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Thread: Xdialog - still in use??

  1. #1
    Member
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    Default Xdialog - still in use??

    This is your basic new user question.

    I was at the v10 conference and I don't think I ever heard a word about Xdialog. Is it going away? Has it already gone away? Are there better way of handling this class of problem? (I think the answer with v10 is 'yes'.)

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    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Keep in mind that xdialog is the way that Alpha leverages new feature within the development environment. e.g., the Web Project's controlpanel is an xdialog, as are many, if not most, of the dialogs that one uses throughout the A5 development environment. It's because of xdialog, that Alpha is able to rapidly develop new features (RAD!). Xdialog ain't going nowhere, fast!

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    Member ColinJD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    A large part of Alpha's revenue probably is upgrades for existing clients, thus circa release time expect all the publicity to be new features.
    XDialog is mature (aka old) . If it were to go away, I strongly expect it would be replaced with another XDialog type aproach.

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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Hi Greg, when they were discussing the desktop features at the end, it was mentioned that the Grid component can be embedded in a xdialog and a xdialog can be embedded in a form. That is how we will be able to use grid components in a form.

    Other than that not to much mentioned.

    Overall I found the Desktop Enhancements weak and minimal.
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    "Certified" Alphaholic mmaisterrena's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    I think that v10 will be a good deal for desktop users just for the possibility off using grids, lets face it browses in A5 suck and aren't professional enough (I know alpha should correct this but they haven't, and maybe they will never do it).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Hello Steven,

    I do remember that now that you mention is. I get I was zoning out. And I think I had seen that feature demo'd in one of the videos as well.

    ----

    I'm not sure that I am qualified to respond to mmaisterrena comment. Over the years, I have looked at several products and Alpha (with it's grids) still seems to stand out. The default browse could use a lot of cosmetic work and they have given us the tools to do that. But I agree that I want to produce professional looking programs. But there is a lot you can get by with for 'in-house' use. That may work for most.

    The other point is that learning action scripting and xbasic aren't optional. To get what I want from Alpha, I'm going to have to dig deeper.

    I'm trying to get up to speed. The manual on learning Xdialog is 200 or 300 pages. If I can skip that for now, I will.

  7. #7
    Alpha Software Employee Richard Rabins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    xdialogs are not going away! (as one of the other folks mentioned web grids can now be embedded in xdialogs and place on forms)

    there are other enhancements to xdialogs as well

    Some of the other desktop enhancements in v10 are shown here

    http://news.alphasoftware.com/V10Pre...uresVideos.htm

    Alpha Five V10 - What's New on the Desktop

    Debugger

    Number Category Description
    Debugger The V10 debugger has been completely rewritten. It is much faster and has a huge number of new features to make your debugging easier and more productive.

    key new debugger features.

    • color coding
    • search for text
    • goto line
    • hover over variable to see value
    • drag drop to watch window
    • drill down of property and array values
    • comment out a line at runtime
    • persistent watch variables
    • save watch variables to file
    • load watch variables
    • expand/collapse watches makes it easy to see multi-line values
    • step out



    Conditional Breakpoints .

    Previously, if you set a breakpoint in your code, the debugger would always stop when that breakpoint was hit. Now, you can set a breakpoint and specify a condition. The debugger will only stop if the condition is true.


    Global Breakpoints Sometimes when you are debugging code, you know that a variable's value is getting changed, but you don't know exactly which section of your code is changing the variable. The new 'Global Breakpoints' feature allows you to set a breakpoint on an expression.


    Variable Logging This video shows how you can use the new Logging feature in the Debugger to track changes to a variable.



    Supercontrols


    Alphabet Button Search you can put an 'Alphabet Button' search bar on a Form layout using the new 'Alphabet Button Search' supercontrol. The control puts buttons for each letter of the alphabet on the form and when you click a button the table is searched for records that start with the letter of the button you pressed. You can choose options that automatically disable or hide buttons for which there are no matching records.


    Dropdown Browse Search

    you can to put a 'Dropdown Browse Search' supercontrol on a Form. The control is like an edit-combo box. When you click the down arrow, a drop down multi-column browse appears. You can navigate to a particular record in the dropdown browse and then when you click on a record in the dropdown browse, the dropdown browse is closed and the record shown in the Form is changed to show the record that you selected in the dropdown browse.
    Alternatively, you can type a value into the control and press enter, which navigates you to the correct record.


    Dropdown Browse Search - Cascading

    you can create cascading Dropdown Browse Search supercontrols on a Form. The first supercontrol shows a list of states and the second supercontrol shows a list of cities. The second control however is constrained to show only the cities in the selected state.




    Automatic Backup and Version Tracking

    Automatic Backup and Version Tracking of Layout and Field Rules Now, when you save any Layout (Form, Report, Label, Letter or Browse), or Field Rules, Alpha Five makes an automatic backup of your Layout or Field Rules and it keeps all previous backups as well.

