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Number of fields in Browse mode


matt_nev
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Hi,

This is my first post and I am a beginner at FM and at the moment only use is to store and match my data. I primarily work in browse mode but I can only see the first 85 field columns of my data. There are a fair ammount more and I can export them etc but cant see them. It this a limitation of FileMaker Pro (V6 for Mac OSX) or can I change settings. Sorry if this is too basic a question.

Matt

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only see the first 85 field columns of my data.

In table view or...? Are you treating filemaker as a spreadsheet with an option to accidentally make cute user interfaces? Someone uses to call databases "Vessels of meaning" and cerainly not displayers of spreadsheet'ish datacells ...I would with my tiny brain capasity struggle just to get usefull meaning out of just 85 fields in one page, but then 85 columns???

--sd

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Sounds like you're using "View as Table" (See the "View" menu), which has the same style as as spreadsheet.

I'm not aware of limitations with the number of fields permitted on a layout, but it may just be that the missing fields have simply not been placed on the layout.

You need to use layout mode to add the missing fields.

See the online help system for more detail about designing layouts.

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It is understandable to want to display every field - I do it for most tables to scan data for normalization comparisons. And Save/Send Records As requires the fields be on the layout so Table would not work if 85 fields (and wanting to Save/Send As). I forget the limitation of Table view (or whether it changes per version) - I've hit it myself. But it is true ... there is a maximum number of fields that can be displayed on a TABLE view.

Answer is ... use List or Form layouts if needing it for Save/Send As. If for viewing only, you can place half of your fields on the one table layout and the rest on the second or use List view instead. Straight export/import doesn't require ANY fields be on a layout.

UPDATE: vs. 6 ... forget the Save/Send As portion. But the rest holds true. Create a Columnar/List Report (don't constrain to page width). Or place half your fields on one table layout and half on the other.

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You are right, at this point in time it is a glorified spreadsheet with the ability to import data to update existing records with new fields, making sure that all the imported records match with a defined field .e.g. subject ID. Excel cannot do this as far as I am aware. I appologise to the FM power users that use it for more complicated database manipulations; im just a beginner and will get to that later.

For now I still have this issue that in Browse mode i seem to have a maximum number of fields (columns if you like) of 85 for my database. In layout mode if I create a new layout and specify include all fields I can see all fields in the layout but in Browse mode I will still only be able to scroll right to column 85. In fact i have just created a new database by opening an excel file in FM with the maximum number of excel columns of 256 and only 66 are visible in Browse mode although all are visible in layout mode.

I am hoping that this is something simple and I appologise again for my ignorance but can anyone give me a hint.

regards

Matt

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Late breaking news!

I just happened to do a similar test today. The maximum HORIZONTAL size of an object (or group of objects) appears to be 135cm.

It's not necessarily limited to 85 fields as you could vary the width of the fields

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But even normalization a la LaRetta (by eyeballing apparently) could via a few globals come in handy to pull in fewer coloumn via GetAsText(GetField( allthough sorting needs to get done on the original field ...I came just into a fata morgana or vivid image for my inner sight ....of MIchael J. Hernandez reaching out for a blunt instrument, usually the kind found on a crime scene after the deed is done....

--sd

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Hi again,

Many thanks IdealData, yes it does seem that there is a limitation in browse window width. Is there a way of defining the field width of the whole document?. By reducing field width of visible fields in browse mode then going to Layout mode and going into layout setup then views and table properties, then by clicking OK it will add more fields up tot he maximum window width but uses the original field width for the newly added fields. To fit in all my fields I have to do this process a number of times as it always insists on using the original field width which is way larger than needed.

It does seem to me to be a strange limitation for such software - although I do concede that it is not designed to be a spreadsheet package - but then why have a browse mode if you can't browse through all your fields??.

thanks for all the replies

Matt

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It does seem to me to be a strange limitation for such software - although I do concede that it is not designed to be a spreadsheet package - but then why have a browse mode if you can't browse through all your fields??.

Because a normalized structure tries to show only a portion of your data, and because a database systems tasks are to make data appear in an organized manner and not as a junkyard/tip where you might find something that can come in handy among the rubbish!

You need to have mission objectives or a difintion of the task performed against the data, that's what filemaker as tool tries to subscripe to - while you in scientific researches just by listing all data availiable especially in commercial studies seeks weird patterns by just eyeballing things.

