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Thread: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

  1. #1
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    Default Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Is it possible to change the looks of the Alpha Workspace on which our forms etc. are placed ?
    Standard it is colored grey, I would like to have a background picture placed there.
    Does anyone know if this can be done?

    Kind regards,

    Marcel

  2. #2
    Former Alpha Employee JerryBrightbill's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Marcel

    You can always use a bitmap as a form background. In form properties, select backdrop. You can change the color or apply a bitmap.

    Jerry

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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Hi Jerry,

    Yes, I know how to change the form background. But what I would like to do is change the looks of the workspace where the form is placed upon. (Hard to describe..). You know the space that is normally grey.
    Would that also be possible?

    Greetings,

    Marcel

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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Marcel,

    I'm not fully clear on the "workspace" you are referring to but have you investigated the "Styles" on your settings? Many aspects of the display which are grey under the "Alpha Five Default" style will be different upon switching to a different style.

    Steve

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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Hi Steve,

    Yes, I know. I am having trouble defining what I mean here. Let me put it this way: I mean the space that shows up when Alpha is loaded, but not yet any database.
    At that moment you are directly grinning at it.
    As it also runs in the runtime application, it would be nice if that had the same background as my forms, just a bit more transparant though.
    Could I attach an image to it in any way ?

    Greetings,

    MArcel

  6. #6
    Claudio Pilustrelli
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    I think he is refering to the Main Alphafive window. Where all the forms opens on top of it. I doubt we can change or customize that.

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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Hi Claudio,

    Yes that's what I meant. Why didn't I say that ?
    Maybe can it be changed on start-up ?

    Greetings,

    Marcel

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Scott Emerick's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Marcel,

    There is no way to do what you ask, however, you might want to look at this thread. It should give you some good work around ideas.

    http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/alphaphorum/read.php3?sortby=lastreply&direction=desc&num=11&id=55083&thread=54893#MSG54893

    Scott

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Marcel,

    As far as I know, it can't be changed. I'm glad you mentioned that, though. It would be nice to customize one's working environment since we spend so much time there. So, here I go...

    If* it is easy to "fix", could ver. 6 include a background color change?

    Peter

    *Damn the feature creepers!
    (guys like me :)

  10. #10
    Former Alpha Employee JerryBrightbill's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Marcel

    While that background can't be changed, there are ways around it in a completed application. One, you can open all forms maximized, which is what many developers do. Two, you can simulate maximized on any or all forms using window_position("fill", "fill"). This is what I do with an opening menu form. It fills the A5 window space and is always open. All other forms open on top of this form. If they are not set to fill the window, the menu is shomn in the background. You could just open a form on startup that is only a background and set it to fill the window.

    Jerry

  11. #11
    Alpha Software Employee Selwyn Rabins's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    It is not possible to do this in V5.
    In V6 it will be possible.
    Here is an extract from the V6 documentation describing how to do it.







    New Page 1


    col.whs1 {width: 100%;}
    tr.whs2 {x-cell-content-align: top;}
    td.whs3 {width: 100%; padding-right: 10px; padding-left: 10px;}
    ol.whs4 {list-style: decimal;}
    -->





    Creating Wallpaper for Your Application
    What is "Wallpaper"
    When you run Alpha Five and you have not maximized the child windows, you see
    a gray background behind each open window. This gray background is the
    application "wallpaper". Alpha Five lets you design your own wallpaper by
    specially configuring a form to be shown as the wallpaper.
    Creating Wallpaper
    Alpha Five Version 6 feature allows you to enhance the presentation of your
    application. You can now create "wallpaper” for your Alpha Five application.
    The

    "WINDOW".ZORDER() method, in combination with other Alpha Five features,
    allows you to use a form (as the background for your application) that:


    contains an image (or images)

    contains links to URLs

    contains an ActiveX control, such as an Internet browser

    or any combination of the above

    The technique is simple.