    At any point you can right click on a Layout in the Control Panel and revert to any prior version of that Layout.

    You can now more freely experiment with your Layouts because you know that at any point you can revert to a prior version. Also, the risk of loosing a Layout because of a file corruption is eliminated.


    Form Layouts - Headers and Footers

    Headers and Footers Spreadsheets have headers and footers - sections of the spreadsheet that you 'lock' so that when you scroll the spreadsheet, the headers and footers always remain visible on the screen.

    Now, you can add headers and footers to your form so that when the window that contains the form is smaller than the form itself and the window has a vertical scroll bar, the header and footer section always remain visible.

    Similarly, you can place locked content sections on the left and right hand side of the form so that when the window has a horizontal scrollbar, these locked content sections remain visible.

    Headers and footers and great for placing buttons and logos that you want to be visible at all times, regardless of how the window has been scrolled.



    Dynamic Properties


    Report "Greenbanding"

    the new 'Dynamic Properties' feature in Layout can be used to create a 'Greenbanding' effect in reports where alternating report rows are shown using a different background color.


    Dynamic Properties In Reports

    the new 'Dynamic Properties' feature in Layout can be used to create a red frame around certain 'standout' values in a report.


    Forms Dynamic Properties feature can be used in Forms.


    Forms - Disable Button

    Dynamic Properties can be used to easily disable a button and change its appearance if a condition is true in the current record.



    Layouts - Modeless Properties Editor

    Properties Task Pane Previously in Alpha Five, to edit an object's properties, you had to right click on the object and bring up a modal properties dialog. Now, the Dock Panels on the left and right of the screen can contain a new modeless Properties dock panel that allows you to edit properties in a modeless editor.




    Use Grid Components in Desktop Applications


    Grid Component in an Xdialog - Action Scripting Genie The V10 Grid Components offer a huge array of features - many of which are not possible on the Desktop, or are only possible with some programming effort. However, now you can take advantage of the huge richness of the Grid Component in your Desktop applications. You can use the Xdialog Genie in Action Scripting to place a Grid Component in an Xdialog.

    There is no need for the Application server to be running when you open the Xdialog - the Grid Component works without the Application server. The results are stunning!






    Action Scripting


    Toolbox Control This video shows how you can use the Xdialog Genie in Action Scripting to place a 'toolbox' control in an Xdialog. The toolbox control is a very rich control that supports an 'Accordion' style view with animation as different sections of the toolbar are opened and closed. This control makes an excellent menuing system for your applications.


    Dynamic Tree

    you can use the Xdialog Genie in Action Scripting to place a 'dynamic' tree control in an Xdialog.

    A 'dynamic' tree is populated dynamically as you expand each node in the tree. For example, if you have a dynamic tree that shows countries, then states, then cities and the companies, when the tree is initially shown, it only contains a list of countries - so populating it is extremely fast. Only when you start expanding the country nodes, does it do queries to get a list of states in the selected country, and so on.

    The genie allows you to build dynamic trees against SQL and DBF data sources.


    Dynamic Dropdownboxes (i.e. Cascading Dropdownboxes) You can use the Xdialog Genie in Action Scripting to place a dynamic dropdownboxes in an Xdialog.

    For example, you might have four dropdownboxes. The first control will show a list of countries. When you make a selection in the first control, the second control is populated with the states in the selected country. When you make a selection in this control, the third control is populated with a list of cities in that state, and so on.

    The genie allows you to build dynamic dropdownboxes against SQL and DBF data sources.
    Richard Rabins
    Co Chairman
    Alpha Software

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    "Certified" Alphaholic mmaisterrena's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Quote Originally Posted by GregoryCW View Post
    I'm not sure that I am qualified to respond to mmaisterrena comment.
    Gregory, even my little sister is qualified to respond to my comments ;)
    --
    Browses may look good but they don't act that good (by the way im referring specifically to embedded browses on forms)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    What are a few examples of the embedded browse not working well?
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Martin,
    Check out my sample in this thread--has been confirmed that the issues are in v10 as well.

    http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/al...ad.php?t=80211
    Mike
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    It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    about using the 'canarrive' event for anything

    in your autoexec, dim a global variable 'busy,L'

    at the canarrive event, say
    Code:
    if busy
         end
    end if
    busy=.t.
    'your code here
    busy=.f.
    Selwyn cam up with this technique back in 4.0

    using the canarrive event can be very problematic - its better to put code in the onpush event

    like
    if xxx is true
    ' msgbox("","no no") possibly add this
    end
    end if
    Cole Custom Programming - Terrell, Texas
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    using the canarrive event can be very problematic
    This, oddly, has never been an issue until a recent project even though having the first tab stop on an object that has a CanArrive event used has fired the event on instantiation of the form since v5 at least. Easy enough to work around but Selwyn seems to think it should not be this way either.....

    Also, when having a button that you do not want a user to access unless certain conditions are met....how else but to use the CanArrive?? That is what the event was created for wasn't it??

