Dumb Newbie Questions -- 1 of N

Scott Morrow scott at elementarysoftware.com
Thu Apr 30 19:38:14 EDT 2009

Hello Judy,

> <snip>    There has to be some threshold at which Mark's approach  
> makes sense and underneath that it simply doesn't matter.  What is  
> that threshold and why does it matter at that point? </snip>

I agree. However,  trying to define that threshold isn't probably ever  
going to be satisfying. I think this is one of those instructional  
difficulties that is hard to nail down outside of generalities and  
theory.   Using custom props to store data is usually not one of the  
concepts I would expect most folks new to Revolution to pick up early  
on.  Learning to store data in fields on cards is probably a simpler,  
more concrete and logical-next-step method that allows seemingly good  
results with the least effort.  (When I teach my 8 and 9 year old  
students to use the random function to pick a line of text,  I have  
them count the lines and hard code a digit rather than having them use  
< the number of lines of field "blah" >  I've tried both and the digit  
is more understandable and works best for their needs.) In my case...  
even though I understood all the mechanics necessary to store data in  
custom props rather than card-based storage in fields, and I'd heard  
Richard Gaskin talk about it at two RevCons,  it wasn't until the card- 
based solution began failing my needs that I began to REALLY  
understand and start to change my way of looking at that part of  
design.  (Oh... that's what he meant...<light bulb flickers> )  I  
believe Judy is right about some people needing to use card-based  
storage. (especially those from a HyperCard background)  The point at  
which many of us are ready to learn another way is dependent on prior  
knowledge.  Why do I need another way? Until my prior knowledge  
included experience with and understanding of particular difficulties  
(the NEED to separate data from layout) I wasn't REALLY ready to learn  
about it other than in an abstraction or as an exercise.  (No, I'm not  
referring to Mr. Gaskin as an abstraction.)

Scott Morrow
Elementary Software

On Apr 30, 2009, at 11:25 AM, Judy Perry wrote:

> DunbarX recently lamented the lack of stupid new user questions.  As  
> I privately communicated to hi & Jacque, while not a new user, I  
> certainly have stupid questions in abundance.
> So here's mine on custom properties & arrays:
> I d/l Mark's stack on the subject.  Here are my comments (no  
> criticism of Mark intended):
> 1.  That's rather alot of work to go through for a stack that would  
> have, at best, 3 or 4 cards worth of data.
> 2.  I'm willing to concede that, for such an employee database on  
> the order of where I work, with probably ~7,000 employees, Mark's  
> solution likely makes better sense from both a programming  
> standpoint as well as a speed of execution standpoint.
> 3.  I am, however, willing to also point out that, for some normal  
> human newcomer, if they're told they should NEVER EVER save data in  
> a stack having multiple cards and multiple fields, they're gonna  
> tell you that's why they stick with PowerPoint.
> 4.  I think #4 above defeats the purpose.  We were all stupid normal  
> humans at one point.  Some of us (moi) still are.  There has to be  
> some threshold at which Mark's approach makes sense and underneath  
> that it simply doesn't matter.  What is that threshold and why does  
> it matter at that point?
> Kindest thanks,
> Judy
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