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Thread: Frequently asked beginner questions: PLEASE READ

  1. #1
    Former Alpha Employee mheller's Avatar
    Real Name
    Martin Heller
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Andover, MA

    Default Frequently asked beginner questions: PLEASE READ

    This thread is for the use of experienced developers to post frequently asked beginner questions and their answers. Beginners should read these, but not comment here: if you have a question, please start a new thread so that we can give it the attention it deserves.

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    Jeff Kletrovets
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Columbus, OH

    Default Re: Frequently asked beginner questions

    This is for developers new to Alpha and looking to develop DESKTOP applications.

    Below is a summary list of things to get you going with Alpha on the desktop side. The list below is not all inclusive - but I think it is safe to say it highlights things that have been proven over time to help with your development.

    For the new DESKTOP user/ developer:

    1. Follow a naming convention. Cal Locklin's naming conventions are well thought out and proven over time.
    The link below is for Cal's naming conventions.

    2. As you start to write in Xbasic, make everyting you can into functions(not scripts). They make maintaining your app easier and they serve to isolate your code. Lots of good reasons for using / making UDF's.
    More info from Ira Perlow's site.
    Ira's function tips are below.

    3. If using memo fields. Follow the memo field practice from Dr. Peter Wayne. See Memos That Work on his site.

    4. Use the A5Doc utility for documenting your app. This app is great for documenting your tables, indices, etc..

    5. Cal Locklin's Group Formatter - This utility will pay for itself the first invaluable time saver.

    6. Ira Perlow's CSDA Utility is another great utility for Alpha. More info at Ira's site.

    If other's see something I missed.....please feel free to add to the list. :)


    Last edited by mheller; 04-27-2010 at 08:38 PM.

  3. #3
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
    Real Name
    Ken Nordin
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Walker, MN

    Default Re: Frequently asked beginner questions


    If you have ever done a search and come up with literally hundred's of threads, you will first look at the Title/Subject. Those with no discriptive title cause the 'searcher' to spend way too much time reading threads to see if it has any revelance to their issue. So, PLEASE, use words to describe your issue, NOT your frustration.


  4. #4
    "Certified" Alphaholic Stan Mathews's Avatar
    Real Name
    Stan Mathews
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Bowling Green, KY

    Default Message board search tips - my experience

    You cannot search for words of three or less characters.
    -The search engine finds words within words and the result would be meaningless
    -It will find index within reindexing,
    -Example - Searching for end would return all posts where these words appeared

    Searching for - test clock will find all posts that contain the words test and clock anywhere in the post in any order

    Searching for - "test clock" will find all posts that contain the words test and clock in sequence separated by a space

    Most punctuation is ignored, commas seem to be accepted for some purposes
    - searching for .index, index(), index., and index seem to return the same posts (with or without quotes)
    - searching for "options, etc." will return posts with "options, etc." and "etc." with both hilighted as found
    - searching for "correct. The" (end of one sentence and beginning of the next) returns posts with both words (any order) and hilights both
    - effectively allowing for searching for "the" as the "the" in words such as "then" is not hilighted.
    There can be only one.

  5. #5
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    Mike Christensen
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Michigan U.P.

    Default Re: Frequently asked beginner questions: PLEASE READ

    The following is what I would like to see new users follow--not really answers to questions but a loose guide to help the newbies ask or find solutions. More or less a how-to to use the forum (my own version of course!).

    Please do a thorough search of existing information prior to posting.....Online Help file (no longer updated, but still quite useful), Alpha's Wiki, AND this messageboard (aka Knowledgebase)--even google for non-Alpha specific problems. Most questions concerning the desktop have already been answered in one way or another---learning how to search it will pay big dividends. In fact learning how to search the help files will too.


    First, remember that this is a PEER supported forum for the most are most times asking for help from fellow Alphanians who basically are donating their time to help others (well, and to learn as well!).

    Make certain you post a question in the correct forum....but do NOT limit your searches to just one forum---many/most questions have been around for many versions and the responses are still valid for the most part.

    Do not double-post the same question. Instead of creating a new thread, bump the original by posting back.

    When you do not receive a response it can be attributed most times to:
    1.Not enough information
    2.It simply got buried.
    3.In the wrong forum.

    When you have found a solution, no matter how, post back so the thread does not become a deadend...remember--this messageboard is used by most as a knowledgebase and not generally just to banter amongst ourselves.

    A sample/example of your issue is the absolute easiest way to get help on your specific issue. They can be attached to a reply in a thread using the Advanced Reply. As can screen shots created which sometimes are enough to explain the problem....use jpg or png as they seem to be the best. Don't use Word, Excel, etc unless they are an integral part of your issue.

    Try to use the messageboard Quote and Code tag features as it makes reading about your problem much easier--they preserve the formatting such as indents and such.

    Many of the above requests can have much more detail and have been explained in many threads already.
    Last edited by MikeC; 11-09-2010 at 07:18 PM.
    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.
    Henry David Thoreau

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