Saving stuff in a standalone
alanIra9 at mac.com
Sat Oct 12 19:31:01 EDT 2002
Hi to Ken, David, Jan, Yves and all others who responded to Tim Hart's
questions regarding the techniques for saving data generated out of
standalone apps built in RunRev.
As a Hypercard user back to 1987, the idea of a standalone stack is
pretty much foreign to me, even though I think HC was supposed to have
had some form of this capability since back in version 2.2. Most of
what I used HC for was as a number of business database applications,
each usually with several thousands of cards but no fancy stuff like
multimedia content. In combination with Reports DataPro's printing,
high speed search and index capabilities I was pretty much able to get
this combination to do everything that I needed to get done in my
business. And since it was for MY business, over the years, I was
constantly tweaking the interface, performance and output as the need
would arise. In any case all of my data was stored in my "application"
stack - with HC always running in the background which also allowed me
convenient access to other useful stackware created by others.
In the short time I've been playing with RunRev I've come to believe
that over time I will be able to generate within the RunRev environment,
most if not all of the "off-the-shelf" tools and goodies, available as
"externals" for HC and the absence of which I had lamented on the list a
few weeks ago.
As a result and in good faith reliance on the RunRev team's promise of
a "soon to come" report generator, I'm now just about ready to start
thinking about recreating the business apps which have become absolutely
essential to my business. I said "recreate" rather than duplicate since
RunRev clearly has far more inherent capabilities than did poor
HyperCard, so horribly neglected by Apple.
So here's my dilemma, what is the most efficient strategy for storing
the data of my RunRev apps; and how do I actually implement such a
Postponing the question of implementation for a moment, I'm am sure that
I do not understand the metaphor of how the external files (stacks or
text) are actually utilized. In a simple database arrangement with a
standalone as a front end, is all the data from the external file loaded
at once , in effect creating a new card for each record when the file is
loaded with say a thousand or so cards now held in memory? Or is the
standalone only comprised of one (or more) "template" cards which load
the data stored in the external file one at a time as needed and stores
newly created or revised data one record at a time in a similar manner?
If the latter is the case, how would one go about searching and indexing
such data; reasonably straightforward tasks IF the data is stored in the
stack as in a traditional Hypercard arrangement?
As to implementation, I have checked out the Revolution documentation
suggested by David Vaughn but I can't seem to find the "considerable
guidance" on the topic which he promised. What the heck am I missing?
Is there a small step-by-step tutorial stack that would explain the
concepts and illustrate the techniques of just how this is
accomplished? Such a tutorial stack need only contain a few fields and
10 or 20 cards (or records as the case may be) to do this. It seems
to me that such a basic issue should have been addressed in clearer and
more complete manner in the documentation, but I can't seem to find this
in either the online or printed documentation.
I would also like to see a similar tutorial stack illustrating how
RunRev can be used as a front end for a FileMaker database which I
surmise could be used to store, search and print/report the data as
needed. When I previously asked for this on the list I was told this
was easy and referred to 1 or 2 websites, but I was not able to locate
the promised Rev to FileMaker sample stack.
Significantly ore detailed help on both of these topics would be greatly
As I believe I mentioned earlier, I have been working on a variety
useful user interface tools which are essentially involve a bit of
"reverse engineering" many of the external goodies provided for
Hypercard by the Reports DataPro package. Some of these are used to
input specific data types into any given field, such as several calender
dialogs and user editable "askList" functions. Others provide a number
of search and sort as well as indexing functions. Those of you who have
worked with Reports DataPro will know the kind of stuff I'm talking
about - a group of very useful tools, implemented as externals, with a
consistent user interface and scripting approach, and which we did NOT
have to build ourselves since they were already available in a nice neat
reasonably priced package.
The good news is that with a little thought I have indeed found that
most of these goodies can also be implemented as RunRev stacks which can
be added as substacks to most RunRev projects and called as modal
Aside from getting the tools I need, creating such items have served as
a great tutorial in using Revolution to do things simply not possible in
Hypercard. Once again, many thanks to those list members who were kind
enough to answer my newbie technique questions. And yet this activity
has led me to another question on the topic of where certain data should
My "askList" function, which I've "reverse engineered" from the NTFList
function (external) from Reports DataPro provides a good example. This
is basically a list function which returns the chosen item or items to
the field from which the modal dialog is called. The list itself may be
user editable and the contents stored as a text resource of the stack.
In my RunRev version the list function is a substack called as a modal
dialog, with the list contents, prompt phrase, etc. stored as custom
properties of the field (in the mainstack)which called the function,
usually from a mouseUp handler. This way the list contents, prompt and
edit permission for the list function change dynamically depending on
the field from which it is called.
So here's the question: can dynamically changing custom properties be
saved within a standalone application? If not (as I suspect), and
saving changes to custom properties are subject to the same prohibition
as ordinary data within a standalone, what is an efficient way to store
these external to the standalone and easily access them when they are
needed? My guess is that, like many things in RunRev there is a
relatively simple answer to this question, but, at least to me, it is
neither obvious nor intuitive. Once again detailed help would be
In the course of developing my first stacks I have noted two phenomena
on which I would like a little help. The first of these: when I
double-click on a RunRev stack when the Revolution environment is not
already running, the stack which has NOT been built as a standalone,
opens essentially as a type "standalone" with none of the resources of
the Rev development environment. The only menu available is titled
"Revolution" and the only applicable menu item is "Quit".
This is not the behavior I would normally expect from a Mac
application - i.e. when double-clicked, a Hypercard stack would normally
open the Hypercard application with all available features consistent
with the User Level set in the Home stack or modified by a set userLevel
script within the stack being opened.
I have also noted that whenever I first start Revolution the application
opens with the Pointer tool as the default setting. What's going on
here? Is there a simple way to make double-clicking on a stack open the
Revolution application with the browse tool selected as the default
setting? What I'm trying to achieve is to have Revolution open in a
mode roughly equivalent to the "Typing" or "Painting" user level setting
in Hypercard. The idea here is to perhaps be able to use a Starter Kit
version of RunRev as runtime engine for stacks that have not been built
as standalone applications - but not to give unauthorized users the
capability of mucking around with the inner workings.
So there it is (for now). I'm sorry to have been so long winded but I
wanted make my questions sufficiently detailed so that the members of
the list would know exactly the kind of help I was looking for.
Thanks in advance for your patience and help.
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