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Non-standard layouts in web publishing


ematson
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I've done some researching on my own and discovered a few things.

I have found several helpful files to use for the amateurs: Article 104560 at www.filemaker.com/support/techinfo.html and from Filemaker Help, The "About Web Styles" and "About working with web styles that render layouts"

It has been a struggle and I found that posting to a windows explorer browser works and netscape does not.

Also, you must pick a specific web style within File,Sharing,Web Companion, Set Up Views, Web Style - only certain settings will post layouts designed within FM.

I have not finished my search for success - but did find that the size of my FM layout was too small when it got to the web page and I am having to resize everything. Also, not all scripts work - I know the "Go to Layout" works, but nothing else

This has not been easy but I hope it helps someone else.

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I don't know how to do custom web publishing and therefore it hasn't been easy. Using the forums to find answers has led me to believe that there are alot of people out there in my situation. What I've found is that there just isn't a tutorial or "how to" that shows the basic steps. And, in my case, all I am trying to do is set up a simple database to track company leases and small construction projects to use in-house. I love the fact that FM let me design the database to suit my needs, it's just sharing it with about 4 other people is a HUGE task if you want to do it over the intranet. smile.gif" border="0

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"I don't know how to do custom web publishing and therefore it hasn't been easy"

Well the very first thing to know is not about custom web publishing, it is about web publishing. By that I mean, you need to know html, the basic language of any web page. If you do not know html, then embedding cdml tags into html (custom web publishing FileMaker) is, a priori, beyond you.

If it is only 4 people on an intranet, why not get everyone a copy of FileMaker and just host the db's direct over the intranet - no publishing necessary?

SIMPLIFY

Keith

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Suggesting that we buy additional copies of a software to allow such sharing would defeat the purpose of using filemaker in the first place :-)

The program is set up to allow up to 10 people to view the database on an intranet - I just didn't realize that the final step of publishing after creating the database that includes some fancy scripting and multiple relational databases would be so enormous! And, then to discover all but one of the scripts does not work :-(

However, I am determined to learn HTML/CDML whatever it takes to make this work....ok, so I am obsessed.

FM is by far the most user friendly software to create a database. I will continue to learn

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you have scripts and relationships (and lots of fancy layouts) I'd really hesitate about using a web interface. The web is very limited in what it can do, and as others have mentioned there are performance issues related to running scripts over the web. The web interface does not offer record locking, and does not track users -- the web is "stateless." Also, web-activated scripts run on the host machine not the user's computer which might render them useless. (There was a question some time ago about a person who was running a print script through the web, and wondering why the paper kept coming out of the printer connected to the server and not the browser's machine. It's because the script run on the server...)

My advice would be to give the users FMP clients. Convince them...

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  • Newbies

I am also in the process of learning how to publish: how to write HTML, and how to write the format files.

I found two tutorials on the web very usefull, and I'll let you in on this.

1: http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/tut/ is a comprehensive HTML tutorial which can be downloaded for off-line reference. It handles stuff through frames, javascript, graphics etc. Very good is that the exercises all have the solutions a click away on each tutorial page.

2: A set of 3 tutorials in PDF, from http://scrtec-ne.unl.edu/SCRTECNE/TechTopics/tutorials/ handle the basics of publishing FM databases on the web, including security issues. A bit hard to get through (not very clevery tied to the DemoDatabases which can also be downloaded from their website), but gives good insight in the basics. Comes with cheat sheets for their exercises.

Be reminded though that this last tutorial, as many others I found on the web, use Claris HomePage 3's Filemaker Connection Assistant. If you don't have this, you can download a 30-day trial (fully functional) still available from www.cnet.com. I understand that Filemaker doesn't ship this anymore, but so far it can still be purchased on-line in the States. It has totally disappeared in Japan, where I live. So get your US copy quickly, as it may soon disappear from any site.

Using Claris HomePage 3 is really a good start if your needs are small, such as Create, Edit, Delete. Never make fancy databases if you're going to publish on the web later on!

