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Scripts are turning me into an alcoholic.

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  • Scripts are turning me into an alcoholic.

    Does anyone know if there is a "Scripts for beginners" type of book out there for non-programmer types like me? I just got Alpha 5 v4.5 and I suck at it. I resigned the idea of making Xbasic scipts and decided to try some simple action scripts, but have yet to make anything that works. I know I must be missing something here, but I don't know what. I'm wondering if that book "Learning Alpha Five: The Database For Everyone" covers action scripts... Has anyone read it?

  • #2
    RE: Scripts are turning me into an alcoholic.

    Hello Ryan,
    I have both of Dr. Waynes books, and the one that has
    the most coverage on "Action Scripting" is the "XBASIC for Everyone". Chapter 30 is devoted to Action Scripting, all 6 pages. However the index references other pages in other
    chapters as well.

    You may find instant help at Dr. Waynes web site, or (if you have not done so already) you might try
    searching this site for "Action Script".

    Hang in there, this forum has helped me tremendously. I'm looking forward to a much improved (I hope) version 5.


    • #3
      RE: Scripts are turning me into an alcoholic.

      Ryan, you might also check out the first issue of the Alpha Newsletter. There's an article (Alpha Four to Alpha Five transition) that covers the basics of creating simple scripts.

      If you got the newest issue, check the archive (lower right) to go to the first issue. If you didn't get it, let me know so I can send it to you.


      • #4
        RE: Scripts are turning me into an alcoholic.


        Can you give us an example of what you're trying to do? We'll be glad to help you with it. And, most everyone on this board has been where you are now. Beyond any doubt, there is light at the end of your tunnel. You only have to ask us to help you light th torch.

        TYVM :) kenn

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


        • #5
          RE: Scripts are turning me into an alcoholic.

          Well, my immediate problem is creating a simple action script. I go to the code tab in the control panel, click New, then choose script. I type in a name and choose Action Script as the editor. With the script recorder window open recording low level Xbasic commands, I update a field with "test." Now, with newly created code in hand, excited as a school-boy with a new lunchbox, I realize I have no idea where to put it. Optimally, I'd like a window to pop up asking the user what text to update the field with, but I can't even get the thing to work at a basic level.

          That's my immediate problem. My big problem is a little more complex.

          See, my usage of Alpha 5 is a little unique. My department is moving from Alpha 4 to Alpha 5, but we don't use it in the traditional way (at least according to all of the tutorials I've seen). All we really need to do is get a table in, clean it up (ie. make sure addresses are in the correct format, check for strange characters, look for foreign addresses, etc.), and perform one or two updates. In Alpha 4, you could create keystroke scripts, which was nice because it didn't care what the name of the file was. It just followed the sequence of keys you specified. The problem I'm running into with Alpha 5 is creating generic scripts that can be used without having table names hardwired into them. I also need these scripts to be independent of the databases I'm working in; that is, accessable from other databases. I want to be able to use the same script over and over again on different tables. Hopefully that makes sense. Can Alpha 5 do this?



          • #6
            RE: Scripts are turning me into an alcoholic.


            One of the benefits of version 5 is in the area of action scripting

            Relative to v4.5 there are about 20 times more action scripts and it is a menu driven process. (you can of course go back and forth and inspect the xbasic that is generated)

            If you would like to try the beta of version 5 please email me at [email protected]

            thanks richard rabins
            Richard Rabins
            Co Chairman
            Alpha Software


            • #7
              RE: Scripts are turning me into an alcoholic.


              A5 is an event driven process. Events fire when things happen in the program and scripts are attached to events. When the event fires, the script is executed. For example, there are events for forms, for fields on forms, for tables, for buttons, and so on.

              The easiest to illustrate is a button (I think). Let's say you want to create a button to open a form in the new record mode. Go to the tables tab in control panel and right click on the table name and open the default form. Now put the form in design mode by clicking on the leftmost icon in the top row (looks like a triangle and a pencil).

              Now open the toolbox (may already be open) it's the icon on the top row that looks like a form with 4 boxes in it. Choose the button icon from the toolbox (the one with OK written on it) and left click. Now move to the form and draw the button anywhere on the form (hold the left button down and draw, release the button) a genie will open up. Choose built in action and you'll see a whole list of things you can program the button to do with a only a few clicks. Choose record operations in the left panel and enter new record in the right. Follow the genie and you'll create the script. In this case you're programming the on push event of the button to create a new record in the form. It's just as easy to create a button to save the record, cancel the changes, print a report, etc. If you save this form, A5 will ask for a name and save your form under that name (it is no longer the default form; but rest assured the default form still exists).

              In this case, A5 will create the xbasic programming for you the on push event of the button. In A5, many of the actions that required a script in A4 are created automatically for you, but it's not always intuitive. The next step up in programming is Action Scripting which offers more flexibility than the button genie and would be used for programming other events for forms, tables, etc. The most flexible and powerful scripting is done in xbasic. Unless you're doing complex data and table manipulation, xbasic is seldom required.

              I hope this detail doesn't insult your intellegence and that you'll persevere in the learning curve. In some ways, you're better off learning A5 if you've never even seen A4 (humble opinion there).

              I really support Dr. Wayne's books as a straightforward way to learn A5 and Xbasic. The $59 is well worth it and will jump start the A5 programming process.



              • #8
                RE: Scripts are turning me into an alcoholic.


                The easiest way to learn how to program scripts in xbasic
                is to select "View Script Recorder" from the menu bar. Do a few simple things and see how scripts are recorded. You can even paste these scriplets into you own code!