Alpha Video Training
Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 61 to 88 of 88

Thread: Pulling my hair out

  1. #61
    "Certified" Alphaholic Lance Gurd's Avatar
    Real Name
    Lance Gurd
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Southampton, UK
    Posts
    1,422

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    The latest build 1896 - 3222 seems to have cured my problems. I would like to say thank -you to the Alpha team

  2. #62
    Member
    Real Name
    Alastair Whyley
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Nottingham, England
    Posts
    371

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    The latest build hasn't cured my problems!

    The OnRowChange event seems to have been crippled in the last 2 patches.

    I agree with a lot of the posters on this thread, there needs to be more quality control on these patches. Curing one problem and introducing another used to be what other software companies used to do! I am very concerned to see this occuring with Alpha.

    A lot of the problems I have encountered with this latest version seem to have been caused by the "Patches". The more problems I encounter with this software the less likely I am to upgrade the next time around.

  3. #63
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    Richard Coleman
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Franklin, TN
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Hopefully this will not 'anger' anyone. I skimmed thru the thread and did not
    see any reference to a common sense approach to 'new upgrades'.
    No one is going to change from one database system to another (say from
    Alpha5 to File Maker9) without doing extensive testing on the new system.

    That same approach might be a good idea for Alpha upgrades.

    I personally DO NOT use a new upgrade on any 'working, completed'
    database until I have tested it with the new upgrade. I do this by copying
    the database into a separate folder and running the test on the 'test folder'.
    It sometimes takes a few hours to 'get approval' for the new upgrade, but I
    NEVER have a problem with the working database going bad or losing
    valuable current data.

    D

  4. #64
    Member
    Real Name
    Doug Page
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Posts
    963

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    No anger from me Dick. It's just common sense! I am also quite surprised with the importance of updates, that more people do not maintain a copy of at least the last update that worked properly for them. Then if you do find things not working you just have to reinstall the previous update and quit raising your blood pressure or "Pulling my hair out".

  5. #65
    Member
    Real Name
    Rob
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    I didn't know that we were getting a new database system from Alpha every few weeks. I always thought that patches were small fixes that don't require hours of testing. Go figure.

  6. #66
    Member
    Real Name
    Ron Leunis
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    652

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Even "so called small changes" or patches can have great unforeseen impact for your application users. That's why you should test whether it has an impact on your application. By making sure all the important functions still work as they did before. A special test environment should be used for that before you implement on the real live system.

    Whenever there is a patch from Alpha, I first look at the release notes, save that in a separate folder which mentions the build and version with the date, and then download the patch in the same. This way I can always go back to previous patches when tests (or feedback f.i. from this board) advise so. regards, Ron

  7. #67
    Member
    Real Name
    Jarek
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    That's all true - we should take precautions before we install new patches, but how it is possible that somebody is releasing new patch for some software before testing it before on the first place. I don't know how alpha software works but I think it should be common sense to test your product before giving it to people! Why we (customers) have to be the beta testing people.
    I know that alpha is a good software and so on... but it my eyes alpha lost a lot. Now I am to deep with my application to change alpha for something else, but I am not sure to use it for my next project!
    I just look at the new patches and what I see - 3 patches in 3 days - that does not look good. I don't have to install it to know that something is wrong - if alpha will at least try to test it they will catch the bugs before publishing another patch!
    In my opinion something is not right.
    Dear alpha software developers please save us some of our time, reputation, stressful days, and test your software before giving it to us. Please remember that we are your customers not enemies.

  8. #68
    Member
    Real Name
    David Volgas
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Richard,

    I think the sentiment which many on this forum have is summarized by the statement that we are happy with current features (maybe a few niceties more) but we would rather have development dollars spent on making A5 an airtight program. I view it and any applications I develop as "fragile". In Access, I can depend on two things 1) the program will work as designed and 2) I will never understand the design.

    In A5, I desperately need to quit being frustrated with the thought of code which doesn't work ... is it me or is it a bug? The answer often is that it is a bug. Even simple things like trying to select code from the Code Editor - the cursor does not behave like it would in a text editor or word processor. Scroll bars don't work like every other program in Windows. And on and on.

    I have spent many hours with A5 developing some fairly sophisticated patient research databases and I would love to deploy them to other docs, but I can't .. they are too fragile.

    A5 has a great product. It is THE development tool for RAD of databases. It suffers not from lack of exposure and marketing, but from being an unstable product. Even us non-professional developers do not want to share applications which are unstable. I don't have the time to troubleshoot anything but my own apps.

    Please share with the rest of the leadership what I think most of us agree with ... make it stable, rock-solid and the product's existing features will sell it for you.

    Dave Volgas, MD
    David A. Volgas, MD

  9. #69
    Alpha Software Employee Richard Rabins's Avatar
    Real Name
    Richard Rabins
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    2,347

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    David we take these comments seriously.

