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#31 Chris Pepper

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Posted 20 February 2001 - 09:21 AM

I think that the main issue with development environments is that historically the people who develop the PRO-IV product have not been PRO-IV coders, they all write in 'C'. In my experience they don't have the faintest idea how the language is actually used. It's interesting that the most popular tool in this discussion has been PRO-AIDE which was written outside of the PRO-IV development team by PRO-IV developers to speed up editing code. The only other tool like this is Superlayer which was written for a different purpose (i.e. it was written to speed up the development of new systems). My only view on Superlayer is that it's not an editor for the piles of code most of us have inherited but it's an interesting approach to developing a new system.
(I haven't had contact with Neil for 5 years so I don't know how much PRO-IV he's written since then - so I won't go into Developer Studio!)... also I know nothing about the recent developments in the PRO-IV GUI. I think you need a visual development environment for a visual tool - I use PRO-IV primarily as a back end currently.

#32 Glenn Meyers

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Posted 20 February 2001 - 01:31 PM

Isn't hedgemony something that is served with Grits here in the South?

#33 Rob Donovan

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Posted 21 February 2001 - 05:41 PM

Hi,

'tool (such as DS, SL, Pro-Aide, PDE or my own editor)'

I know what DS,SL and Pro-Aide are but what is PDE?

Rob D

#34 Ralph Gadsby

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Posted 22 February 2001 - 04:36 AM

It was a tool supplied by Noha for editing functions. Fairly similar to Pro-Aide in concept. There was also a debugger called PDB, this worked by inserting UMSGs after every line of logic!

Ralph

#35 Guest_Neil Mellis_*

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Posted 22 February 2001 - 12:19 PM

Hi Chris

I've written $%#! loads of PROIV in the last 5 years both application and toolset as well as smalltalk, C and HTML.

The most important features of a development environment are:

Quality (we're going to need help in proving the VIP model)

Speed of development

Low learning curve

and for PROIV a reduced cost of maintenance

#36 Guest_Neil Mellis_*

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Posted 22 February 2001 - 03:32 PM

Ok here goes:-

If there are bugs (no quirks or design issues) report them as I am quite proud of our turn around time for D.S bugs normaly < 24 hours.

LS's (Cycles) are shown in a paging form, only the front structure view does not allow direct edit.

The graphic layout and number of windows popped is a weakness which we will address in VIP but all of the relevant info is at hand (look for the hand symbol)

Single click should be enabled and you should wait for the structure to be rendered and the active buttons enabled before clicking anywhere else.

The function key button requires that a screen Cycle is selected in the structure list or you will get a message.

Restructuring of a Cycle is perfectly logical in that if you remove a start or end field the Cycle start/end will be null as it would be unwise to guess where the new start or end field should be. The fact that it has been removed should be in the developers face to ensure a concious descision is made.

All field references are upadted on removal to maintain integrity.

Control breaks for updates work fine from characteristics give me more detail.

S should not be and option on non screens (pretty minor)

Studio does not allow acces to logic 0 because it manages scratch variables for you with in place popup defines. So you know when you've typed a new one and you are required to define the length so saving one of the big space wasters of evrything getting a full 30 or 80 bytes at runtime.

Forms designer does have some problems which have been addressed for 5.0. I have redesigned some of the BPSL stream code to fix some really nasty bugs and we have cleaned up the front end to support a better rendition model:- Zoom,large screens,set properties,promt generation and image location.

Studio is quite powerfull given the chance many developers seem to have been reluctant to use it because it is different. One big advantage in my opinion is that if it is broken it will get fixed, can you say the same for Aide etc.

That said please don't deluge me with loads of bugs and issues as we really would best spending our time on creating a better solution in VIP with everyone helping.

#37 Chris Pepper

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Posted 23 February 2001 - 04:02 AM

You poor @@@@@@!!! Anyway I must buy you a drink sometime!

#38 Rob Donovan

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Posted 23 February 2001 - 05:18 AM

Ok, you have not been listening to what people have been saying.