Such findings usually gets into scientific'ish reports that then gets thumbs down from peers due to the lack of real evidence - but because you won't let you findings go down the drain do you contact a journalist who carries it into being a fad, that someone have to or can't stand the temptation, and writes a managmentbook about.

This is the way to get things happening - but has not much to do with data integrity!!!!

--sd

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Hi Soren, :wink2:

a la LaRetta? Eyeballing a table of data or an imported data-set tells one many things about consistency, draws attention to missing information and illuminates pattern breaks. Whether one is checking newly implemented triggers (are they firing properly) or simply scanning User names of who are creating new records, a table view (which allows quick sorts both directions on each field) is a powerful Developer tool.

In fact, when I get my hands on any solution (be it another Developer's solution or helping someone here on Forums), the first thing I do is create a table and take a peek at the raw data. This view tells me instantly what the calcs are producing and on which standard fields. I CTRL-I many fields as well but only a full scan can quickly produce missing information (or holes). Weekly views of all modified records also tells me whether Users are mis-using any fields. Simply, I could not imagine migrating or designing without table views.

LaRetta

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This view tells me instantly what the calcs are producing and on which standard fields.

Now this might sound like prejudice, but the ones in dire need for help are usually using way too many calcfields anyway ...my strategy differs from yours by inspecting the layouts only and then I go straight into making a new template with similar but normalized behaviour ...I do not believe in the quick down fixes, it does really takes forever to turn excessive use of global and repeaters into portalized views when it comes to it.

I know that I have a list as long as arm of beeing moderated by the assigned moderators for attacking repeater-fixers on thier virtual bread and butter! But I have never really changed my mind there is a penalty to pay when choosing the wrong tool for a task ...

David Kaschel is absolutely right when warning against using the cute and clever advice that tears a database out of it's realm. There is no excuse for not having a huble attitude to the responses you actually get from the tool, if it ain't behaving agile or responsive is there a structural error as simple as that.

--sd

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I have no doubt what you said made sense but it made none to me and I read it six times. What do repeating fields have to do with viewing data via a table? Because it doesn't seem we are talking the same language at all. I said nothing about repeating fields or improper structure and I don't over-use calculated fields. You haven't even SEEN a single solution I've created. :confused:

...using the cute and clever advice that tears a database out of it's realm."

I hope you aren't referring to my using a table for viewing raw data in an unknown file (or data-set) as tearing a database out of its realm. Really, Soren, I don't understand the connection, sorry. :wink2:

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It's the magnitude of fields, which are at stake here ...when a lot of fields needs to be seen simultaniously isn't it a data structure ...you use it for spotting a missing structure - fair enough. I do also remember when matrix printers were king and large posters were printed out, where each letters density in colour could make gradients found in the pixels in a real photo.

If you then stuck a finger in your eye or viewed the poster form some distance, the magic happend and your brain integrated or interpolated the data into a vivid image with 3D ...the lot.

In West Africa do they put a crap and some stone in a bucket, put a lid on toss a glas of Gin or Vodka over the shoulder, after this is done have the crab moved the stones and you can tell if you should build a boat, or rather the medicineman who does it have a certian luck or expirience with the interpretation of the crabs dealings in the bucket.

You can't say that there isn't some kind of reasoning behind, the medicineman have to consider his professional standing and have hearsays as weel as real knowlege about the one seeking advice into the equation ...but the real problem here is that it isn't strictly logical reasoning but instead trust and belief.

When developers attach themself to certain metaphors, such as the spreadsheet, is it the same trust and belief in something they see - just as you by looking at a banknote, roughly knows what you can buy for say $500 ...but banknotes as such are pure abstractions acting as a sort of universal merhandice you can exchange for a cart of items in a supermarked or you can bribe someone into focusing on you beyond logical reasoning.

The question is if we should keep our selves on the straight and narrow path of known metaphors, when they are so tough to make computers deal with ...well we face similar problems ourself, think of a telephone directory where the data weren't indexed.

So what we really have to is to pick and choose between metaphors to achieve what we're after ...sometimes is a little improvisation required. But to play it by ear is one thing, but the good improvisation is based on solid knowledge and abstract thinking.

I know that women prides themself as multitaskers although the the same time urges to get their nest as tidy as posible ...this is a little paradox, if they really could multitask could they ignore the nice to knows from the need to knows.

What I mean is that structure, organization and classification sometimes fit right into a metaphor and at other times do you have to develope by logical reasoning and abstract thinking.

