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    pixel pusher
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  1. Because of the question about what Matt Petrowski may have said, I transcribed the text of his comments that have been important to me (the urls are included so that anyone can listen to them themselves). [color:blue]I bought the Scriptology Theme Library because all the other Scriptology products I have bought have been well worth their price and because the Theme Library in its " Theme Library Overview Movie, http: // www.scriptology.com/index.php?product=theme_library, says I build databases and data mining tools for people who make decisions based on their perceptions of data states and the relationships of those states to actions they need to take in business. This often means that the interface is as important, if not more important than the data. The interface actually embodies and reveals any value that that is present in the data, and without it the fact of having data is just a cost. Because FileMaker has such a great GUI building toolset I have long used it for prototypes, and with version seven I began to sell projects with it as the final target environment. One problem that constantly comes up is the bandwidth required in networked versions to just move the interface among the users who are constantly interacting with a dynamic data state causing changes in the GUI configuration that need to be displayed. So I was very interested in the Theme Library. Having received it, [color:blue]Matt Petrowski's Scriptology Theme Library was indeed a GREAT PRODUCT and well worth its price. It had impressive gradients that inspired me to include them in a product that I am building under contract and that work is paying my bills, such as they are. During the use of the Theme Library I began to investigate the different behaviors that the transparency gradients had. I found this movie at FileMaker magazine: http://previews.filemakermagazine.com/videos/599/ThemeListLayout_full.mov "A Layout Designer's Tips and Tricks" It, in turn described how he had made the transparency gradients http://www.fmforums.com/forum/attachment.php?attid/6467/ http://www.fmforums.com/forum/attachment.php?attid/6468/ So I opened up my copies of Photoshop, Illustrator and Canvas and discovered that none of them would export a PNG file that FileMaker would import in the way that Matt had described, that is, with a transparent background. I assumed that there was something I didn't do correctly and began to search the Forum using keywords like transparency. I browsed or read every thread on the ten or twelve pages of references that the search brought up. But none of what was offered worked with my programs. So I created this topic. This still didn’t solve why the objects reported by Petrowski as PNG file imported had vector control components stored in them. [color:blue] Why didn’t I just stop thinking about the subject because it had been said that PNG files do not have vector information? First of all, I have no reason to mistrust Mr. Petrowski as everything I have ever bought from him has worked wonderfully. Second, because Sherlock Holmes once said (ah yes, from the favorite quotes department LaRetta, “when the evidence doesn’t fit the theory, don’t change the evidence” and the object in the Theme Library does have a vector control. Secondly, because I discovered that complete and compliant PNG implementations are anything but normal and the chances are very high that FileMaker has used non-equivalent implementations of PNG and other graphics processes in its two versions. [color:black]The answer to the original question is: [color:red] Each graphics program has to be individually tested for the way that it creates PNG files and the way those files are imported into FileMaker. Pasting artwork into a container field and rotating it may not work but it is a thing to try. A number of programs work such as OmniGraffle4Pro and Photoshop. However, a current version of Photoshop is required and then only when the 24bit PNG option and the transparency options selected before saving the file for web use. Canvas cannot be used. PNG capabilities in applications have a huge history of bad, incorrect or partial implementations and that there are hundreds of thousands of references to problems with PNG files, transparency, Windows Internet Explorer; there were several hundred that talked about Photoshop and other graphics programs and PNG files. The revision of Photoshop I was using was one of those that did not support transparency in PNG files and that only the most recent revision does support full alpha channel transparency and then only if the “24bit PNG” and “transparency” options are selected. I had also emailed Canvas and they replied that Canvas did not and does not support writing transparency into PNG files even though it says it supports the file standard. BTW non of the references I saw described the FileMaker display issues.
  2. Comment, doing the equivalent of yelling doesn't change the basic fact, that what you have to say doesn't address or solve the problem at hand. Putting it on me doesn't help either. A lot of other people that build graphically complex interfaces to FileMaker databases that are used over networks and the Internet by lots of users concurrently need tools like the ones offered in Theme Library and will run into the problems I have and so I request, [color:red] please stop the rant and be part of a solution.
  3. I would suggest that you make some one pixel rectangles in a windows version and insert them into container fields and watch what happens. I don't know how they work either, but they do occur.
  4. kmhappel