This is the normal response I get from PROIV about errors, you just try to explain why the error is not an error, or that it is being used wrongly. If you channeled the same amount of effort into fixing things PROIV would be stable as a rock!!!!

I thought we were beginning to see the light, but after this post it looks like nothing has changed. With this attitude VIP will fail just as all the others did.


Single Click:
I know how single click works, but I accidentally double clicked the icon, it should under NO circumstances create a function called '3', no matter what, that is a BUG

Function keys:
I had selected a LS, as I had said in my post. It randomly puts this error msg up even when an LS IS selected.

Field Renumbering:
Your solution is not 'perfectly logical'.
If you have a LS 1 from 1-6 and a nested LS 2 5-6, if you delete fld 5, the ONLY possible thing you would want is LS1 to go to 1-5 and LS 2 to go to 5-5. Except under very rare occurrences. Blank is of no use what so ever. This is what the users want.

Deleting multiple fields DOES NOT WORK properly with renumbering fields.

Control Breaks:
The button in the LS definition labeled ‘Control Breaks’ does nothing when you click on it.

Field Validation:
Yes that is minor, but there are others this was just an example.

Logic 0:
I would still like to get to logic 0, people are used to it, why remove it. I'm not saying the new idea is bad, just people are used to logic 0. You did ask for user input....

'One big advantage in my opinion is that if it is broken it will get fixed, can you say the same for Aide'
We used to get fixes to PRO-AIDE if we needed them, as there was not much wrong with it. Recently we have not had any bug fixes.


Rob Donovan.

#39 Guest_Neil Mellis_*

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Posted 23 February 2001 - 09:33 AM

Lets not spend our energy on arguing about D.S lets spend it
on making VIP right.

One point that I will not conceed is that logic 0 should not be editable. Priov should not really have use a logic to define scratch variable but a table. With the D.S and VIP models you still get the ability to define them with the big benefit of being able to scope the variable to the function. when I eventually produce an rtf based color parsed logic editor it will be able to color varivle both sratch and file that are out of function scope - this is good and provides the ability for autocomlete to be implimented.

#40 Dan Shannon

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Posted 23 February 2001 - 11:12 AM

Neil,

If takeup of VIP is anything like as slow as takeup of DS et al, you'd be better spending energy on making DS work as people want it to.

IT managers are terribly conservative people. They want to KNOW that something works before they deploy it. That's why (I assume) so may people like PRO-AIDE. And it's also why people distrust PRO-IV's own development solutions - because they're buggy and unpredictable.

Don't take this personally, please, this is a problem with PRO-IV that goes back a long way, and there's plenty of work you need to do to regain developer confidence in your (ie PRO-IV's) ability to produce stable development platforms.

Trying to tell us that VIP will magically be better simply won't work - we have too much experience of past efforts - even if VIP really IS the answer to our prayers (and who knows, it might be).

Dan Shannon

#41 Doug Smith

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Posted 24 February 2001 - 12:51 AM

Hi Neil

I note with interest that you are not willing to concede the point that Logic 0 should be editable.

I cannot agree with this. One of the major problems we have is with the porting of functions between VMS and UNIX. Due to the fact that UNIX has smaller available workspace than VMS, in order to prevent 'Function Exceeds Workspace' problems, we are continually modifying functions by reducing the amount of workspace required by defining variables in logic 0. As DS does not allow this, it will never be a viable option for our organisation. If this point of view continues into the VIP environment, then we cannot even begin to look at VIP or DS as a potential development environment.

If you want to support existing clients with legacy applications, then you must change your way of thinking on this. We have approx 10k functions. Examining these functions to try and figure out the size of each variable is not an option.

Doug

#42 Guest_Neil Mellis_*

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Posted 24 February 2001 - 07:27 AM

Hi Doug

I think that you have mis understood how D.S and VIP deal with this.

