1 2 3 4 Previous Next 46 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2017 10:46 AM by smith7180

    Golden Rule of Thumb

    gofmp15

      Choose the simplest and least troublesome technique.

       

      You will finish faster, be more relaxed, have more time to enjoy life and spend less on psychiatrists.

        • 1. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
          gofmp15

          Avoid worrying about how one technique vs another saves .15 seconds if done one million times in a loop. The loop itself will take more than .15 seconds.

           

          Use a blank layout rather than one with 200 fields on it and save even more time.

          • 2. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
            philmodjunk

            See Okkham's Razor--the simplest solution is often best.

             

            Yet in the DB world, there are many, many exceptions.

            • 3. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
              TomHays

              Generalizations are always wrong (including this one).

              • 4. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                gofmp15

                I feel a bit concerned for the newbie with absolutely no experienced with dbs or scripting or programming who asks for help and is inundated by suggestions for sql, java, plugins, etc. when they only asked how to find a few records...

                 

                Maybe since the certifiable developers have an exclusive forum of their own, the newbie should have one and the certifiable developers excluded?

                 

                Or filters in such an area that automatically blank out the words sql, java, etc. 

                 

                My heart broke reading a thread on one forum where a newbie asked how to create a report for his boss on an apartment building. Prior to FileMaker becoming relational, this was quickly handled with just one file and fields for floor, rooms, etc. Data was duplicated but FileMaker didn't care. The report summaries produced a nice tidy report from redundant it seems records. In fact, using one table I created a file that could be used for what was asked in less than 10 minutes, most of the time being used to align fields on the report.

                 

                Yet 6 weeks later this poor fellow was being totally confused by tons of suggestions and needless techniques to insure this and that.

                 

                I once again reiterate what I suggested decades ago: using restrictions on what a user can access so that a beginner can learn to develop much like a child learns mathematics in grade school. We don't throw calculus at first graders nor do we invite college graduates into class to argue in front of the kids about various theories about the universe. But that happens in this forum... 

                • 5. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                  gofmp15

                  TomHays wrote:

                   

                  Generalizations are always wrong (including this one).

                  I never tell the truth.

                  • 6. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                    jormond

                    Who would answer the questions?

                    gofmp15 wrote:

                     

                    Maybe since the certifiable developers have an exclusive forum of their own, the newbie should have one and the certifiable developers excluded?

                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                      philmodjunk

                      And who would identify which member of the forum is a "newbie" and which is not?

                       

                      And you really can't tell from the original post the skill level of the person posting a question either.

                       

                      I do suggest a few of my own "rules of thumb" that would be helpful to those attempting to help others:

                       

                      1) Suggest a solution to the immediate question first, unless that truly leads the person off in a really bad direction. Point out design changes that can produce a better design only after answering the original question. Often, they need that "fix" now, today and won't have time to redesign their solution first so it's often very good to bail them out of their current issue and then lead them to a better solution now that you have earned their respect for what you have to suggest.

                       

                      2) If you can't tell the experience/skill level of the poster, make a "wedge" response followed by an invitation to reply back if they need more detail. By a "wedge" response, you provide a general outline of your answer--the type of answer that is all that is needed for an fairly experienced user to be able to take the idea and run with it. Then follow up with additional slices of the "wedge" if the user replies back that they need more info. This keeps from overwhelming the person with a lot of detail. Give 'em the main idea and then fill in those details if asked for more.

                       

                      3) Above all be polite and respectful to the person asking the question. An ignorant question may strike you as incredibly foolish, but that is no excuse for talking down to the person or posting a reply that simply criticizes their idea without providing a better approach (and stick to suggestion #1 above if it's possible to do so.) Remember that we want to build the community by adding more members enthusiastically creating their own solutions, not drive them away with a negative experience.