    Moving phone

    My screen shots were made with current v8.02 stuff. the file is less than a month old. I also got it to work with a brand new file and a brand new set of rectangles, so I don't think it has anything to do with corruption. By the way we share a long term relationship with the abnormal :P
  5. Hmmm. Comment, the problem is NOT simply the incorrect rendering of png files placed in a FM layout on the windows platform, NOR that the observed extra pixels that occur in FileMaker objects are being caused by anti-aliasing during rasterization although it may contribute NOR solely a windows rendering problem ( as horrible as it may be ). (1) the gradient objects that are included in the Theme Library are described by Matt P. as having been imported through the means of a png file. These objects have embedded in them vector controls for radial gradients which, if they were reduced to simple pixel patches by the process of being formatted by Photoshop as png files, could not occur or be reintroduced; (2) the effects can also be caused by objects that have never been in a png file such as FM graphics objects; (3) if anti-aliasing is causing the extra pixels, there is still an unexplained issue. Anti-aliasing processes normally produce interpolated color values that define opaque pixel colors, not transparency masks, So there is some mechanism that that sees the pixel information as alpha channel (transparency) information instead of pixel information. Alpha channel information is organized on programming abstraction levels well above the operating system, BTW so are the layers. (4) If the problem is a Windows issue alone, then it would seem reasonable that the problem would be invocable across a wide number of programs, yet it is not a widely known phenomenon. (5) object layering is defined well above the operating system or card driver, the grouping and assignment is probably a pure FM process. It maybe using a standard intermediate code library such as Quicktime or x-code on the Mac. (6) The stretch breakdown is not just oriented to the right but towards the right and towards the bottom regardless of the options set in the reduce and enlarge options ( such as center-center or bottom-right ) but only when the object is close to one pixel by one pixel in size. This is certainly not an attribute of Windows. (7) The png file created in a graphics program whose content is a single pixel definition, may be inserted by FileMaker as a pixel patch that not a single pixel. This is clearly a problem between implementations of the PNG standard in various programs; (8) the problem is mentioned as not existing in extension, its reduction rather than extension and, more correctly, if the pixel patch is equal or greater in size to the display frame. Even more important is that under reduce or enlarge, and (9) the right-bottom transparent edge gradient effect has been able to be recreated in Mac versions of FM. For the rest, if I am wrong I apologize. I will lighten up. And it is very clear to me, Inky, that I also need help with filemaker and I also am very glad and grateful for assistance that addresses my problems. As for raised eyebrows, well...
  6. kmhappel

    Moving phone

    LaRetta, I have now caused the same problem where plain old FM rectangles and fields appear in the status bar area by using a graphics resource layout that is much too big for the display screen, it also, like your screen has lots of objects on it. I attached a couple of screen shots
  7. kmhappel

    Moving phone

    Thnxs oldfogy. I like your prayer. I have also noticed some similar types of instabilities. Do they occur when the application frame is maximized or when the window is too big for the XP desktop frame? BTW LaRetta your comments all over the palce have helped me and encouraged me from time to time for some time... thanks
  8. Comment, please, I hope you're joking. If you were joking the jokes on me and all apologies are owed and offerred for the following maybe I got a little thrown by the minute count thing earlier and comments like it all over the Forum ( For anyone else the demo file and description of a pixel, a pixel object and a png file of a single pixel, might be illuminating ) . But, if not, I request that we tone down the attitudes in here. I have repeatedly followed discussions in the Forum where truely arrongant assumptions were made by advice givers about the both the topics and the people communicating them. You have said several times in your remarks that what I was saying was un-interpretable, but in the end you have the created the same behavior made by exactly the same process I have been describing, you were unfamiliar with the reference point of the description but that doesn't mean that it was wrong. Further, the example you initially offered as a starting point ( here show me why what I know works doesn't) had nothing to do with the problem and the problem could not be invoked by it. It was, however, proof that png can be imported and have transparency correctly displayed and so eliminated that for me as a possible cause. While I knew nothing about PNG, I was quoting people who the FileMaker world seems to honor and who were taliking about creating "native Filemaker objects" for gradient transparancy". I now know this to be untrue and will email M pattrowski about it. So excuse me, comment, but I'm not an idiot or deluded. Ignorant maybe and I work dilligently at reducing that and ask your patience. Otherwise who needs a Forum. It just seems strange to me that superior knowledge would express such intemperance, given that the expertise I do have has taught me that that it doesn't come easily. I made several graphics pixel patches last night that were one pixel by n pixels in the graphics program. When saved to png files, I used a IDE tool to look at the raw file. Hmmm. In some cases the patch content was 3 by (n+2) and in others it was 1 x n. In some it was much larger. I then used an IDE to watch the graphics patch assembled in RAM for display. Four out of five programs had some type of pad to ensure that the outer pixel of the body was not overwritten by the frame. They were also inconsistant in the number of edge or frame pixels that were assigned to the event map for the object. When you create a 1x1 pixel rectangular object in filemaker and the size window says that it is 1x1, is its actual frame 1x1? No its something else. I have included a small filemaker database with some examples from this little project. Notice that a single pixel cut and pasted from a graphics program is one pixel in framemaker, but after being made a one pixel png file and inserted as a picture, it is now a large pixel patch. It is not just a random fact that after 50 years the software community has been unable to agree on a single, fundamental graphics standard defining exactly what a pixel is and isn't. So i guess i do know more than you, about this, but it would never occur to me to be so rude as to assume your ignorance or to taunt you because of your ignorance. I have worked on software projects in defense that when people didn't know that they didn't know and someone pointed it out and they couldn't hear them, someone died at some point for that arrogance. Now moving along... My guess is that FileMaker bought different building-block codes like quick-time for the mac and something else for windows they have differing ways of unpacking and interpreting the files and building pixel displays. It could also be the difference in pixel pitch between these significantly disjoint pixel machines. I've seen stuff like this endlessly in the defense work I've done because the pieces are all done by subs and integrated after their creation discovered the missing spec bits that could have stopped behavior like this. BTW, I heard from Canvas (ACD) that they don't include alpha channel information at all in their implementation of png. Hence, I couldn't get rid of the white background in their png files even though they were transparent while in their program. They said they had "had some requests for that transparency but it is still in their R&D dept." Strange, eh? pixel.zip
  9. kmhappel

