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Thread: The power of a "Dialog" and the ease of use of a "Grid" component.

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    Default The power of a "Dialog" and the ease of use of a "Grid" component.

    When I first starting using A5, my intitial exposure and experience came from working with the "Grid" component. I liked the way I could easily get my fields onto a web page for adding and updating.

    It was weeks later before I even attempted to try to create a Dialog component. I wasn't clear on it's purpose at first.

    I tend to work with tables that have dozens of fields in them. The grid can easily use those field definitions to make up a reasonably functional data input page. However the dialog component has some features (like setting default values etc) that the grid doesn't have.

    My question is: Is there a way to avoid the tedium of creating a dialog with over sixty table fields without "fudging" with each and every field?

    I'm looking for the power of the Dialog component and the ease of design of the Grid component. Any suggestions?

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    Volunteer Moderator Steve Workings's Avatar
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    Default Re: The power of a "Dialog" and the ease of use of a "Grid" component.

    If you build enough dialogs you'll find some ways to do a bit of "mass production" but it's still a lot more work.

    One thing you might want to explore is using grid components, but then building it out with the freeform layout.
    -Steve


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    "Certified" Alphaholic NoeticCC's Avatar
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    Default Re: The power of a "Dialog" and the ease of use of a "Grid" component.

    It would be nice if this was possible by default - technically there is no reason why it shouldn't...

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    Volunteer Moderator Steve Workings's Avatar
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    Default Re: The power of a "Dialog" and the ease of use of a "Grid" component.

    Um, if what was possible by default?
    -Steve


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    Volunteer Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: The power of a "Dialog" and the ease of use of a "Grid" component.

    Tom, look at the code in my most recent post in the Code Archive for XML Output. It uses FOR..EACH and LISTS as a means to process multiple items without individual lines of code for each. You can also look at the ENUM functions that will list out all of the field/tables etc to lists for processing. I could envision using that method to save dialog variables to table fields in bulk. (You'd have to deal with some fields individually depending on control type).
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    "Certified" Alphaholic NoeticCC's Avatar
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    Default Re: The power of a "Dialog" and the ease of use of a "Grid" component.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Workings View Post
    Um, if what was possible by default?
    If grids had the same level of customisation available as dialogs.

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    Default Re: The power of a "Dialog" and the ease of use of a "Grid" component.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoeticCC View Post
    If grids had the same level of customisation available as dialogs.
    The above would be my "best of all worlds" solution. In fact, as I was learning A5 I couldn't actually "believe" that those same features "were NOT" there (e.g. in the Grid component).

    I need to have time to research some of Steve Woods suggestions. He's usually pretty "UP" on this type of stuff.

    My other thought was wouldn't it be nice to open up a new Dialog and have the OPTION to DUMP all the fields from and existing table right into that component in "one swell swope". To be honest, that's what most of us would consider to be an "Easy to Use" feature as marketing keep promoting!

    Doing it the way we have to do it now is counter intuitive and the A5 programmers have surely given us more sophisticated capabilities than this one. I wonder if there's some technical issue I'm not seeing here.

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    Default Re: The power of a "Dialog" and the ease of use of a "Grid" component.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fulltimer View Post
    The above would be my "best of all worlds" solution. In fact, as I was learning A5 I couldn't actually "believe" that those same features "were NOT" there (e.g. in the Grid component).

    I need to have time to research some of Steve Woods suggestions. He's usually pretty "UP" on this type of stuff.

    My other thought was wouldn't it be nice to open up a new Dialog and have the OPTION to DUMP all the fields from and existing table right into that component in "one swell swope". To be honest, that's what most of us would consider to be an "Easy to Use" feature as marketing keep promoting!

    Doing it the way we have to do it now is counter intuitive and the A5 programmers have surely given us more sophisticated capabilities than this one. I wonder if there's some technical issue I'm not seeing here.
    I have read that the some of the features, such as initial value or display evaluations, would be difficult to implement in a grid (the main part), with several rows.

    Partly I suspect this has to do with the Javascript being created getting too complex, especially with things like Dropdown boxes which can't be addressed in JS in quite the same way as other fields - however they CAN be addressed, and most importantly they ARE successfully addressed in the generated JS for Dialogs.

    However the areas where you would most likely need this sort of fancy dialog-style programming on a grid is not in the main grid (you can always use calculated fields and hidden fields to display different images etc. by selecting freeform), but in both the search part and the detail part, both of which tend to show only once (depending on how you use it, but most people seem to use the detail view to enter new data with just one record not three at once).

    If this should for some reason be too complicated, may I suggest adding a special "bound dialog" component type, which, unlike normal dialogs, CAN be used by grid linker components?

    It would also be fantastic if there was an option to select a dialog component to replace the default search and detail view parts of a grid, and, in the same way as you can map fields in a lookup grid, simply map the fields in the dialogs to the corresponding arguments and fields on the grid...

    (Speaking of which... how about dropdown datawindows as lookups for A5V9? Pretty please? I know how to do this sort of thing in Javascript but the reason I had to start using A5 was because I have too much work to do and kept losing track of my code in PHP/JS - but I know it is possible in JS, and it should be feasible to allow for this option to be selected in the properties too)

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