Instead of physically editing logic 0 with define statements you are provided with a screen that allows you to define scratch variable name and size which automatically generates logic 0. For existing functions you will be preseneted with a list of all scratch variables used by the functions with those no explicitly defined by a developer defaulting to runtime lengths. This should assist you as the description against auto created defines states that the variable was auto created there for a candidate for trimming in context of usage. The big advantage to you is that your concerns of explicit defines during development are managed by D.S. If you type a new scratch in logic, field, inteface etc you will be promted with a dialogue to define the length/dimension which will be added to logic 0 for you. If you mistype a scratch the very fact that the popup has appeared notifies the developer that he is about to use a new variable.

With mandatory scratch variable enabled (options) and pre-gen check (options) any scratch variables undefined the function will cause an pre gen error so trapping the loose use of a scratch. This can be fixed by :-

open scratch variables option in data drop down which will find undefined scratches and add the to the table as automatic definitions (i.e. full runtime length) you will then if you wish be able to trim the length to your usage requirements.

I hope this is clear. All developers that I know that have used D.S for at least a few days and given it a chance (Rob), say they like this feature and it is much cleaner than hand defining varibiables in logic 0.

#43 Rob Atherton

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Posted 25 February 2001 - 03:43 PM

Hi Neil,

Is this really an either or situation. Why can't DS, VIP or what ever dev. tool you produce have the scratch variable option and also access to Logic 0. Lets be honest, every site with Studio will also have @MODX so the logic can still be accessed, can't it.

We are effectively the customers as we use the development tools. We know what we want, we've asked for it so why can't we have it ?? There is a feeling amongst a number of programmers that Pro-IV want to dictate to everyone what we should be doing.

You, as a company, have some important decisions to make. Your product is used successfully by some major businesses all over the world and can be used to produce systems very quickly compared to other languages. Isn't it about time you took on board comments from us users rather than telling us we should be doing things a different way.

If you handled the product you have, in the right way, the world would be your oyster but sadly for us all at the moment, your future's a clam.

..sorry that turned into a bit of a rant, didn't it. We do appreciate you coming on here to commumicate with the rest of the ProIV world. Hopefully, you can take the comments and rants that appear on this board in a constructibe manner.

#44 Guest_Neil Mellis_*

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Posted 25 February 2001 - 06:00 PM

Hi

Let me get this right.

you want to be able to type in define statements for scratch variables, In logic with no scoping and no assistance with the rest of your function usage of scratch vars.

Am getting the wrong end of the stick or do you really not understand what studio is doing for you, have you used it (not just looked at it)

If of course you would like to impress your peers with your ability to type define statements and remember them all across your functions be my guest. Believe me that the scope benefit of managed scratches out ways the need to use logic 0 directly. All we are doing is writting logic 0 for you with benefits

#45 Dan Shannon

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Posted 25 February 2001 - 06:25 PM

Ah, methinks you miss the point, Neil.

Yes, it's nice for a tool to do definition for you. In some ways its even more correct. But I think that developers (especially experienced ones) really do like to have the option of writing the code for themselves, so they know for certain what it says, rather than letting the tool do it for them.

Being cynical and smart ('If you like to impress your peers...') doesn't impress. If you want that I could (but won't) point out that it's 'outweighs' (as in more weighty) not 'out ways' ;)

I really think that we're trying to help you to help us by providing a better platform to develop in. This is our bread and butter as much as it is yours, we want it to be right - so Rob's not wrong if he wants to edit logic 0 directly. I understand that there's a lot of criticism of the existing products in this thread - but isn't it possible that there's some truth in the complaints? You need to understand that this is NOT personal, it's professional, and that means that if we're not all going to nick off and learn a new language and leave PRO-IV for dead then we need to get the whole thing right sooner rather than later.

Oh, and while I'm thinking about it, can we get v5.0 to start operating at PRECISION(38) rather than a max of 20? It is the SQL standard for a NUMBER variable after all... (I know you're not the right man to ask).

Thanks

Dan Shannon



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