    After designing your "wallpaper" form, make the form fill
    the MDI client area without maximizing it.
    Place the following statement in the form's OnActivate
    event.








    topparent.window_position("fill","fill")




    To keep the form at the bottom of the stack when you open
    other windows and click on the wallpaper form, add the following statement
    to the form's OnDeactivate event.








    topparent.zorder("bottom")




    Modify the form's properties by right clicking on the
    form and selecting Properties ...

    Select the Form tab and check
    Hide status bar.

    Select the Window tab and
    uncheck all of the Window style options.

    Set the Frame style to
    "Dialog". Save your results.

    Supported By
    Alpha Five Version 6




  12. #12
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    So now we actually got to see something of V6....
    Looks good.
    Makes me think though, that the same trick could be done in V5.
    Why not make a form with the desired background, have it stretched out to the max of the background and leave it open just there, open the other forms just above it and....voila!
    Now see if it will work in the real world...

    Regards,

    Marcel

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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    As I already thought: it can be done.

    Create a form, go to properies.
    Go to the tab 'Window'.

    Remove the marks for sizeable, system menu, has caption, minimize button and maximize button. Frame style to 'tool'.
    On the tab 'backdrop' mark use bitmap in tile mode. Chose the right image file.

    Set an event on OnActivate. Using action scripting chose 'position window', then mark the box 'Size the window so that it fills the Alpha Five client area' and you are ready to go !

    Regards,

    Marcel

  14. #14
    Former Alpha Employee JerryBrightbill's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Marcel

    If you look at the code created, you are doing exactly the same as what I suggested, which is creating a non-maximized form that fills the window.

    Jerry

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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Hi Jerry,

    I will check that. Point is , that I am not too strong in xbasic code yet, I live on action scripting.

    But reading enough stuff from guys like you will get me there in the end...

    Good that it works. In this way you can customize your application even more.

    Kind regards,

    Marcel

  16. #16
    Alpha Software Employee Selwyn Rabins's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    it can almost be done in v5.

    the big difference is that in v6 the zorder property of a window can be set. the zorder property does not exist in v5.

    the reason that this is important is that you want the "wallpaper" form to always be at the bottom of the stack of open windows.

    in a5 if you were to click on background "wallpaper" form, it would go to the top of the "zorder", obscuring the other open windows.

  17. #17
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Selwyn,

    I hate to be so stoburn to try to disagree with the President of Alpha, but... I think you are not right.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but you can deal with the problem that when you click on the background it would obscure the other open windows by adding some code with action scripting.

    On the OnActivate Event add the command DISABLE WINDOW.
    Problem gone.

    Is this a thought too easy and did I not see the real problem ? I tested it, it worked....

    Regards,

    Marcel

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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    I guess no comments mean I am right here.....

    Greetings,

    Marcel

  19. #19
    Alpha Software Employee Selwyn Rabins's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    sounds like a very clever solution. well done!

    the z-order feature was added as a general purpose feature in v6, and it occured to us that it could be used for the "wallpaper" effect, but you have found another way to achieve the same end result. as is often the case in a5, there is more than one way to skin the cat.

  20. #20
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    That is right, you made a very very good product indeed which keeps on amazing me with its power and functionality.
    It is hard to believe all this can be unleashed by a rather unexperienced database programmer like myself.

    However I guess being unexperienced goes by quickly when working with the product for 8-10 hours a day.

    Kind regards,

    Marcel

  21. #21
    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    8-10 hours a day?

    At that rate you'll be an expert in a month!

  22. #22
    "Certified" Alphaholic Keith Hubert's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Using Marcel's idea. You must create a blank dummy form that does not get focus. You have it as the startup form and then run everything from there.

    Here's one I made earlier.

    Regards

    Keith Hubert
    Guild Member
    London.

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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    Peter,

    Please reconsider your calculation of being an expert and this time think of my low intelligence level.......

    Greetings,

    Marcel

  24. #24
    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default RE: Can you change Alpha Workspace Appearance?

    ha ha ha...

    Marcel,

    We should all have such "low intelligence"!

    PG

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