Undocumented Improvement in FMP 11
Is it really worth upgrading to FMP11? The answer is YES - not for the new features that come with FMP11 but for this totally awesome undocumented improvement.
I haven't read through all of the FMP11 documentation but I think that what I will discuss below has not been documented - or maybe it has? Please let me know if it's the case and where I can find information about this...
The greatest thing about FMP11 is what I call "layout and field immobility". With previous versions of FMP (including FMP 10), fields that don't have a matching background or overlapping fields flash when navigating from record to record resulting in a very poor experience for the end user. The only way to avoid this was to match the field fill color with the background color (so white on white for example). But that didn't always work especially if you had several fields that acted as labels (i.e., in a multi-lingual db) in which case everything flashes as soon as the users changes records.
With FM11, it is now possible to have all fields (including label fields) transparent and, even better, fields can be placed on top of a gradient button or gradient menu bar without any flashing when changing records.
Even better, the layout itself seems to be locked and doesn't refresh when changing layouts. If you have a UI design where every layout is identical (header, footer, sidebar, menu bar), moving from layout to layout is 100% seamless. So it's like your entire db was built on a single layout.
I don't know how FM programmers managed to achieve this, but they did an outstanding job! I have been toying around for years trying to avoid field flash and finally I no longer need to spend countless hours to achieve "UI immobility".
If you're a FMP11 user and still have an earlier version of FMP, try navigating in FMP11 and you will notice that everything is still when changing layouts or navigating records - you could almost say the FM is in "Silent Mode". Now open the same database in an earlier version of FMP and you will notice right away that everything flashes and bounces when changing records or layouts - this is what I call "Flash Mode" and it's not good!
Hats off! FileMaker 11 is awesome and I do in fact like the new features such as the Inspector, Quick Search and the fantastic Charting Tool.
Keep up the great work! I am really liking 11...
And let's hope that "Field and Layout Immobility" will still be available in future releases of FMP.
It's a must and by far the greatest thing about FMP11,
If anybody noticed this, please comment.
Thanks for reading this post,<!-- POLLS -->
P.S.: After trying to do a few simple maneuvers in Alpha Five v10 and failing miserably, I decided to stick with FileMaker Pro and I am glad that I did... Can't wait to see what FMP 12 will bring. I am really hoping that they will improve dialogs and maybe add a dialog feature for IWP. Let's also hope for "on-hover" and "on-click" script triggering... That would be great!