3. Also, learn to use the CDML tool that Filemaker posts (they are standard in FM4). It pays off in added understanding of the process and syntax.

Anybody found other tutorials?

Cheers,

Frank

[ May 04, 2001: Message edited by: FRoerink ]

[ May 04, 2001: Message edited by: FRoerink ]

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Yes Frank, I am the author of "SIMPLIFY, Custom Publishing Basics for FMPro Solutions, a Browser Demonstration of html/cdml" which is a demonstration of html and cdml without frames, css, or JavaScript. Frames, css and JavaScript, while useful, can help to confuse the developer who is just starting and who knows some basic html and little else.

Additionally, the demonstration offers a workaround solution to the problem of scripts over the internet. Whether the developer chooses to use that workaround or not is up to the developer. However, without a workaround scripts present some very real problems over the multi-user environment of the web. Some people would rather reinvent the wheel than to use what is available.

Priced at $60. US, the demonstration will quickly answer questions which the beginning developer has not even considered. The demonstration pays for itself in time saved. To get a copy you can contact [email protected] via email.

SIMPLIFY ...

Keith M. Davie

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RE: Additionally, the demonstration offers a workaround solution to the problem of scripts over the internet. Whether the developer chooses to use that workaround or not is up to the developer. However, without a workaround scripts present some very real problems over the multi-user environment of the web. Some people would rather reinvent the wheel than to use what is available.

DOES NOT WORK!

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i dont mean to be rude or anything, but isnt there some kind of rule in these forums agaisnt Kieth plugging his product is almost every other post. People come to these forums for help they don't come to these forums to hear "i have something that might help, if you give me $60.00 i'll let you see it."

I am only pointing this out because most forums i go to have some rule against posting advertisments in the forum. And it seems to me that advertising his product is exactly what keith is doing.

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quote:

Originally posted by bman:

i dont mean to be rude or anything, but isnt there some kind of rule in these forums agaisnt Kieth plugging his product is almost every other post. People come to these forums for help they don't come to these forums to hear "i have something that might help, if you give me $60.00 i'll let you see it."

I am only pointing this out because most forums i go to have some rule against posting advertisments in the forum. And it seems to me that advertising his product is exactly what keith is doing.

And the "workaround" DOES NOT WORK!

To check by script if someone is running a script is (I do not want to be rude or upset you) is joke.

The "workaround" relies on SCRIPT (!) to check if somebody is running Script.

In another words, the problem with single threaded FM is just elevated up to another level.

Unlimited is single user single thread engine.

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Bman, you refer to my responste to Frank as advertising. Please re-examine Frank's post to which I responded. He inquires, "Does anyone know any other tutorials.".

I believed at the time and believe now that I was responding directly to Frank's question. I did not think you would mention the demonstration "SIMPLIFY ..." to him. As the author I also told Frank a little about the demonstration (or tutorial), especially that it is a demonstration of html/cdml. As such it does not require advanced disciplines such as JavaScript or css. As those who have tried FMI's included example as a guide for using the -lop and -op tags, if they do not use JavaScript the tags do not work. Other techniques are required for a strict html application which uses cdml tags. these techniques are explored in my demontration.

I also mention the work around for the problem of script collisions, which is but a small part of the entire demonstration and which was the final step in the creation of the demonstration. That is, the work around came as a result of my efforts to find a work around sincy my demonstration is reliant on ScriptMaker scripts.

Bman, you refer to my demonstration (which you have not seen) as it "might help". Well the demonstration does work as originally designed. It was designed to be a demonstration of html/cdml. It is that. It is very transparent. The normally hidden code which includes the cdml tags is displayed directly on the browser pages in close relationships to the tables/buttons to which it refers. Additionally discussion is provided about what the code is doing/causing to occur. And there is an adaptable tool for developers to use (should they so choose) to keep in touch with what is occurring during development. And in the examples which use this tool, there is discussion as well. The database files are open to the user. All fields, relationships and scripts are open for examination. The scripts are heavily commented. This has been designed by a developer for FMPro developers who are aware of html and want to use their FMPro developments in the backside of their web solutions. The demonstration does not preclude the subsequent use of more advanced disciplines by those familiar with such advanced disciplines.

