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Table Occurrence Name is causing calculation error!


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Are there any know issues using certain text characters or numbers when naming (Tables, Fields, Table Occurrences, Scripts)?

Being new to FM7 and FM8, I have been having a hard time coming up with appropriate naming conventions for Tables, Fields, Layouts, etc. Back in FM5 I got in the habit of never using space in field names. I can't even remember the reason anymore, I think it had something to do with working with calculations...so I could easily selecting field names within the calculation via a double mouse click.

As my current project grows it has become increasingly hard to make sense of the spaghetti maze in my table occurrence window. In an effort to help get a handle on things I purchased a FM8 book called "The Missing Manual". In the book they illustrate using table occurrence names that look like this:

Expense Assign: Expenses

Expense Assign: Global Invoice

Expense Assign: Global Invoice Line Items

So I started naming my table occurrences using this method but the colons seemed to mess up certain calculation functions.

It was late, I was on deadline, so I just started removing the colons and it corrected the problem. Now I am going back in to see if I can come up with a new naming convention to help get this project under control. I can't remember which calculation was giving me the problem so I am unable to reproduce it at the moment.

I am just trying to get some clarification from some of you FIleMaker gurus regarding what it is recommended and what is not when it comes to naming conventions.

Some specific questions that I have in regards to naming (Tables, Fields, Table Occurrences and scripts):)

1.) When is it okay to use a number in a name?

2.) When is it better not to use spaces?

3.) Other then using an underscore_in_my_names what other separators ( ; :P ~ [ ] - ) can be used without screwing something up?

4.) Where can I find a list of common naming conventions used by professional FileMaker developers?

Thanks.

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I haven't read that "this" yet; it's on my list.

However, commonsense suggests that you would be nuts to use either 'Global' or ':' on a TO name. If those were suggested in "The Missing Manual", Halburn, then thanks for saving me some money. I was going to try to buy it.

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Your right Oldfogey, i should've called it "This"... not "this", "this" doesn't seem to do "This" as much justice as "This". Eh Eh? Nah i'm just mucking. I did actually bother to read "This" - though i was on a plane and had nothing better to do at the time - but to tell you the truth most of it is a) common sense :) i was already adopting most of it and c) it's kind of extremely repetitive... but i did still get some use out of it.

~Genx

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I haven't read that "this" yet; it's on my list.

However, commonsense suggests that you would be nuts to use either 'Global' or ':' on a TO name. If those were suggested in "The Missing Manual", Halburn, then thanks for saving me some money. I was going to try to buy it.

See for yourself, they have the file referenced in their book posted online here: http://examples.oreilly.com/fmakerprotmm/MagnumCh8.zip

I have also attached a screen shot.

MagnumCh8.gif

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Halburn, I believe you!!! As I said, you've saved me some money.

In view of the problems you had with the colons, it makes you wonder how well the author of "The Missing Manual" tested the examples.

Two simple rules -

NEVER use keywords in your own names, whether they are reserved or not.

Do not use special characters unless you are absolutely 100% certain they're really 100% OK. There are very few special characters that do not cause trouble somewhere, some time. One of the few is '_'.

Edited by Guest
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  • 2 weeks later...

I would have to say that '_' is the safest character you could use, especially should you want to integrate your app with external applications in the future, some have a '_' as a mandatory character and many simply don't accept white space as part of field names.

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Hi Halburn:

Do you have any notes on the MagnumCh8 file that you posted. I am trying to figure out how one can use it. I undestand the invocing part, but the rest (jobs, expenses, etc...) is unclear to me.

Thanks in advance

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No, it was from a book that I purchased. I have not really worked with the file, I was using it as a reference to illustrate how the book was suggesting Table Occurrences to be named. Their naming convention seems to cause problems with calculations.

Here is a link to the book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/explorer/0596005792/1/103-8160717-2229427

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