    (I apologize for taking this even further off topic)
    Mike
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    It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
    It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    I understand your reasoning, and completely agree and sympathize with the irritation it creates. I don't think there is a work-a-round for it for Alpha, though. If you turn on the trace window, and open a form, and then look at the events that fire you will get an idea of what I mean. This issue has been around since 4.01, at least. As I recall, Cian commented many years ago it would be very difficult to get around.

    In most cases, I use the onpush event, since it accomplishes the same thing, and obviates the irritation.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Thanks for the info Martin.
    The OnPush cannot use the Cancel() so still prefer the CanArrive....which will work so long as the first tab stop does not have this event (thanks to Bill Griffin for pointing that out in the other thread).
    Mike
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    It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    As long as all you have is cancel() if a certain reality exists, it is no big deal. But if you give them a message, it can still be irritating. For example, some users will use the down arrow, left arrow, etc., to navigate to different objects on a form. And frequently they will get the message embedded in the canarrive event even though they technically didn't arrow to that object - the reason is that a lot of events fire illogically - like if you arrow to the left (for an object at the bottom part of a form), and the canarrive event for a button at the top of the form fires giving them the message before taking them to the object they arrowed to, if you see what I mean.

    Naturally, that it works the way you want it to is what matters.
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  16. #16
    Alpha Software Employee Selwyn Rabins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeC View Post
    Martin,
    Check out my sample in this thread--has been confirmed that the issues are in v10 as well.

    http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/al...ad.php?t=80211

    actually, you are not in any position to confirm that the issues are in v10 as well, as you don't have the v10 browse.

    if you are running the v10 beta for the web features, you are NOT working with the v10 browse.

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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Quote Originally Posted by Selwyn Rabins View Post
    actually, you are not in any position to confirm that the issues are in v10 as well, as you don't have the v10 browse.

    if you are running the v10 beta for the web features, you are NOT working with the v10 browse.
    OK now I'm confused. Are the beta testers checking V10 desktop features or not? Are there two separate betas?

  18. #18
    Alpha Software Employee Selwyn Rabins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Quote Originally Posted by aRob View Post
    OK now I'm confused. Are the beta testers checking V10 desktop features or not? Are there two separate betas?

    the v10 beta testers are only testing the new web features in a5.

    they are working in the v9 codebase with certain v10 features turned on.

    the v9 codebase has the old browse in it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    How will you be able to release V10 real-soon-now if the beta testers are not working with the full product? The desktop changes will not be tested?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    you are not in any position to confirm that the issues are in v10 as well
    No offense intended Selwyn. As v10 beta is being tested, I obviously assumed that it would have at least the same browse fixes that v9 has (backward compatibility and all) and that if any additional issues had been attended to that those who were using v10 beta could determine if they were....and my statement simply reflects that in the current v10 (beta) that users are now using, the issues are still present, nothing more.

    As no statement of what issues/bugs have been fixed since March of the last patch, I am just in a state of ignorance as a result (as you pointed out) and can only go by what the latest version of Alpha is (v10 beta).
    Mike
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    I emailed Selwyn 2 weeks ago asking for a v10 beta so that I could test the desktop features - no reply probably because the latter have not been included for beta testing yet.

    I need to make a decision soon on which a5 version I use for my 2010 payroll application used by many local desktop clients. V8 would be OK as it's tried and tested and I don't have to use any of the v9 or v10 features, even though some are very desirable.

    I used V9 update 3216 for this year's payroll - using the old browse. But v9 now seems 'dodgy' as the latest update uses the new browse which has not been beta tested and there has been no update since March. I suppose I can go back to update 3216 which I was happy with.

    It would be be great to use v10's new features but it may be some months before they are beta tested and available so that is too late for me to work on them.

    On present analysis it appears that I should forget about v9 and v10 and revert to v8. Am I being too pessimistic? I would like Selwyn to let me know exactly what the position is so I can plan ahead.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vance View Post
    On present analysis it appears that I should forget about v9 and v10 and revert to v8. Am I being too pessimistic?
    No. I think you are being realistic. I cannot believe that Alpha is still using the old browse in v10 beta.

    Sounds like we may never see the new browse. Now that's pessimism!

  23. #23
    Member Citadel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog - still in use??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vance View Post

    It would be be great to use v10's new features but it may be some months before they are beta tested and available so that is too late for me to work on them.

    On present analysis it appears that I should forget about v9 and v10 and revert to v8. Am I being too pessimistic?
    Mike

    My definition of a pioneer is a guy with arrows in his back...

    I'm 55 and can honestly say that this is one of the most important lessons I've learned through my business life to date.

    Whenever we've been involved with 'new' or 'untried' software it has cost us money and time (actually time seems to be the most valuable resource right now). Stick with the software you know works, and leave the problems to others to solve.

    I don't mean ignore the new stuff. Keep up to date with it and keep learning. Just don't pin your business profits on it until you're confident it will not be problematic.
    Kind Regards
    Alan

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