What problem does it solve?
Since FileMaker 7, developers have struggled with finding ways to organize the relationship graph.
Some of the methods they've adopted are for good reasons (performance, modularity…), but some -many- are there to avoid complexity.
For example, strict -and difficult- naming conventions have to be used just in order to know what TO is 'visible' from another, which one allows creation, deletion…
This applies to pretty much all types of graph organizations. I'm not talking about A&B or spider or Selector/connector… they basically cannot solve that problem by themselves.
Some developers even adopt graph organizations they know to be not-so-optimal because they save time and error risk if they avoid complexity in the graph.
In the first place, there shouldn't be complexity. There is just no reason for that. And I think there is a quite simple way to shrink that complexity.
We already have comment boxes in the graph. What I'm suggesting is this :
- the comment box can CONTAIN table occurrences
- they become scrollable (they are already collapsible)
- when collapsed, the relationships of the enclosed TOs are represented as if they pointed to the comment box itself (just like when you close a TO object, the relationship points to it's 'title' (or reduced form…)
But because information about the graph is not only useful while working on the graph itself, the graph organization should be reflected in all drop downs where we can select a TO (there are quite many!). Priority to the Select field dialogs in Script steps (Set Field, Insert…)
To do this, the comment box title (that is the first line of the text), is used as a submenu in which contained table occurrences are listed.