Downloading From GitHub

Several folks have expressed frustration with Downloading from Github. While Github has been quietly changing the rest of the coding world it is not widely used within the FileMaker world. As a result lots of FM people don’t know how to “download something from GutHub”.  It’s pretty easy actually.  But like anything new, it can be a bit confusing at first. Here is how it works.

On the main project page for every GitHub project, you will find a “Download Zip” button. It looks like this

 

jbante_FM-VirtualValueList

Click it.  Thats it!

If you still need more help.  Check out the video.

[pl_video type=”youtube” id=”2I8LCT0LEQk”]

Browser Navigation now with multiple window support

As a result of a question from Jeremiah Hammond I have uploaded a new version with  support for multiple windows within the same file.  There are, however, a couple of caveats:

  • Windows names must be unique
  • Changing the name of a window will start a new history

Dealing with multiple windows does complicate the module somewhat and has resulted in two additional custom functions (still optional).  These have the additional benefit of allowing developers to customise the tooltips.

You may wonder why I wrote custom functions if they are not strictly required.  There are two reasons:

  • They make debugging much faster as I only have to make changes once.
  • I like the idea of being able to improve the module without editing every layout

The latest version also includes the ability to toggle the saving of layouts to the history by setting a global variable.

The original single window version has been in use with several developers for some time and is well tested.  This new version is less well tested so I have decided to keep both versions available for the time being.

Check it out

Navigation Module v1.0.3 released

Bob Ellis came up with some nice additions to the Navigation Module.

  • changed the setup to use LayoutIDs instead of LayoutNumbers. More robust
  • improved “navigate” script to better handle nested NavBars

Check it out

Modular FileMaker Goes Live

(originally posted on geistintertactive.com)

We are finally ready to go live.  Thanks to everyone who has pitched in so far.  Lets see how far this can go. 🙂

It has long been difficult to share code in the FileMaker world.  Traditional FileMaker coding styles made it difficult, and I think many of us old school FileMaker Devs still have pieces of “6 think” burned into our brains.  As a result we never really developed the techniques or the culture that encouraged the sharing of code.  However, recent versions of FileMaker have given us some new tools which can help us write code that is easier to share. Now we need to build on these new tools to further refine and develop the techniques, and built a culture and community centered on the sharing of FileMaker code.  A new project and website, ModularFileMaker.org, is dedicated to that purpose.

Code re-use is not a new problem. But attempts to solve it in the past have often lead to large monolithic frameworks.  These one size fits all, everything in there including the kitchen sink frameworks, have not been widely adopted outside of development shops that created them.  I think the reason is simple.  In order to use any of these frameworks, a developer has to adopt the entire FileMaker mindset of the developer who created the framework.  Thats a lot to ask.

ModularFileMaker.org avoids the “too big to adopt” problem by being very small, and very focused.  It provides a documented guideline for building and sharing small re-usable chunks of FileMaker code.  It focuses on solving only the problems that inhibit sharing. Everything else is left to the developer.  It has no solution wide naming conventions, graph organizational models, file architectures, or any other opinions on issues that don’t impact sharing.

We call these chunks of code, “modules”  or “mFM Modules” ( ModularFileMaker Modules ).  mFM Modules provide features like Navigation Bars, Transaction Frameworkssearch utilities , SQL helpers, etc.  These are all below the level of application or solution.  Essentially any re-usable feature can become a mFM Module if it is organized according to the guidelines.

The website is now live. There are already several freely available modules just waiting for you use and improve. Hopefully, if the community gets inspired, someday maybe there will be hundreds of modules to choose from.  Check it out!

Introducing Modular FileMaker

Several of my closest collaborators and I have been working for many years on coming up with a methodology for building highly re-usable FileMaker code. This has become easier in recent versions. There is still a long way to go.  But I think we have finally reached a state where we can begin to get some real benefit from adopting this style.

And thats just what Modular FileMaker is. It’s a style. It tries to be light and unobtrusive. It is NOT a large monolithic framework, or a comprehensive naming standard. It focuses only on the areas that impact sharing and modularity.  I will have lots more to say about this in the coming days, but for now you can read more on the About page.

This is a work in progress. The Spec is not done yet. But it is time to take it public 🙂