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incompetent Database and Customer support


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Ok, I know this has been discussed before. I thought this Menus issue would be resolved in V2.

The Popup lists, in this system is sooooo incompetent. How could you have a reliable database where menues, and lists take 3-4 seconds each to pull. You'd better off actually using your pen and paper, or typing. If you have several popup lists on a page, you need a long time before you are done.

Of course it is not my system, and I know that. This happens on 3 different PCs that I have all running Win. XP. I have plent of RAM, plenty of Speed, and plent of DIsk space so the issue is in Filemaker 7.

Tech support, as useless as they are usually, said there is no work around it, and just have to live with it. I mean how incompetent can a company get.

This makes me really think of throwing my hundreds of hours of work in the trash and start with something more reliable.

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Basem:

Your slow pop-up lists are a mystery to me. My pop-up lists jump up quite quickly. I have about 7 items to my list based on "custom values". Do your lists have a huge number of entries? Are they based on another field?

Your post does not indicate whether your using Mac or PC. If your using PC, I'd be happy to run a sample of your DB on my machine to see if I can mimic your slowing issue.

I have had problems with slow radio buttons, but found improved speed while working with the canned "Templates". If you would be so kind as to do this experiment: Create a new database from the Contact Management template, then create an identical pop-up list in the new database as you have in your current database. Let me know if you see any speed difference.

I can fully appreciate the angst you are feeling now. I too do not feel right about distributing any FM 7 solutions to end-users who are just going to be frustrated working with this database in its current state. The best I can say is, let's all try to debug this monster (i know, i know... its not our job). FM is listening as witnessed by its v2 release. I have to think that v3 is already in the works.

HTH,

Jeff

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Hi Jeff

Thanks for your "Polite" reply-As apposed to someone took it very personally, -As if- you are attecking their own identity. Isn't it amazing how much people end up "Identifying" with a computer program.

Any way.

I did point out Jeff that I am using a Windows XP PC. This slowness mostly happens whith converted database. My data running V6, and it is quite huge, since it contains a medical record system, I will not be able to email u a copy. Even if it was empty it is still very large in size.

Now when I called Customer support. THey said they ARE AWAR of the issue; but they are sorry because there is no work around it now. So I know this does not happpen only to me and it was reported by several other and on different forums.

It does not matter actually if the Popup uses a field or a separate value. It always happens. My popup lists, are a core component of my database. It needs to pull some times a list with more than 300 values in it. This was no problems with FM6, but it is now with 7

Thanks

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • Newbies

Basem,

I have noted the same problem with pop up lists using WinXP and FM7. A work around is to change the pop up from Pop-up list to Pop-up menu

Goto layout and the right click, select fiedl format ..

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I have this problem with my database also. The database was created in filemaker 7 so there was no conversion from 6 and I have no dead relations, the pop-ups do not rely on a calculation or another field. They are simple text lists with 3 - 10 items. I am using Filemaker 7.0v2 on Windows 2000 and macos X machines but it only occurs on the windows machines. Pop-up Lists are very slow no matter how many items are in them. To get around this I have set all of the pop-up lists to pop-up menus and that has done the trick. My biggest problem now is that pop-up menus look different than my standard fields which are engraved. I don't even understand why filemaker would even make pop-up lists an option on the windows version if it takes at least 4 seconds to come up. That is totally worthless in my opinion. Hopefully they will release another update soon. They did make the problem better with the 7.0v2 update because before on just 7 it could take 10 seconds for the list to come up. What were they thinking by releasing such an unfinished product?

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I have also seen this problem.. mainly with a popup list that's pulling a Company Name from a related Company table. FM7. However it is on a network so I just chalked it up to network overhead. The popup pulls about 4000 companies and it does take some time.

I'm in the middle of a work-around - dumping the popup list altogether and providing a popup window (with a layout) instead. Not the best way.. but it's working for now.

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What were they thinking by releasing such an unfinished product?

Uhm... that doesn't stop every other software developer on the face of the earth. wink.gif

Seriously, can you use a popup menu for now, and then change it back when the update is released? As was mentioned, FM knows of the bug and is working on it.

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Well FM has other problems... not just bugs. I think the FM Development environment needs a serious over-all. Coming from a FoxPro & RealBasic environment, when i started using FM (a couple of months ago) I expected it to behave similar. I was wrong. Some much needed improvements (for development):

1. Debug mode: The ability to set Debug ON per script. Or at least get the Breakpoints working from any mode. Right now it's either all or nothing. You can set breakpoints in ScriptMaker but they don't trigger unless you are in Debug Mode. Also, god help you if your scripts call other scripts. You sit there and click away. Allowing me to set a breakpoint in ScriptMaker while writing the script and have it fire off ALL THE TIME (until I remove the breakpoint) from/in any mode would be nice.

2. Multiple windows. Like multiple script windows. What if I want to compare scripts? I have to print out the script now. Also, allowing me to open the Database Design window while in ScriptMaker would be nice. I am surrounded by screens, not printers. While I can print out the structure of any database I have to get up and walk across the room to the printer (or yell for someone to throw the print-out to me). It would be nice to be able to just leave the Database Design window open for reference and such. Save time too and trees.

