FileMaker Dev Conference 2007 - Day Three (1 of 2)

From Dwayne Wright - www.dwaynewright.com

Well, I got a little chatty on this one, so I’m going to break this down into two different posts)

For me, my initial plans for the third day included...

- Pick Up Much Needed Coffee
- Attend Multiple Window Practices (Dawn Heady)
- Attend Reusable Script Design (Jeff Hough)
- Attend Multiple Developer Design (Dawn Heady)
- Attend Modern Design Practices (Andy LeCates)
- Attend Better Tools (Alexei Folger)

Bummer, sessions start at 8 a.m.

ABOUT BEST PRACTICES FOR USING MULTIPLE WINDOWS By Dawn Heady of Scodigo
I liked this presentation but it wasn’t what I was hoping it would be. I would have probably left early but there wasn’t another session during that time frame that I was remotely interested in. I was hoping this would be an in-depth analysis of tips, tricks and troublspots for FileMaker design using multiple windows. However, it was heavy on animated techniques for windows and the use of an off screen window to be a “scratch pad” of sorts.

All in all, I’m glad that I stayed through the session and thought Dawn did a very good job of presenting the material. I will go back and look at this content again. I doubt that I will use it because it’s not really my style. However, Dawn gave (in my opinion) the best session of the conference a little later on. With that in mind, I want to take a closer look at her presentations from a different point of view.

ABOUT REUSABLE SCRIPT DESIGN By Jeff Hough (Sitecraft / Two Southpaw Design)
Now this was a session that was exactly what I was expecting. None of the content blew my socks off but I’ve been researching this topic quite a bit on my own. It was very gratifying to see another developer drawing much the same conclusions as I and he presented the topic extremely well.

Much of the topic involved the ability to recycle scripts from one area to another with the minimum amount of retooling. This can be done by advance visualization of strategic use of script parameters, script results and script variables. In fact, you can probably throw custom functions in that mix as well but I don’t remember Jeff mentioning that.

One area that I diverged from Jeff’s line of thinking was the use of arrays in script parameters. I’ve experimented with these and found them a bit cumbersome. He uses a named value pair technique that I’ve seen other FileMaker programmers use, in particular developers that seem to have a background in writing programming code like C++, XML or XSLT. I’m not sure that I will adopt Jeff’s named value pair script parameter techniques but I’ll keep an eye open for opportunities that would benefit from it.

He also mentioned that every script he calls upon always uses a script parameter. Interesting, in particular, how me mentioned the script is a bit more secure because the script will not execute unless supplied the correct parameter.
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© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

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