    What specifically are you referring to?

    Sincerely
    Richard Rabins
    Co Chairman
    Alpha Software

  10. #70
    Member
    Real Name
    David Volgas
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Thank you Richard. You and the rest of the Alpha team are approachable and seem to listen, which is why there is such interest in the product.

    Specifics include the bug reported elsewhere with the browse.onrowchange method, which doesn't work. Also, the inconsistencies which I pointed out above with the way windows behave. Even scolling up and down a record set doesn't behave the way other Windows programs behave - sometimes I scroll down, but the record set scrolls up.

    Documentation is generally good, but the loss of your fellow who did all the help system and the like is missed. For example, the help files don't really tell someone who doesn't understand how to do it, how to use XBasic to manipulate individual fields within a set. For example, see my post : http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/al...ad.php?t=77500

    The published instructions don't really work. I figured out a work around, but it required about 6 hours of trial to realize that I wasn't doing it wrong ... it just doesn't work as published.

    It is very time-consuming to troubleshoot people's programs, but having several examples published of how to do complicated things would help. This could even be linked to the help system.

    A5 seems to be geared heavily toward the web, and while many or even most people might see that as a useful thing, my primary interest is in desktop apps. For healthcare information, security is paramount and something I don't have the legal background to ensure whether A5 can technically do it or not.

    For what it's worth.....
    Dave
    David A. Volgas, MD

  11. #71
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    Jeff Kletrovets
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    1,135

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Dave,

    Specifics include the bug reported elsewhere with the browse.onrowchange method,
    FWIW, I too have experienced this issue. A lot of parts of a major app I am developing stopped working(thankfully I have not deployed yet). I have found that if I took the code from the onrowchange and put it in the onfetch event things started working (sometimes with minor tweaking). From what I can tell the onrowchange event does not work at all anymore. I know it is a work around to some degree - but why did it work before and now not at all.

    Richard....I echo what Dave says...there are just too many inconsistencies. One problem I had just yesterday is that I have a simple parent child set. I have some calculated fields (lookups) that are based on the child table. I then show the calc fields for informational purposes to the user. This works great for every record as you scroll through the child browse on the form...that is...unless you are on the topmost child record for any particular parent. Sometimes it shows the values sometimes it doesn't. As soon as you navigate off the topmost record everything resynchs and every thing is fine.

    I am definitely following others advice to NEVER patch or upgrade once this major app is deployed. It just doesn't seem there should be that degree of skittishness around your product.


    That being said...I love Alpha(frustrating as it can be)....just yesterday I was also blown away at how fast I was able to do something else because of the built in tools. As I have said before, there is true genius in Alpha. It just needs to be made more stable.


    Regards,

    Jeff

  12. #72
    Member
    Real Name
    David Volgas
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Another niggle... when using the text editor for a memo field, you can only place one word on a line ... the editor automatically inserts a <CR><LF> after each word....

    Dave
    David A. Volgas, MD

  13. #73
    Member
    Real Name
    Fred Cochrane
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fitchburg, MA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Richard,
    I have also been impacted by a patch that stopped lookup tables from populating (the problem seems to be fixed now).
    I don't know if this helps, but I started the software quality assurance programs at two large computer companies that were having similar problems. Both results were successful. I'm in Methuen and I'd be glad to come and discuss what we did to just give you some background.
    Alpha Five is such a great product; I'd like these issues to go away.
    Regards,
    Fred

  14. #74
    Member
    Real Name
    David Volgas
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    and yet another "niggle"... why can't I exit the browse design screen without saving a layout? Sometimes i want to look at browse view just for a particular thing and then quit ... not save.
    David A. Volgas, MD

  15. #75
    Member
    Real Name
    T. Lowell Dent
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rabins View Post
    We sincerely apologize for the problem in the latest Build!


    in the meantime please go to http://downloads.alphasoftware.com/a...nate/index.htm

    and then

    please go back to

    Build 1847_3216

    (this is near the end of the page)

    Our plan is release a fixed New Build Tomorrow
    Thank goodness for this thread! I just paid for, installed and started my learn cycle. I was very impressed by the preliminaries (hype) re A5.

    I did make one call to A5 folks on my initial order and got a speedy resolution which made me feel good. I almost cancelled the whole order due to the condescending attitude of the A5 employee. He gave me an uneasy feeling about the whole operation.

    I, too am a small company yet I have never once seen a client who gave a damn about my problems. They just want what they are paying for to work, nothing more or less than anyone else and they also don't give a damn if I have no competition.

