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Why are pop-up menus and scroll bars stuck in 1989?


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It seems like much of Filemaker has evolved over the years with the exception of how pop-up menus and scroll bars look. I am trying to design a modern looking GUI and these two elements are holding me back in 1989. What's the deal with these, why hasn't Filemaker given us an way to alter the appearance of these two elements in over a decade? I am trying to design an interface for a touch screen display and the scroll bars are just plain butt ugly and way too tiny.

Are there any third party add-on that can help solve this problem?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Only FileMaker knows the answer ... and they're not talking.

I submitted this request in a letter four years ago:

8. Real, windows-style scroll bars for portals -- with windows-style scroll action. (Actually they are already implemented on scrollable value lists. Just use exactly the same implementation for portals.)

But, alas, nary a mention of what would amount to a great improvement. On value lists, they're using the GUI styles that are standard features in the GUI dlls. But on portals, FileMaker is emulating scroll bar behaviour with their own code. The result, of course, is "clunky" scrolling for FMP-based apps, while everything else on the PC is silky smooth. It's a shame, because portals are so powerful and such a key part of our apps.

Maybe someone from the Mac side can confirm, but I suspect this all has to do with cross-platform compatibility. If scroll bars look that way on Macs, they'll never be changed for the PC. FileMaker is, indeed, stuck in 1989 -- until the Mac side is changed.

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  • 2 months later...

FileMaker isn't just concerned with Mac/Windows cross-platform compatibility with the look-and-feel of portal scroll bars (and drop-down lists, pop-up menus, checkbox sets and radio buttons). FileMaker has to content with legacy compatibility; what works in 7 needs to work the same way in 11. One complication for cross-platform compatibility is that OS-native controls aren't the same size on different platforms, so that a layout optimized for the object sizes of one platform would be very funky on the other, limiting FileMaker's credibility as a cross-platform tool.

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  • 1 month later...

FileMaker isn't just concerned with Mac/Windows cross-platform compatibility with the look-and-feel of portal scroll bars (and drop-down lists, pop-up menus, checkbox sets and radio buttons). FileMaker has to content with legacy compatibility; what works in 7 needs to work the same way in 11. One complication for cross-platform compatibility is that OS-native controls aren't the same size on different platforms, so that a layout optimized for the object sizes of one platform would be very funky on the other, limiting FileMaker's credibility as a cross-platform tool.

I think that is a logical conclusion but a BS excuse. I don't know if that is what Filemaker has officially stated or not but even if they needed to forgo the native platform scrollbars they could definitely update the look and feel at the very least. Flash has done it, plenty of web apps have done it. I see totally cross platform scroll bars in flash applications all the time that behave wonderfully and are silky smooth.

As a whole I think the lack of good looking interface widgets like scroll bars really hinders Filemaker Developers and require us to create silly work-arounds and faux scroll bars. What a pain!

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  • 3 months later...

For the love of Steve Jobs, can we get a freaking Filemaker update that gives us the tools to design a modern interface? Let us design our Filemaker interfaces the same way that we can design a web interface. I want design elements that I can change globally based on what theme is selected. I want fields with rounded corners, larger scroll bars, custom popups and dropdowns, etc, etc.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For the love of Steve Jobs, can we get a freaking Filemaker update that gives us the tools to design a modern interface? Let us design our Filemaker interfaces the same way that we can design a web interface. I want design elements that I can change globally based on what theme is selected. I want fields with rounded corners, larger scroll bars, custom popups and dropdowns, etc, etc.

Quoted for agreement!

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