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Konstantin Goldobin

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Top Stories by Konstantin Goldobin

DataWindow display formats aren't a big secret. Most PowerBuilder developers use them to format numeric, date, time, and string values properly. Such display formats are usually straightforward and contain characters that have special meaning for a specific datatype like '#' for numeric values or '@' for string values. However, the DataWindow display format is a very powerful tool and you can get more than simple data formatting. This article explores what you can do with DataWindow display formats demonstrating a few tricks. Using Regular Characters A DataWindow display format can contain the usual characters along with characters that have special meaning. For example, brackets and hyphens can be used in a display format for a string value containing a phone number to separate the city code and group the rest digits: if the number is 4951234567 then the format '(@@... (more)

Highlighting Selected Text in PowerBuilder DataWindow

Let's suppose that you have a search window where a user can enter a search string and get the list of text items matching this pattern. Ideally, the portions of text that meet the search criteria should be highlighted, for example, by text formatting. It could look like Figure 1. In PowerBuilder we have a great tool for searching and displaying information - the DataWindow. But how can we do text formatting inside a DataWindow column? Unfortunately, there's no way in the DataWindow object to do that. This article describes a technique that will let you simulate this. A Sample Da... (more)

Working with Legacy Applications

When I was just starting my career in programming, I thought I would be creating new applications. And I did - I created a few applications from scratch. Maybe two or three of them. But for the most part what I've been doing is working with code written by someone else a while ago - legacy code. What is legacy code? You could define legacy code as ancient applications that were written in the past. For me, legacy code is code written by someone else no matter how long ago - 15 years or 15 minutes. What's common about all applications that were written by someone else? You don't kn... (more)

Drop-Down Lists for Decimal Fields

PowerBuilder has a very handy way to make data entry more convenient: the DropDownDataWindow and DropDownListBox edit styles for DataWindow columns. Indeed, it's much simpler to pick up a value from a look-up list than to type it in each time you need to enter it. However, it looks like we've overlooked one of the cases when use of a drop-down list can make data entry easier for the user. Most of the time we use drop-down lists when working with lists of pairs "encoded value"/"decoded value": the users see and select decoded values and encoded values are saved in the database. T... (more)

Getting Rid of Global Variables

It may seem as if PowerBuilder programmers are bound to use global variables. Even the PFC, which is said to be the most successfully designed object-oriented framework, requires the use of global variables. Is it something in the nature of PowerBuilder that makes us use them? I won't discuss whether it's good or bad to use global variables as enough has been said on this subject. However, I am going to discuss why global variables are usually used in PowerBuilder applications and how we can live without them. When Global Variables Are Used Let's face it, if you use global variabl... (more)