David Hart

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Top Stories by David Hart

Black & White, the year's hottest PC game, allows you to play a deity. Whether you become an evil or benevolent one depends on your attitude, actions, other people, and your current environment. In the beginning, it's easy to start out with every intention of being "good," but, by the end of the game, you can wind up being a veritable Darth Vader. Corporate computer training can be like that. As an instructor I see training from many viewpoints on a daily basis. Over time, you see what works and, unfortunately, what doesn't. Since time and training dollars are precious and few, you want the best return on your investment. You want to maximize your training. Avoiding the Pitfalls Training, unfortunately, is not always a great experience. Often, every turn on the road to "training success" reveals another obstacle. You can fill in some of those "potholes" by avoiding... (more)

Maximize Your Sybase Training

Black & White, the year's hottest PC game, allows you to play a deity. Whether you become an evil or benevolent one depends on your attitude, actions, other people, and your current environment. In the beginning, it's easy to start out with every intention of being "good," but, by the end of the game, you can wind up being a veritable Darth Vader. Corporate computer training can be like that. As an instructor I see training from many viewpoints on a daily basis. Over time, you see what works and, unfortunately, what doesn't. Since time and training dollars are precious and few,... (more)

A Snippet Here, a Snippet There

Once upon a time there was a source code editor called "Brief." Okay, so it was DOS-based and had an ugly interface. However, it had one feature I truly loved, a "code snippet" manager. You could have your favorite block of code inserted into your source with a few keystrokes. Eventually, I stopped writing Clipper code and started using PowerBuilder, which didn't have this built-in feature...until now. The "Clip Window," toggled on and off via a new icon on the PB8 PowerBar, allows you to store your favorite "clips" of code and drag-and-drop them into your scripts. The name Clip ... (more)

Context-Sensitive Help

"The tag property takes a string value." That's what PB Help tells us about the tag property. Not much considering all or at least most PB objects have a "tag" property. What's its mission in life? Anything we want it to be. You could use the object's tag property to set MicroHelp in an MDI frame with the code in a GetFocus event, for example: w_frame.SetMicroHelp(This.Tag) However, the time-honored use has been for context-sensitive help. By putting a distinct "keyword" for that object in the tag property, you can grab this text and pass it to the ShowHelp function. Just what eve... (more)

Dynamic Report Module Basics

Now that the holidays are over, it's back to work, back to school...and back to the basics. In my December column, "PowerBuilder and ODBC 101" (PBDJ, Vol. 9, issue 12), we discussed hooking up to a database via ODBC. This month, let's look at the most important item to hook up to a database, a DataWindow. Our apps are all about viewing data, and the DataWindow is the nucleus of all "data viewing" in PowerBuilder apps. (Source code for this article can be downloaded from www.sys-con.com/pbdj/sourcec.cfm.) Since most DataWindows function as "reports," we'll use that as our model. L... (more)