    I liked what I read. It was spot on; quick db deployment, minimal code writing, etc, etc, Problem is I can't get through the first chapter of the first lesson, which I guess should be lesson enough. The button to open "Field Rules" and other buttons in the Control Panel do not respond, I have no idea what to do next. So I think I will punt and give the ball back to A5, ask for a refund and get on with my business. I am already late due to my asking for time to explore A5 to see if it might offer a better solution than Access or FM. I think it might if I could just get through the learning cycle.

  16. #76
    Member trackmanpete's Avatar
    Real Name
    Pete Schuder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, MA
    Posts
    592

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    If you are interested in the desktop operation, I would suggest you download Alpha Sports from the sample folder you can find in the a5v9 folder. You will find that all works properly there. If you are in a hurry, I don't think Alpha will be all that helpful unless you are just designing a simple address database, etc. The hardest thing about Alpha is changing the way you think and use databases, especially when coming from Access and/or Filemaker. Yes, there are some problems with Alpha, but if you are coming from Access or Filemaker, you know there are many problems with both of those programs as well. The big difference is that this Forum and Alpha are responsive to issues, with this Forum being a godsend.
    "Ollie, remember how dumb I used to be? Well, I'm much better now."

    Pete

  17. #77
    Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
    Real Name
    Peter Greulich
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    11,629

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Quote Originally Posted by tldent View Post
    ...The button to open "Field Rules" and other buttons in the Control Panel do not respond, I have no idea what to do next.
    Make sure that you first click on a table, then field rules.

    So I think I will punt and give the ball back to A5, ask for a refund and get on with my business. I am already late due to my asking for time to explore A5 to see if it might offer a better solution than Access or FM.
    Alpha works just fine. If you encounter basic problems such as the one you describe, that always suggests either a very simple misunderstanding on the user's part, or a bad install. With a little patience you can get through it. But, if you're "out of time", no one can help w. that one.

  18. #78
    Member
    Real Name
    David Volgas
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Peter,

    while I agree Access and FM have problems, they don't seem to be as pervasive as A% in it's current build. Another thing today ... I added a field and a field rule to calculate a difference between dates - then press the re-evaluate field rules and I get a popup asking if I want to mark invalid records. When I browse the table, the first 15 records calculating correctly, but when it encountered a record where one of the dates is missing, the program quit trying to enforce the rules for all the other records.

    Of course, there was no error message saying it didn't just skip the bad record and continue... this is frustrating!!!!

    You expect certain behaviors from a program and when you don't get it, it is very difficult to find out what to do now.

    Dave
    David A. Volgas, MD

  19. #79
    Member
    Real Name
    David Volgas
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    let me correct the last post... the browse simply doesn't show those fields unless you click on the field ... weird!!
    David A. Volgas, MD

  20. #80
    Member
    Real Name
    David Volgas
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Alright, so the answer to this little riddle is ....
    if one of the two fields upon which the calculation is blank, the result will be some huge number. If that number doesn't fit in the size field I have as the calculated field, it won't give you an error, it will just fail.
    David A. Volgas, MD

  21. #81
    Member trackmanpete's Avatar
    Real Name
    Pete Schuder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, MA
    Posts
    592

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    David:
    I still consider myself a rookie, despite spending quite a few hours every day "playing" with a5v9. What I find happening to me too often is that I get a bit overconfident in my abilities of mastering Alpha, especially when using the Action Script, which is really like having super training wheels for my two wheel bike. I get lulled into thinking I am doing everything correctly. Many times I find that I have skipped a step or don't fully understand the process and when something goes wrong, I immediately think there is a bug, since there are a number of posts discussing bugs. I am trying to learn to be more careful with my coding and also trying to not jump to conclusions.

    When I worked with Access I was left to my own learning curve and became frustrated by having to buy lots of books that either were too simplistic or dealt with complex workarounds due to Access internal programming issues. I gave up on Filemaker after v4 because it just didn't do much of what I needed to do and I haven't seen too much improvement since then.

    So, I do agree with posters who would like to see a really stable Alpha 5 and finally get the browse issues under control, but I also know that many issues that begin as possible "bugs" turn out to be my lack of skill in manipulating this excellent program to do what I want it to do.

    I have seen from your posts that you are quite knowledgeable with Alpha, so I am not trying to say anything negative about your posts, just making some observations that I have found as I keep trying to learn.

    Just my thoughts as I yearn for spring to come along...
    "Ollie, remember how dumb I used to be? Well, I'm much better now."

    Pete

  22. #82
    Member
    Real Name
    David Volgas
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    I think the definition of "bug" is rather vague. My feeling is that things which are errors should be flagged as errors. If I try to put a huge number in a field which is too small, the program should beep at me, not simply fail to do what I asked it to do with no feedback.

