How to find the column and row of a basic tableField

Curry Kenworthy curry at
Thu Apr 2 14:13:35 EDT 2020

We don't need to confuse people - it DOES cause damage, because readers 
often trust confident/prolific statements without realizing which ones 
are flawed, and they act upon bad information. It often falls to 
consultants and trainers like myself to help individuals fix the 
resulting problems later. I guess that's good for business, but as an 
ethical person I also like to prevent headaches for others before they 
happen. I can't in good conscience let incorrect info slip by unchallenged.

Despite a lot of good info posted, there has been also considerable 
intentional "spin" on this topic in various threads, as well as several 
outright inaccurate claims, all of which could easily be confusing, so 
here's an ACCURATE FACTS RECAP (for all related threads) that people who 
desire real info can easily verify as factually correct and trust as 
reliable and objective:

1. Can fields display inline images? YES! A large number of images can 
be displayed.

2. Can fields display checkboxes? Only CUSTOM designed ones, which can 
work well.

3. Can we figure out which field column was clicked? YES!

4. Have we had this ability (#3) for a long time? YES! Since LC/RR 1.0 
at least.

5. Is finding which column something people commonly know or can figure 
out? Not sure, but SEVERAL people immediately provided sample code. 
(This was attempted as a strawman claim, it was not my claim, but 
hilariously backfired.) Actually there are at least THREE different 
approaches, two of which are generally applicable and the other also 
valid and interesting but specialized to certain content requirements. 
I'm not counting additional handy approach(es) that rely on an existing 
implementation of one of these three.

6. Does finding which column via tabstops require a "convoluted" 
solution with lots of code? HECK NO; that's rubbish! It has been 
available as a one-line function call without rolling your own since at 
least 2012 with SpreadLib. Also available with other libraries. And 
while rough sample functions have been posted here, some of us 
specialize in more efficient techniques and have much sleeker code.

7. Does finding which column require using the simple table field 
setting with cell edit enabled? NO! Not at all. The wording of the 
subject line might confuse people, but this was later clarified by Bernd 
regarding his helpful code sample.

8. Is using a datagrid somehow more trouble than setting up a field for 
desired table features? Depends on the approach, but IRRELEVANT to the 
original issue of WHETHER finding which column was available on regular 
fields. (In context of recent discussions, this was another strawman 
argument introduced to reframe the discussion and walk back previous 
incorrect claims.)

The reality is that multiple solutions are available to choose from, 
there are precoded solutions and sample code available, and each 
approach has some pros and cons. Do NOT be confused by "fans" of an 
approach (usually DG) who exaggerate and cherry-pick (or just make 
confident assertions) to sway others. They may sound confident, but the 
actual facts don't change based on who has the time and energy to be 
more talkative. Datagrids are fairly easy to set up, but the flip side 
is that they also more complex and subject to the limitations and 
consequences of that complexity. Those familiar with KISS and 
optimization will understand such considerations; well-documented in 
Computer Science. Fields have their pros and cons too. Be aware that you 
have choices, and which solution is superior depends on your project 

Finally, while having a pre-coded solution is nice (and we've had some 
for years) people shouldn't be misled into thinking this is an extremely 
difficult problem. The math algorithm is simple to understand. Not 
rocket science by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, this is much 
closer to real-world problems encountered thousands of years ago in the 
Bronze Age or perhaps even earlier in the Neolithic. Literally somewhere 
between Jericho and Sumer in the level of progress and difficulty. The 
math is not complicated - it makes a good student learning exercise. If 
people think this is really hard, society may be in trouble! :)

This and other topics with some inaccurate claims have inspired me. When 
I get caught up, along with other things eventually I'll launch a Facts 
vs Myths/Fake News web page to help newbies sort out reliable 
information about LiveCode features. Accuracy is important and must not 
be lost among all the "politics" and opinions of discussions. Take care, 
all! Be safe about quality code, accurate info, and virus 
precautions/social distancing.

Best wishes,

Curry Kenworthy

Custom Software Development
"Better Methods, Better Results"
LiveCode Training and Consulting

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