objective. AS doesn't.

                            Another consideration we have found is that with networks, applications written in Xbasic gives us different options which AS doesn't.

                            Finally the other reason we prefer to use Xbasic is because we have found with networks there are performance issues if you try to achieve the same objective with AS.

                            We haven't worked out why this is so, but put a button on a form using the AS genie and there are issues. Put the same button on the same form and write the Xbasic and there are no issues.

                            There is room for both but it depends on the application you are developing.

                            Alex
                            Database Software Solutions Limited
                            www.dbasesolution.co.uk
                            http://www.precise360.co.uk
                            PRECISE360 -
                            LYNCHPIN -

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: x basic and action scritping

                              Originally posted by alexmuir View Post
                              Kenn
                              We haven't worked out why this is so, but put a button on a form using the AS genie and there are issues. Put the same button on the same form and write the Xbasic and there are no issues.
                              Alex
                              Although I am still learning A5 (3 months now) I tend to agree with Alex. Here is what happened today: I created a fairly simple App and networked it (2 users). I have a button (all in AS) that emails a report to 8 receipients. It has been working perfectly for 2 weeks up to today. Today when an email is created and A5 opens Outlook Express, all the @ in the email addresses got replaced with %%%. I deleted the button, saved, recreated it, A5 would still replace the @ with %%%; repeated the same scenario 3 times. After a while as a last resort and by curiosity I took a look at the Xbasix codes... surprised (and relieved) to see the %%%, although in the AS script in the Send To: the @ are there. Somehow in AS when creating the Xbasic codes A5 decided to replace the @ with %%%. I converted to inline Xbasic, manually made the change and things are back to normal. I guess AS is not 100% reliable; knowing a tidbit of XBasic saved my day.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: x basic and action scritping

                                Hello Alex & Gaby,

                                I agree with you. AS certainly wasn't designed to replace Xbasic so obviously there are applications where AS is not appropriate.

                                Why does AS incerts the %%? Perhaps it's a bug. You might want to explore that a bit more.

                                When there are new versions and new patches, there are places where both Xbasic and AS will 'hiccup'. How often have you read a post where someone says they converted their app and now a piece of Xbasic no longer works. That doesn't mean there is a shortcoming for Xbasic or AS. It only means the environment has been changed and a correction must be made.

                                At any rate, I was only saying that AS can stand on it's own as it was designed to do. It does for me.

                                kenn
                                TYVM :) kenn

                                Knowing what you can achieve will not become reality until you imagine and explore.

                                Comment

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