Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to make an Ugly App

Being away from my wife for more than a month doing admin works again, this time in Port Moresby, I have time to play with my form's appearances during the night.  With her besides me, of course I cannot do that as that will mean war!  LOL!  And honestly, I should not do that as well because there should be a fine line between being a developer/designer and a loving husband.

Anyway, being alone here on my room at night and not still into coding mood these days, I work instead on finding out how to make my forms look better by creating what I hope are stunning but not too comical forms.  So I play with mixing colors, creating some effects for my forms' appearances, plus some new tricks on some menu/button effects for further eye candies. While this post won't and can't help anyone on coding matters, I hope this will at least give you ideas on how to make your forms uglier.... err... prettier.   Here are some pointers:

a.  Use Photoshop.  This is the best tool I have known so far where I can design stunning effects to serve as form's background.  Play with layers, Layer Styles, Filters, Opacity and Fill.

b.  Transparent Pageframes.  Well I shared this before here but if this is ignored, I cannot blame them.  The sample I gave there is very simple and does not leave much to imagination.  But take a look at the effect when used in my real forms.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Insert Words, Combine/Merge RTF Files

This came from a question inside foxite forum when a member tried to merge two RTF files into one via FILETOSTR() and STRTOFILE() and the member cannot see the second set of words added at the end of the rtf document, and wonder why.  So here is the explanation.

An RTF file starts with {\rtf1 and ends with corresponding }. So if you combine two or more rtf documents via a FILETOSTR() then later STRTOFILE(), each of those will have their own opening and closing RTF codes.  And an RTF document will just read whatever is within its opening and closing codes that whatever is added after the closing bracket will be ignored.

Here is a test for you to see better.  Copy these codes and paste to a notepad, save with an RTF extension, quit  and open the file in wordpad or msWord:

{\rtf1\Ansi\ansicpg1252\deff0\deflang1033{\fonttbl{\f0\fswiss\fprq2\fcharset0 Calibri;}{\f1\fnil\fcharset0 Arial;}}
\viewkind4\uc1\pard\f0\fs20 This is sample\f1\fs18
\par }

Now, we will simulate FILETOSTR() and STRTOFILE() with additive clause at the end.  Imagine if we copy the same set of codes and paste it twice inside, on notepad, it will look like this:

{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\deff0\deflang1033{\fonttbl{\f0\fswiss\fprq2\fcharset0 Calibri;}{\f1\fnil\fcharset0 Arial;}}
\viewkind4\uc1\pard\f0\fs20 This is sample\f1\fs18
\par }
{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\deff0\deflang1033{\fonttbl{\f0\fswiss\fprq2\fcharset0 Calibri;}{\f1\fnil\fcharset0 Arial;}}
\viewkind4\uc1\pard\f0\fs20 This is sample\f1\fs18
\par }

Save it, close and open in msWord or Wordpad.  Surprise!!! There is still one line of word "This is a sample"  instead of two.  Again because an RTF ignores anything that is after the closing } bracket.

So we cannot blame FILETOSTR() and later STRTOFILE() as those are doing properly what they are designed for.  Either you clean up the RTF codes yourself or better use Word Automation so it will clean the RTF codes for you.

Here is a sample of word automation:
Set Safety Off
Declare Integer ShellExecute In shell32.Dll ;
      INTEGER hndWin, ;
      STRING cAction, ;
      STRING cFileName, ;
      STRING cParams, ;
      STRING cDir, ;
      INTEGER nShowWin
#Define wdStory           6
#Define wdPasteDefault    0

Local lcSource, lcTarget
lcTarget = Addbs(Getenv("TMP"))+"Target.rtf"
lcSource = Getfile("rtf")
If !Empty(m.lcSource)
      Create Cursor junk (myMemo M)
      Insert Into junk Values (Filetostr(m.lcSource))

      * Let us create the RTF file

      * Now we will make two copies of the content in a single RTF file
      Local loRTF As Word.Application
      loRTF = Createobject("Word.Application")
      With loRTF
            .DisplayAlerts = .F.
            * Copy everything, paste as a new set, save and quit
      * Check using wordpad
      Messagebox('You aborted!')

I hope this helps you on your needs!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How Uglier can a VFP app get?

Been gone for quite a while now doing admin and other managerial jobs lately and I felt I am loosing my grip on developing but every time I think of doing it, my mind sorts of auto shuts down, LOL!  I guess that is what normally happens when you have plenty other things to think of.

Anyway, I looked for something that can entice me and lure me back into developing and GUI designing and I found it in my Assets Masterfile module which image I have posted before under Various Images on a Grid blog.  Now, I wanted to change that grid into an HTML Browser instead for smoother scrolling effects.  That is the start and then I decided to make it more looking like a website maybe?