3. The ability to copy (cut-n-paste) scripts steps. PLEASE! The Duplicate ability (button) is insulting - like someone threw it in at the last minute to make the masses a little happier. Let me copy what steps I want and paste them WHERE I want.

4. Improve the help. Right now it's terrible. Especially the OSX version. And I don't mean the content I mean how it performs. I know, on OSX this is partly Apple's fault (cause Apple Help sucks when compared to Windows). When I select the FM Developer Help [on OSX] from the Specify Calculation window I get the dreaded "No matching records found" from Mac help. This happens from several other obvious places in FM Developer as well. I mean, I'd expect to get a list of functions or maybe the docs explaining the layout of the window. Also, if I click the home button (after getting no results) I end up at Mac OS Help. I have to select FM Developer Help from the pulldown menu. Not good.

5. The ability to expand the function and database fields lists in the Specify Calculation window. I have a 23" Apple Flat screen monitor and on the Windows side, a 21" flat screen. Everyone geek in the office does. Also why can't I increase the front size in this window? Are you kidding? Some of these calculations get long and drawn out.. might be nice to enlarge the front size.

I could go on... but I'll just admit FM is an odd bird. And it's powerful... but it takes a lot of getting used to and it shouldn't. You want developers to write FM apps.. make it easier. wink.gif

Oh let me say something about the graphics tools. What are these things.. from 1989? God. 1 set of cross-hairs isn't gonna cut it.

If Im wrong about any of this please tell me and make my life easier. Thanks for letting me vent.

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I think all your objections are great, Crag. What it all boils down to, in my opinion, is that FM is coming from a background where it was designed to be a tool usable to a tech-savvy layperson who didn't have the money/ability/desire to hire a FoxPro or SQL developer. That's why you see FM so popular in educational environments--here you have a pool of intelligent people who work for an outfit (the school) that is typically underfunded, so what do they do? They do their own database development.

Version 7 seems to have made great strides towards bringing FM in line with other DB development tools. I don't know if you've used version 6 or prior, but you wouldn't believe the stuff developers had to put up with. (For example, multi-keyed relationships were not possible.) Version 7 is sort of in a weird state right now, like it can't decide if it wants to appeal to developers or to its traditional, less technical base.

My own opinion is that despite all the marketing that we hear, a computer should NOT be as easy to use as a refrigerator. Development should be done by people who have the time and expertise to do it. Some may see this as elitist, but i just think business works better that way, when teachers teach, doctors heal, masons lay bricks, and database developers make databases. Are there teachers able to do database development? Hell yes. But i'd rather they spend their time doing the things they do better than i do.

Oh dear, it looks like i'm ranting too.

J

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I respectfuly disagree with quintech about development. I own a small business and I am not a programmer. I have always felt filemaker was made for people like me. I have written a complete management program tailer made for my business. I could not afford to pay a programmer nor would a pre canned program fit as nice.

I agree with crag about improvements. I have a love/hate relationship with FM I have been very frustrated at FM over lack of features, but of other programs (4d, foxpro) are too complicated. I always wondered why you proffesional programmers dont user these other programs?

I could go on with my list(of lack of features), but that would take forever, but I would like to add the value list should be redone from scratch. features I would like to see are filtering (without creating a relationship), sorting, multi fields in display (more than 2).

More to the point there seems to be a culture in FM and apple about adding features, If I were them I would put every feature In Fm to make it the best program ever.

now I am ranting

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There are a few development features that I think everyone would agree are needed, which would not add to the complexity of the program. And I applaud FileMaker for including many of those wishes into version 7. But some are still lacking.

Such things as always being able to expand windows (and remembering their size). They've delivered pretty well on that; one would like this to include column sizes as well (I get tired of expanding my field definitions over and over...).

Another of my pet features would be at least one level of folders in the scripts menu. Imagine being able to group scripts into folders; just a 2-level hierarchy with triangle arrow drop-down. The technology has been around for a while, in many other programs. I suppose it would add some complexity. But it would be such space saver for files with a lot of scripts. Especially now that you can have mulitple tables per file; the number of scripts is bound to increase from a 1 table 1 file structure. Since scripts are indentified by unique internal ID's I don't see that it would cause FileMaker that much more work.

The font and font size thing. Definitely a problem. I imagine this has to be worked out carefully with the operating systems, which means it's a pain (witness the recent "smoothing" problems). But it's difficult to read the small text in calculation dialogs. I would love to choose Verdana there, instead of the skinny whatever it is. It is critical to know where your darn cursor is. One shouldn't have to hit the arrow key or get out the magnifying glass just to be sure. Is there really a space between them?

We seem to have also lost the ability to define fields from as many places. But I imagine we'll get that back.

I also miss the Overview dialog. Not that it was pretty. But it sure was nice to be able to quickly see where, if anywhere, a particular field might be on a layout. Yeah, you can create a full-on Database Report. Not nearly so convenient. Oh well; I doubt it's coming back, as it was mostly used for the old password/groups/access scheme (rest in peace).

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