Take the autistic, he or she can't get away from organizing everything not coherent into his/her own system ...could be everything coloured red although it could be highly impractical sometimes and at other times could it really be exploited in a crafty way. Take the movie Rainman - he screws up the "mission statement" for the casino, namely to make money on mathematical illiteracy. It's the same as the witchcraft mentioned above, we have the means to control when our clients get confused and suspend logical reasoning - the mission statements or business plans are synonymous!

Back to the topic of this thread, why isn't filemaker like you first bicycle the tri-wheeled one, that hardly could tilt? Because a whole herd more methaphors is thought into the tool, more than just driving slowly on the sidewalk.

--sd

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Matt,

Are you still looking?

You are manually checking that data is OK but what sort of check are you doing? The reason I ask is that it might be possible to automate some of that checking.

If you really do need to view every field, then you can view them by using List View and having 2 or more lines for each record. No matter how many fields you need to check, there is no way you can really need to look at more than a very few at one time.

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there is no way you can really need to look at more than a very few at one time.

Indeed a point I made earlier on, but we the mere mortals have accidentally taken it for granted that Set Theory and Predicate Logic had it's place in understanding of what a relational database was for a weird beast.

No, lets put shellfish in a bucket and put a strong optical lence on one eye while nothing at the other ...and touch new worlds!!!

Let's establish new methods for the methods sake, and throw it after whatever we expiriences on our ways.

--sd

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Soren do you have to be so philosophical? I really don't get what your on about half the time, though i admit it's usually intriguing. In relation to the topic though, i suggest you just construct a list view with multiple rows of fields... enough to fit all your fields and there by make a fake multi story excel spreadsheet :P

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:wink2: I'm just sarcastic over the notion that it's the going ons in the farthest corners or the endge of a sheet that really matters ...it reminds me of:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Glass_Bead_Game

It proceeds by players making deep connections between seemingly unrelated topics

...if we just could push the borders - would artificial intelligence invent it self!

--sd

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I mentioned earlier, perhaps too convoluted that there might be a point in Hernandez book, in making a distinction between Mission statement and mission objectives ...the questioner have gracefully scated beyond or passed the statement.

Which must be established this way: Why do you think a database tool is the answer to your prayers?:P

When people are tearing the tool out of it's realm and ask for weird features, havn't they humbled themself to get the gist of the tool ...althought almost everyone know the feeling of having the right tool for the job.

Soren do you have to be so philosophical?

See that David Kaschel is willing to admit it's an existential issue:

Think Outside the Box This has to do with the technical problems you will encounter as you develop your database, a subject this white paper is not really about, but which should perhaps be touched on here in a broad sense. Most of the questions on the FMP related mailing lists have to do with “how do I”. In other words, how do I implement this feature or function? Or, how do I structure my solution to handle this kind of data? When faced with a problem, take the time to step back and view your solution “from a distance” as it were, and see it in broader terms. Abstract the things you are working with as much as possible. Peel back the layers of the problem at hand until you see the essence of the thing and the solution makes itself plain to you. (Does this sound a little too existential?)

...see! That thinking actually has a lot to do with it, and that a lot of the problems encountered here instead has something to do with these lyrics as concept:

http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Help-Somebody-lyrics-Van-Zant/01B67ED5673A91F54825701C0006ABEC

--sd

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Lol Soren, you crack me up. Though your point is well made, we should all stand back and look at our problems and make sure we are indeed using a screwdriver rather than a spanner to remove a screw :

Off topic here but, the reason these forums are useful is because you get fresh perspective on things.

Back to a different off the topic point. While i contend that filemaker is a good tool... WHERE IS MY ON EVEN SCRIPTING ******* IT.

And back to the on the topic point...

What use can you get out of 80 + fields on one layout? Surely not all the fields will be relevant at once. Even if you are looking for patterns or data blackspots, i'm sure you could do this with the fields split over layouts. Further why do you have 200+ fields in one table anyway, can they all possibly be being used to store data or are half calculations and if half are calculations, they're reliant on the data anyway so just check the data first and then check the calculations...

Anyway, I just want you to know that i love your roundabout ways of getting to the point soren. You make your point in sometimes abstract ways, but thats what makes it so great. I even get to learn stuff along the way :P

~Genx

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Havent you seen the movie AI? eh eh? No wait thats not it, its the other one, the one with robin williams in it. Bicentenial man or something? You know what, on second thoughts, you have a point, it wouldnt artificial... it would be natural, but the issue is that if ... no i am so not going in to this :

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