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a5 function notes

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  • a5 function notes

    As some of you may know, I built an A5v5_Help.hlp file many years ago. It was eventually updated to include most of the A5v6 functions and a lot of v7 and v8 functions. However, there were 2 issues with it (1) it was a .hlp file and all the new files are .chm and (2) the source files got corrupted and I can't even update the existing .hlp file anymore.

    SO, I started a new .chm "Help" file about 5 years ago. After starting to copy and paste a lot of the help info from my original file, I decided that was too time consuming and a waste of time because most of my help info already existed in the latest .chm file from A5 and, now, on the Wiki.

    HOWEVER, I was still running into 3 or 4 problems:
    1. Some functions do strange/unexpected things and I would forget about the issues and/or solutions between uses.
    2. Some functions are much faster than other similar functions and I don't always remember which ones are faster.
    3. Some function info is very hard to find unless you already know the exact spelling of a function. The keywords in the A5 help files were apparently selected automatically and include a lot of junk but don't include other possible synonyms. For example, looking up "delete" probably won't find the "word_remove" functions so you won't find them unless you already know their names.
    4. This is related to #3 - Even if you've entered a search word that will list the function you are looking for, many times that function is in a list of 500 hits (it seems to stop at 500 so there might actually be more) making it very hard to find the function you want.

    So, I've been building an A5_function_notes "help" file that can be accessed here:
    - The keywords are entered manually and include synonyms where applicable. In other words, the keywords are applicable.
    - Items that are hard to find are listed so you can at least find out what the function name is. (You will have to use A5's Help/Wiki in many cases to get more details about the function - adding that was just too time consuming.)
    - Comments about strange or unexpected results are shown in red.
    - Note that it does not include all A5 functions - only those that I've found hard to locate or where I want to add more comments about issues or speed.

    Let me know once in awhile if you use it and find it useful. The more people find it useful, the more I'm likely to update the on-line version. It does take some time and I don't want to waste time if it isn't worthwhile.

    The Contents page is VERY limited but you should at least go there and read the "About" page. Because the Contents page is so limited, use the Index or Search tabs to find things. You may also find the "Change History" page on the Contents tab useful.

    If you find things that you think would be worth adding to this file, let me know. But I reserve the right to decide what I will include and when I will get around to adding it.

    Disclaimer: There are no guarantees of accuracy. I believe everything to be accurate but you may find errors; if so, let me know. Sometimes there are changes with newer versions of A5 than when the text was written and sometimes things work differently on different operating systems. 100% accuracy is hard to achieve.

    EDIT: Oops, something is wrong and it's not showing anything added after 2012. I'll get it fixed as soon as I can.
    Last edited by CALocklin; 01-06-2016, 08:04 PM.

  • #2
    Re: a5 function notes


    As always, thanks for your continuing contributions.

    There can be only one.


    • #3
      Re: a5 function notes

      Where's the LIKE! button???
      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


      • #4
        Re: a5 function notes

        Nice job, Cal.
        AlphaBase Solutions, LLC


        • #5
          Re: a5 function notes

          Thanks Cal
          Dave Mason

          Skype is dave.mason46


          • #6
            Re: a5 function notes

            Great idea and a great way to share this type of information.

            In that spirit I have the following tidbit. I leave it to you if you want to add it.

            The evaluate_template function and the evaluate_template_private function both show [,c macro1[,...c macro]] in the pop-up help.

            However this is not documented in any documentation that I could find. I think the following code shows how it can be used.

            I'll leave it to others to decide if it is useful.

            DIM Name as C = "Smith"
            DIM Result as C
            DIM xBasic as C = "Result = \"The Patient last name is: <1>\"" 
            ? Result
            = "The Patient last name is: Smith"


            • #7
              Re: a5 function notes

              Thanks Cal, Nice Work!

              Mike Reed
              Phoenix, AZ


              • #8
                Re: a5 function notes

                Cal - This is like seeing an old friend again. I'm anxious to take a look. Thank You very much. ~ Tom


                • #9
                  Re: a5 function notes

                  Wow! Thanks for the quick feedback.

                  It turns out it had the latest data all along - except it wasn't showing the latest "change history" page on my browser. Refreshing the page didn't work because refreshing that page simply refreshed the Index page rather than the topic page. I had to actually clear the browser cache in order to see the latest updates.

                  THIS IS IMPORTANT because I intend to update it periodically and you may have to do the same with your browser.

                  I've also added Paul's comments about the Evaluate_template() functions.
                  Last edited by CALocklin; 01-07-2016, 01:19 PM.


                  • #10
                    Re: a5 function notes

                    Stupendous Cal
                    very rich in information - and readable. Kudos to you.
                    Much appreciated.


                    • #11
                      Re: a5 function notes

                      Outstanding! Well done and thank you Cal!
                      Glen Schild

                      My Blog


                      • #12
                        Re: a5 function notes


                        Thanks! This looks to be very useful.

                        -- tom


                        • #13
                          Re: a5 function notes


                          Many thanks. What a great gift to start the New Year.
                          Keith Hubert
                          Alpha Guild Member
                          KHDB Management Systems
                          Skype = keith.hubert

                          For your day-to-day Needs, you Need an Alpha Database!


                          • #14
                            Re: a5 function notes

                            Cal - Thanks for this, very helpful. I'm not in this league, above responders, but sincerely appreciate your work. I know your wx has been extremely bad but hows the instrument ticket coming?


                            • #15
                              Re: a5 function notes

                              Got my instrument rating last spring and my first two cross country flights after that were planned for what was supposed to be a nice day but ended up requiring some IFR time to complete - including one approach in about a 500' ceiling. So the rating came in handy right away.