Database Basics

Joe Lewis Wilkins pepetoo at
Sun Dec 7 17:02:10 EST 2008

Hi Tom,

I did something with a bird stack about 20 years ago; but, since I  
wanted to have a picture of each one, I used a separate card for each  
bird. Only B/W with HC, however. That made sorting and arranging and  
doing all sorts of things real easy - even for HC; but I don't  
remember having that many birds. I can see you're not planning  
anything as elaborate as what I was doing. Of course, I think, many of  
your observations are for the same "bird"; just different times and  
places; so, perhaps, you wouldn't actually need so many cards after  
all, having multiple entries on many of the cards. Should you take  
that direction it would be pretty easy to create the stack from the  
field data you already have from a script. You may want to try that,  
regardless. Another approach.

Good luck,

Joe Wilkins

On Dec 7, 2008, at 1:37 PM, Tom Cole wrote:

> Dear Revolutionaries,
> I made a sort of flat database with tons of redundancy in HyperCard  
> to track all of the birds I have seen for many years. I love it, but  
> it's time to move it to OSX and make it more efficient. I can easily  
> convert most of the data to comma delimited records like the  
> following with four items to sort: birdname,date,place,notes
> Abert's Towhee,8/8/1971,Cotton Fields Safford Arizona,scratching in  
> an arroyo
> Abert's Towhee,10/23/1971,Headlight Pond,mask particularly dark
> Abert's Towhee,11/27/1971,Verde River,heard only in the mesquite
> Acorn Woodpecker,12/22/1971,Mount Ord,spectacular sighting
> American Water Pipit/01/04/1972,Phoenix Sewer Flats,odd he was on a  
> fencepost
> Band-tailed Pigeon,01,20,1972,Sunset Crater Arizona,high in the  
> ponderosas
> I'm experienced with revolution and want to make the front end  
> interface using my familiar scripting -- then I can blaze away. But  
> imagine the above list with 17,757 lines. That's how many individual  
> birds I have seen and recorded. The field sorts fast in Rev by item  
> (date, birdname, etc.) in the field but that's about all I can do. I  
> realize belatedly that I don't know how the heck to make this  
> database. I want to filter out all the birds seen in a particular  
> place on a particular date and have that appear somewhere and  
> endless things like that.
> Is it possible to filter information quickly with 17757 records in a  
> field?  I know that's what SQL for (as the backend I think you call  
> it), but does Rev have the power to allow me to stay happily in Rev?
> Forgive my ignorance on this. I guess you might advise me to learn  
> SQL. If so, then if there is an easy layout or flow chart that might  
> help, that would be great. I tried a couple of the tutorials on SQL  
> available at, but remain kind of stuck. What's an easy  
> book perhaps with a simple hands-on project?
> Thanks
> Tom
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Joe Lewis Wilkins
pepetoo at

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