                       

                      4) And sometimes no reply is better than any reply you might make. Recently, I've been pulling back from replies in a number of discussions simply because others "got there first" and are providing workable suggestions for how to solve the issue at hand. I might think that I've got a better idea in some small detail or other, but chiming in as the 3 or 6th person offering help mainly to critique a suggestion made by someone else isn't really going to be helpful to the original poster.

                      4 of 4 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                        wimdecorte

                        gofmp15 wrote:

                         

                        I feel a bit concerned for the newbie with absolutely no experienced with dbs or scripting or programming who asks for help and is inundated by suggestions for sql, java, plugins, etc. when they only asked how to find a few records...

                         

                        It's how a lot of people learn.  When I went to my first devcon I didn't understand half of what people showed.  But that was ok because now I was aware that it existed and I could work towards understanding it.

                         

                        So I am most definitely not in favor of splitting the forum.

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                          wimdecorte

                          gofmp15 wrote:

                           

                          Prior to FileMaker becoming relational, this was quickly handled with just one file and fields for floor, rooms, etc. Data was duplicated but FileMaker didn't care. The report summaries produced a nice tidy report from redundant it seems records. In fact, using one table I created a file that could be used for what was asked in less than 10 minutes, most of the time being used to align fields on the report.

                           

                          and sometimes showing how to do something in 10 minutes is exactly the wrong thing.  I've been involved in way too many clean-up actions for solutions that were strung together just like your explanation and that completely fell over under the weight of all the redundant things, bad design.  Sometimes the right thing to do is NOT to take the easy way.

                          2 of 2 people found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                            jfletch

                            Efficient apps are always a lot of work: either at the start or later on when you want to build on it.

                             

                            Analogy: Building a house that will last a long time will take a lot of careful planning and good materials and expert craftsmanship. Building a house that will last until the next storm, not so much.

                            • 11. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                              jfletch

                              "I once again reiterate what I suggested decades ago: using restrictions on what a user can access so that a beginner can learn to develop much like a child learns mathematics in grade school. We don't throw calculus at first graders nor do we invite college graduates into class to argue in front of the kids about various theories about the universe. But that happens in this forum...  "

                               

                              What you are describing here, gofmp15, is known in governance as "prior restraint." You are deciding in advance what a person is or is not allowed to see. It is quite an elitist, authoritarian (dare I say "fascist?") attitude.

                               

                              I don't always get what is presented here, but if it is important to me I will delve into all the more. If it is beyond me at the moment, I'll make a mental note of it and circle back to it later. We don't grow big and strong with a steady diet of milk. We must eat our meat and vegetables and get exercise and push ourselves to do more. Having someone protect us from the hard stuff will only stunt our growth.

                               

                              You're trodding a dangerous path, sir.

                              • 12. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                                BMyers

                                I'm a semi-newbie so I'll add a suggestion.  Solutions to problems are always good, but multiple suggestions can be bad to a newbie.  It is difficult for a newbie to work out which suggestion is best.  It means learning all the suggestions and then determining the pros and cons of each.  "Use this virtual list technique" or "I've found that using ExecuteSQL is best."  The newbie then thinks "huh? What's a virtual list?"  Not only is it time-consuming but a newbie is not in a very good position to perceive the pros and cons.  (Well, some are easy like realizing that learning SQL commands is not trivial.)

                                 

                                People posting suggestions typically state the advantages.  It really helps a newbie to know the disadvantages as well, such as an incompatibility with another technique that might be used elsewhere, or difficulty in documenting/debugging, etc.

                                 

                                For example, I like to use a selector table with globals, and I create master-detail layouts from the context of the selector table.  The downside is that this loses FMP's usual sense of context and that has its own problems.

                                • 13. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                                  KenNewell

                                  The solution to a problem changes the problem.

                                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: Golden Rule of Thumb
                                    beverly

                                    LOL. good one, Ken!

                                     

                                    I was going to reply that all answers should prompt a

                                    "that's all geek to me".

                                     

                                     

                                    Sent from miPhone

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