Bman, you may be questioning the efficacy of the work around itself, this is not made clear. What is clear to me is that you have not examined the work around. Nor have you requested the free "When Scripts Collide", which demonstrates to those who can follow instructions a way to see the problems caused by near-simultaneous calls upon a script (or scripts). When one can see and understand the problem, one can than understand the work around which is in the demonstration "SIMPLIFY ...". Perhaps you are relying on the word of Anatoli regarding the work around.

Anatoli has prejudged the work around, claiming that a script cannot be used to check to see if a script is already in use. He is of the opinion that the only result can be a collision of the scripts. Perhaps you should be aware that "signal" posted on April 13, 2001:

"We are running multiple users who often call the same script. Because it relied on some importing, we had to wait and wrote a simple script that checked to see if that script was running. If it was, we displayed a message and retried in two seconds. Seemed to work fine."

That should have been a clue to all that perhaps, just perhaps a script can be used to check to see if a script is already running. Signal says it can for a host/client solution. I say it can for both a host/client solution and a browser solution.

It should also have been a clue to all from signal's post that the collision of scripts is not unique to browser solutions. That problem does exist for the FMPro host/client solutions on LAN's and WAN's.

Bman, perhaps you have not developed for multi-user FMPro host/client solutions. Or perhaps you have not encountered such problems in those solutions which you have developed. Consider yourself lucky.

If you would like to find out about the host/client work around you may want to try going to www.blueworld.com. There are several searchable databases there. This site is supported by Lasso. Select the FMPro Talk link and enter the word "script" in the subject box and perform a search. You will get a list of over 4700 titles. Read them all like I did. It will take you at least two days. Along the way read 25 to 50 of the threads which you think may be appropriate. If you pick the right ones, you will be on you way after two days. No, you will not have the db work around. You will still need to accomplish that. When you finally do get that worked out for the host/client development you will want to experiment with making that a browser work around. To save you some time I will tell you that while this is the basis for the browser work around, the client/host work around is not the browser work around.

Now you can go ahead and spend several weeks reinventing the wheel, or you can spend $60 US and get the demonstration (email [email protected]) which has the work around. You questioned the price. The demonstration involves over 2500 hours of development of which over 500 hours went into the work around. I would suggest that $60 US is a bargain price for all that is included in the demonstration. If you decide that you can write intelligent scripts which will enhance the handling of data in your browser solutions, then you will understand that you can purchase the demonstration for the workaround alone and, instead of reinventing the wheel, you can redesign the wheel to meet your needs. Remember too that when you are incorporating the work around into your solutions, that is billable hours which will more than pay for the demonstration.

Of course, if you do not get paid for your FMPro developments, then you would have no money to spend on the demonstration which I have authored. But you can still get a copy of "When Scripts Collide" for free. At least then you will understand and see the problems. And if your time and talents are free you can pursue the reinvention of the wheel.

SIMPLIFY ...

Keith

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you know, i just wrote out a long winded response, but then i realized, i am tired of listening to you, and if i make some long winded response you will feel obligated to reply.

so lets just end it here.

(oh and yes i have developed multi user solutions with filemaker. And i have never had a script problem with them. for one simple reason, i just find another way. And finding another way, is usually pretty easy.)

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I bet dspires is right about the new 5.5 (when it arrives) obviating the need for a work around if it is multi-threaded as they states it is. At least it will obviate the need of a work around for those who upgrade to 5.5 and who are willing to put their plans on hold until 5.5 is available. Considering that 5.0 is available and many of those who post here are still running 4.0, those who do not upgrade will still need a work around if they intend to use ScriptMaker scripts. And that is true for any multi-user environment.

