Saturday night after the FileMaker conference in Salzburg: a few participants sat together in a casual round in the hotel bar, drank a couple of beers and discussed - what a surprise: FileMaker. "Oh," I said. "Syntax highlighting, that would be cool." - "Hhm, let's see ...", Christian Schmitz of Monkey Bread Software murmured almost inaudibly.
Sunday I received an email from Christian. "Check out the latest beta version."
Overnight Christian has implemented the syntax highlighting in FileMaker scripts and in the formula editor!
Gradually he refines the features. Fine, fine!
I want to show current status: A picture is worth a thousand words. Christian, I say THANK YOU!
Thanks to Roland for the idea and for the help on testing it. If you like, to try it, please download our beta plugin.
Today we worked on the syntax coloring and found a new use for it. You can tell the plugin now to highlight longer texts and specify script steps which would be an error. Like this: MBS( "SyntaxColoring.AddTag"; "Enter Find Mode [Pause]"; 1; 0; 0 ) So all Enter Find Mode script steps with Pause will be shown red. This way you can highlight your errors. Available in next plugin prerelease.
With our 2.9 plugin function we added PHP functions. Those functions allow you to load the PHP library from file system and use it. This gives you tons of new functionality with our plugin for either reusing PHP code from your website or by solving new issues with PHP.
One of my clients recently asked about space characters on web apps. He is used to sometimes put more spaces in the text to increase the distance between words. But with a website, those spaces have no effect.
If you put several spaces in a string, the web browser will compact that to one space. Except if you use a non breaking space. To create a non breaking space on Mac you simply type option-space (alt key and spacebar). On Windows it depends on the application. For example in Microsoft Word and Open Office, it is Ctrl-Shift-Space.
If you are familiar with asc() function in Real Studio, we can tell you that normal space has code point 32 and non breaking space has 160. The unicode standard actually has 12 other different space characters with different width and other properties.
In HTML when sent to browser, the non breaking space will be encoded as and the browser sees that as content for displaying. This is something I used years ago to have empty table rows in html have the high of normal text rows by using those spaces there.
What do you think about this picture on the right?
Do you like the idea?
Today I added a little bit color to this. I'm curious about what people think about it and if it makes trouble in other Filemaker dialogs as the color is a global thing. The plugin can color the field, but has no idea which field it is coloring currently.
A picture says more than a thousand words. You see the color on the right?
Soon everyone using the MBS Filemaker Plugin can have this. By default we color if commands blue and loop commands green.
Maybe we even make it configurable. Stay tuned.
Will probably available in the next days with the next 3.0 prerelease.
What do you think about this idea?
Technically this script commands are shown on Mac OS X using a standard table. The plugin registers a callback to receive an event whenever the text drawing functions in the table want to draw something. We check the text and change the text color.
In the last three days I got a lot of requests and ideas for new plugin features. And between the discussions I had some spare time for coding. So we got this new functions:
SystemInfo.Time Queries current system time in seconds with nanosecond precision. Good for timing how long something takes.
FM ExecuteSQL LastErrorMessage After executing a FileMaker SQL command, this function can give you the error message. Normally you only see the error in the data viewer in Filemaker, but here you can get the error in a script.
WebView RenderImage For Windows, I added some support to this function. Basically we print to an image. But some websites don't like that and some things simply do not print.
WebView RenderPDF This is a new function for Mac OS X to render a website to a PDF. Nice for storing a screenshot of a website. This gives sharp text and is often smaller than just a screenshot.
WebView Screenshot As Windows made trouble with getting image, I also added a screenshot function. This one takes a screenshot of exactly the position of the webviewer. This way you have a preview of the website to store, like for a thumbnail.
Have a nice year and see you again 2013 on the next conference in San Diego or Salzburg.
Nickenich, Germany - MonkeyBread Software today is pleased to announce MBS FileMaker Plugin 2.9 for Mac OS X or Windows, the latest update to their product that is easily the most powerful plugin currently available for FileMaker Pro. As the leading database management solution for Windows, Mac, and the web, the FileMaker Pro Integrated Development Environment supports a plugin architecture that can easily extend the feature set of the application. MBS FileMaker Plugin 2.9 has been updated and now includes 1200 different functions, and the versatile plugin has gained more than 100 new features:
We added new OCR functions which allow you to use the open source tesseract 3.01 library to recognize text in images. This works nice with images in Filemaker containers and provides text for full text search in media databases.
With our XL functions and the libXL library, you can read and write content to Excel files. No need for Microsoft Excel being installed. Especially you can write reports by loading a template Excel file and adding your data. Also you can create customized import functions to read data from Excel files. LibXL supports several Excel versions and supports both the older xls files and newer xlsx files.
You can now use PHP again in our plugins. We updated those functions to work with current PHP library. You can execute PHP functions, work with various extensions and call back from PHP code to your Filemaker scripts.
We now include our Runtime Shrinker application with our plugins. This application can reduce the size of a Filemaker runtime application by over 50%, depending on the settings like which languages or libraries to remove. Try it and enjoy faster downloads of your runtime solutions.
Read about all changes in detail in the release notes on our website. Please also take time to check our more than 100 example databases showing you the functionality of our plugin.