    Moving phone

    Well, I downloaded a new copy and it does it. : I, however, also found out why it didn't do it last time. I have a large screen (23") on both my Mac and XP machines. I had the database on maximize so that when I moved it under the status bar changing to browse simply caused the whole layout to jump to the right so that it was completely visible. This morning I tried it on my server that has a smaller screen and the whole layout would not fit and, yuppers, little-icons-in-status-baritis. I tried recovering the file on my mac but that made no difference. Try opening the file when the FileMaker application window is large enough so that the layout window can hold the entire layout with nothing hidden, so it can just pop to the right... no wierdness... think of that ? It also does not do the little-icons-in-status-baritis thing on the mac at all.
  10. I do alot of cross platform work and have gone to the font warehouses and bought a set that are realtively neutral in display terms. Short of that try these suggestions... (1) don't use Trebuchet from Microsoft (2) check to make sure that your windows machine is outfitted with a "Clear Type Tuning" control and you have used it to optimize the types. It will solve about 50% of the problem. Its free from Microsoft and makes a gigantic difference: http:[color:purple]//www.microsoft.com/typography/ClearTypeInfo.mspx It may even solve your problem with Tahoma and Verdana that are native ClearType fonts. (3) if you need a fixed width type for code or some other reason try "Crystal" it is a freeware font and it is relatively well designed so that "i and l" characters don't cause white gaps in text. (4) For some headline text I make the text into an image and import it, look at the screens I uploaded in this thread: ( http://www.fmforums.com/forum/showtopic.php?tid/174044/ ) they are completely set up for cross-platform use. The text logo at the upper right is an image. (5) the font houses sell a number of Clear Type fonts that perform nearly the same on bith platforms and with Linus and Unix (x windows) as well. Hope this helps...
  11. I don't think its a bug in Windows. I really think it the graphics programs we use to create the pixel patches and the type of format interpreters ( ie. different chosen by FileMaker for the different platforms ). What might be Windows fault is their lousy handling of pixels in the first place. Even with fonts, the management of pixels is clearly designed for the display of very tiny font sizes in things like spreadsheets and not an approach to WYSIWYG such as using postscript to drive the display.
  12. I fooled around last night with several programs and discovered that nearly all of them cause or retain transparent pixels around graphics. Some seem to add them to images to make room for one pixel wide frames of various sorts. Its those transparent pixels that the FileMaker function seems to be interacting with.
  13. I'm not so sure it hasn't happened all along since I have used it back in 5.5 to make round edges and caused it once on my Mac by copying graphics at a different zoom level than the zoom level I pasted it into a container.
  14. I think you have now recreated an effect similar to the second type of difference, the stretched transparent edge. the first was like the small or single point width effect.
  15. kmhappel

    Moving phone

    It doesn't move in front of the status bar on my Mac FileMaker8 Advanced 8v02, on my WindowsXP Professional FileMaker 8 Advanced 8v02 or my installation of FileMaker Server8
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