You cannot script layout design--which would explain why you are having difficulty finding info about it.
it sure does! :) I 'd be great though wouldn't it? Even as an add on...
why would you want to?
You really have no idea why I d want it? It seems fairly obvious in some respects.
a. Say you have a few screen resolutions you want to program with in mind, then most probably you will either resort to an elaborate layout that hides, slides, and rearranges itself. Or a few layouts which you have to keep pretty similar, so one change should be reflected then after in all, here's one script application. Or there could be a few script steps like enter layout, change width of the layout by x, the width of any main sliders or tab panels by x.
b. Say you have a pop up where the user can hide or show menu options (I am implementing one right now) via another menu on the second slider page. So they remove say some things in the menu that pops up that they might not need, then a script is triggered to move remaining items vertically by x, then shorten the pop up by y.
c. the same with re-arranging per user request items on screen. (b and c are in a broad category where a user chooses the layout)
d. Automating layout design, loop through panes in a slider and where you find menu put it at x, y. , aligning menus in sliders thus.
e. Automatic layout design again, loop through the buttons and set each one set theme style item, button say. There are really quite a lot of applications of this, for automating design and themes in particular. Loop every field and output which ones don't have a style.
...off the top of my head, I am sure there are others.
but you really want users to redesign your layouts ... albeit via scripts .... what happens when two ppl want to run the script at the same time?
You could actually script your designs with a tiny bit of human interaction... With FMClips you can modify anything in FileMaker that you can copy to the clipboard. I don't think this would be practically for on the fly, but could be done in advance.
- create a layout with the fields you're interested in
- copy the fields
- jump over to FMClips and add a new clip
- create a script to examine the xml in the clip to identify the fields
- script processing the fields as you wish like styles, position, hiding, or anything else in the xml!
- copy the updated clip
- paste into a layout
It would work great, but you'd need to be VERY precise in modding the xml.
FMClips primary use is to store anything your might reuse in your database, but you can do anything you'd like with the xml.
We use it for loops everyday. When we copy the clip, it asks what we're looping thru. If we enter 'Contact' then it updates the loop so the comments and variable names are ContactIndex, ContactCount and such...
Check it out. http://campsoftware.com/products/fmclips/ We're having some problems with our wordpress site right now, so if you can't get the page to load try later.
I think we need to make a distinction between "adjustable layouts" and "layout design changes". The first is temporary and can be specific to a particular user or group of users. The second makes permanent changes that potentially affect all users.
I do see the need for more capabilities for making a layout adjustable to different display hardware and OS settings and to suit differing user needs and preferences. But I wouldn't want to do that with a script that actually made design changes to the layout.
You could create a scriptable layout design using custom web publishing. Just show a web viewer of a php page that lays out the fields as you wish. It's still a ton of work.