As to the suggestion by yafreax, "Would you be willing to offer a double-money back gaurantee? Are you THAT convinced in it? That if someone who buys this can show proof that they did everything right as you instructed, i mean exact, and scripts still collided, would you be willing to double their money back?" - How to establish that the user did everything right is problem one; how to arbitrate disputes (of whether or not the demonstration was followed) is problem two, especially for an item with a value of only $60. Otherwise I would be willing to offer that, because I know that the work around keeps scripts from colliding as they do without the work around. I know this just as signal knows that the work around which he uses for multi-user host/client solutions is a successful work around for that application.

I also know that people buy FileMaker believing that they can publish over the web using ScriptMaker scripts and the cdml -script tag, and similarly cdml -lop tags in simple html (unenhanced by JavaScript), and yet no one expects FileMaker (or any other manufacturer) to so guarantee their product. I also doubt that any of the developers here so guarantee their work. If they encounter a problem they bill (or receive wages) to fix the problems they create.

SIMPLIFY ...

Keith

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quote:

Originally posted by dspires:

For what it's worth, I'll bet that the newly released FileMakerPro 5.5 with a new, faster and mult-threaded Web Companion fixes the script problems of the past.

Re: yafreax -- that is great suggestion! I love it! That will be the easiest money in my life cool.gif" border="0

Now to 5.5 -- as you know or not, I am the official FM support for East Europe, just hanging around this nice forum.

I was the FIRST person to warn people about single threaded FM engine and my conclusion, that scripts and web is not happy marriage.

The Unlimited will be released in summer time and I do hope it will be better for scripts, but that is not everything. Scripts are run to get result, right. But the result will not be there, when you send another request from browser; other users will need something else from database.

If you e.g. go to the 2nd record in a found set, you bet it is not your found set, but someone else's.

Now to the ever persistent question about script checking if someone is running something e.g. script.

I am saying YES, IT WILL WORK, but only if you have 2 FM machines, the first is running script and sets some kind of flag AND THE SECOND CHECKS FOR EXISTENCE OF THIS FLAG.

I am using that in Server Clients situation to get around FIND performance, sort of Ethernet collision detection....

BUT IT IS NOT POSSIBLE (NOT IN ZILLIONS YEARS) ON ONLY ONE MACHINE and sorry guys -- if you don't see this, you will have serious problems in life.

Anatoli

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okay, guys, let me ask this. Why does this always happen?

Look, i understand what Kieth is saying here, but bman didn't even say whether he thought it worked or not and you go off on him as if he is belittling your product. He did no such thing, he simply asked (and was probably showing a little frustration) if you were ALLOWED to ADVERTISE in your posts. Did you directly answer Franks question? Yeah, you sure did. Did you advertise your product? Yeah, you sure did? Did bman say that you probably shouldn't be able to advertise? Yeah, pretty much (not exactly). Did he say your product doesn't work? No, not at all.

As for Anatoli and your arguements, they go on and on and accomplish nothing and i believe you guys have been asked to stop. Do i care that you "advertise" in your posts? Not usually, however i believe this forum has been SLIGHTLY cheapened since your solution has been brought forth. NOT because it does or doesn't work, i wouldn't know. NOT because of any thing i think or anything that you've specifically said, or anything that anatoli has specifically said, But because about once every week or so, we have to fight through this sort of posting and the originally poster gets left out in the cold as the focus shifts. NOT THAT YOU CAUSE THIS TO HAPPEN. IT'S BEEN YOU AND IT'S BEEN ANATOLI. AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR PRODUCT.

Our finite minds can only handle so much of two guys with such infinite wisdom duking it out when all we are trying to do is produce results. Not reinvinvent the wheel, not become the best FM developer ever, simply produce results.

YOUR RESPONSE TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION WILL HOPEFULLY PUT TO REST THIS WHOLE ORDEAL:

Would you be willing to offer a double-money back gaurantee? Are you THAT convinced in it? That if someone who buys this can show proof that they did everything right as you instructed, i mean exact, and scripts still collided, would you be willing to double their money back?

Anatoli, if his answer is yes, let it go, and if you are right, he'll be broke in 30 days.

Jeremy

P.S. - EVERYBODY GET OVER IT!!

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