Last year I held a session at the german speaking FileMaker Conference in Salzburg about "Developer Tools that I use daily". Which in fact finally inspired me to formulate all these thoughts below. It's meant to be an open letter/feature request to FMI to get some thoughts across.
The big question that FMI should ask itself is:
Why do serious developers need to buy tools like 2Empower Developer Assistant or the MBS Plug-In with all the nifty syntax coloring add ons that we all have become used to - and love?
I assume in the "old" days - New developers features in a new FileMaker version were meant to attract customers /developers to buy the new version. I believe this paradigm has stared to change with 17 as the Advanced tools are now available to everyone by now.
I think FMI should strive to give their developers the best development environment possible. There is a saying at the german conference: Developers get new features in "homeopathic" doses.
One should wonder how and especially "why" 3rd parties such as 2empower and MBS can achieve such features and FMI itself can not. FileMaker by all means is a wonderful product, so I imagine, it can not be the genius programmers behind the scenes that won't get the job done. It's probably more of a "do we want it" question. That's why I mentioned the paradigm change above - that's more of politics.
At all conferences, I also hear a lot of talk "How to attract young developers?" Well, to keep those guys interested in the development, the development environment must be complete. The first time, a young developer misses a simple find function within a script, that's the case.
So please give us the best of a toolset with the next version.
For completeness I just enumerate a few things that I rely on every day:
- Yellow Color word/search highlight in scripts by the MBS Plug in.
- New MBS Find Cmd-F function in almost all lists with dialog boxes.
- MBS Relationship Graph find and select.
- Almost hourly I use: e2mpower Find text in all Scripts
- Once a week the Replace Functions of 2empower
Oh, not to forget as a feature wish (which obviously can't be achieved by 3rd party patches)
Give us collapsing triangles all over the place. Especially for "If Statements", Loops, etc.
It's possible for layouts already. Why didn't this feature make it into the Script Editor rewrite for 14 already a few years ago.