    However, I do agree after wrestling with Access and always coming back here, that many times "bugs" are simply my misunderstanding the way the program is working. Still, the program should be relatively intuitive and consistent. If I eliminate the calculated field and simply try to update the field using an update operation, the program correctly tells me that the field I'm trying to post to isn't big enough. It should do that when I try to do it with field rules too.

    BTW, why don't field rules save when you exist field rules screen or at least prompt you to save, like every other window in the Microsoft world? How many times do I change a field rule and forget to formally save the changes????

    Guess what I'm saying it that instead of new "features", I'd be the happiest guy in the world if A5 worked consistent with all other windows programs (scrolling consistently, e.g.) and was internally consistent.

    Dave
    David A. Volgas, MD

  23. #83
    Member trackmanpete's Avatar
    Real Name
    Pete Schuder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, MA
    Posts
    592

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    BTW, why don't field rules save when you exit field rules screen or at least prompt you to save, like every other window in the Microsoft world? How many times do I change a field rule and forget to formally save the changes????
    You are right. I have been caught closing without saving a number of times. Seems to me that is the only window (perhaps the report window) where this is the case. More than likely an oversight.
    Last edited by trackmanpete; 01-18-2009 at 09:23 PM.
    "Ollie, remember how dumb I used to be? Well, I'm much better now."

    Pete

  24. #84
    Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
    Real Name
    Peter Greulich
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    11,629

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Quote Originally Posted by davidv43 View Post

    Of course, there was no error message saying it didn't just skip the bad record and continue... this is frustrating!!!!

    You expect certain behaviors from a program and when you don't get it, it is very difficult to find out what to do now.
    Dave,

    I don't disagree w. you. But my response to the person above was merely pointing out that you CAN (of course) edit field rules, etc. That person either misunderstands something very simple or has a bad install. As you know, A5 is a FULLY functional program. Sure, there are bugs, quirks and glitches. Nobody likes them. I agree, fix 'em. I have vented many times my own frustrations on this board. But to suggest that even the most basic functionality in Alpha is non-functional (as did that person) is patently ridiculous. I think you know that very well. The VAST majority of features in A5 work as advertised. I just don't want some newbie to think that A5 is a fundamentally flawed program where even the moist basic features don't work. It works just fine, bugs, quirks and glitches not withstanding.

  25. #85
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    Tom Cone Jr
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    23,300

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    If I eliminate the calculated field and simply try to update the field using an update operation, the program correctly tells me that the field I'm trying to post to isn't big enough. It should do that when I try to do it with field rules too.
    I agree, that would be very nice. However, has anyone ever submitted a new features wishlist item on this? Has anyone ever submitted a formal bug report?

    When defining a new field rule calc expression I personally believe it's the developer's responsibility to verify that it can be evaluated for all records in the table. At minimum that means scanning the table to see if all field values required by the calc expression are present. If a needed field value is empty, why doesn't the developer anticipate that and adapt the calc field expression accordingly? Proper use of the IF() statement could be used here, could it not? At some point the developer must take responsibility for the results that occur when we instruct Alpha to do something that is impossible. I guess what I'm saying is that the methods Alpha uses to report errors can certainly be improved, and we need to offer suggestions and feedback to Alpha accordingly. But, in this case since an empty numeric field will have a huge value it would be prudent to design the data input routines so that no records are saved with empty numeric fields when those fields will be used in subsequent calculations.

    -- tom

  26. #86
    Member
    Real Name
    David Volgas
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    Good point, Tom. I wasn't aware that one could use IF statements in the field rules expressions. That's a good technique... will try it. However, I still think that if the program is smart enough to stop an illegal operation in one place, it should stop it elsewhere.

    dave
    David A. Volgas, MD

  27. #87
    "Certified" Alphaholic Stan Mathews's Avatar
    Real Name
    Stan Mathews
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Bowling Green, KY
    Posts
    25,119

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    I wasn't aware that one could use IF statements in the field rules expressions.
    Don't confuse the if-then-else conditional control structure with the if() statement (function).

  28. #88
    Member
    Real Name
    David Volgas
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Pulling my hair out

    that works very nicely! Thank you! I didn't know you could do that!

    dave
    David A. Volgas, MD

Similar Threads

  1. my latest hair-brained scheme
    By dik_coleman in forum Alpha Five Version 6
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-28-2004, 08:06 AM
  2. HELP! Ok I'm running out of hair.
    By Joseph Claeys in forum Alpha Five Version 5
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-07-2004, 03:47 PM
  3. Coding problem has me pulling my hair out!
    By Denny Johnson in forum Alpha Five Version 5
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-05-2004, 05:59 PM
  4. Another hair-brained idea
    By dik_coleman in forum Alpha Five Version 5
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-04-2004, 11:37 PM
  5. Pulling data
    By TerriH in forum Alpha Five Version 4
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-22-2001, 04:18 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •