99 bottles of beer

Here’s a fun little challenge for your Friday afternoon. You can do it at home, in a bar, or hopefully even at work. Best of all, it’s technical and creative. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to produce the lyrics to 99 Bottles of Beer in your favorite programming language. I chose to do the solution below in FileMaker. See 99-bottles-of-beer.net for the official challenge details. Continue reading “99 bottles of beer”

Working with Repeating Fields

Demo file:  RepeatingFieldFunctions.fp7

I began using FileMaker at the spry old age of FileMaker Pro 8, so I’ve never been through the trenches of using repeating fields to accomplish what can now be done with portals. However, repeating fields still have a variety of uses, and I’m happy to have them in my toolkit.

When I’m working with a repeating field, there are several questions I might ask of it, depending on the task at hand.

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Good Sir William’s Heirs

Demo file:  Sir_Williams_Heirs_fp7

That old Bard, good Sir William, is nearing the end of his life. Having already provided well for his five children, he now seeks to divide his literary empire among his eleven grandchildren:

FamilyTree 1

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FileMaker Read-only Fields: Lighter, Smarter, Friendlier.

Here’s an interesting interface challenge we recently faced: A client needed to place text fields on a layout and fluidly choose which fields would be editable or read-only—the same field might exist in both editable and read-only state on the same layout.

Now, here’s the challenging bit: Each read-only field must have all the same capabilities of its editable cousins—users must be able to scroll, select, and copy text, and the field control must display all rich text formatting entered.

Continue reading “FileMaker Read-only Fields: Lighter, Smarter, Friendlier.”

DevCon 2011 Recap – Design Goes Farther

One of the most valuable aspects of 2011’s FileMaker Developers Conference in San Diego was a far-reaching discussion about the role of design in the FileMaker world. Design wasn’t the official theme of this year’s conference; but it was certainly among the most popular topics. A large number of sessions focused exclusively on design issues:

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Inspired by Address Book – Part I: Hiding portal scroll bars

On vacation, waking up to a dreary Pennsylvania morning…

I found myself staring at the OS X Address Book and wondering, “how did they do this?” I couldn’t help compare this little application to the many FileMaker-based contact management solutions I have seen, and concluding, a bit sadly, Apple’s is nicer.

Continue reading “Inspired by Address Book – Part I: Hiding portal scroll bars”

The FileMaker Ninja’s Toolbelt: TextMate Bundle

Welcome to the first installment of The FileMaker Ninja’s Toolbelt, an occasional series on various tools and techniques for taking your development in FileMaker to the next level.

Beyond the Calculation Dialog

The calculation dialog in FileMaker Pro is great for many things. It provides easy access to all of your fields, operators and functions. The Data Viewer in FileMaker Pro Advanced even shows you the calculation results.

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11 Tips for #FileMakerDevCon ’11

As you may know FileMaker DevCon 2011 is just around the corner. In honor of 2011…and FileMaker Pro 11, here’s our list of Top 11 Tips for DevCon ’11:

1. Bring a sweater

Those hotels are known for cranking up the A/C. Take a comfortable layer that you can slip on and off easily to ward off the shivers as you’re sitting all morning.

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Managing Files with AppleScript

If you’re like most power FileMaker users, you’ve discovered that it’s a great tool for managing collections of things or for gathering disparate data sources for reporting. So you’ve probably wanted at some point to do one or more of these actions:

  • Get a list of files on your computer
  • Import a batch of files
  • Move files on your computer
  • Read the text of a file that doesn’t import correctly (e.g., HTML)

Continue reading “Managing Files with AppleScript”

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