10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 18, 2012 12:56 PM by doctorvandermast

    Are dictionaries necessary in a runtime?

    doctorvandermast

      I'm creating a Runtime using FMP 11 Adv on the Mac, for distribution only to Macs.

      My solution doesn't need spell checking and I have turned it off in the Spelling tab under File Options. In this case, is it really necessary to include any dictionaries in the Runtime/Extensions folder? Or even the Extensions folder itself, since dictionaries are all that's in it?

      Being able to simplify what's included in the Runtime folder is desirable.

        • 1. Re: Are dictionaries necessary in a runtime?
          Stephen Huston

          Hi Doc,

           

          I usually remove almost all of the dictionaries from the folder except the basic English and User dictionaries. This leaves something to be used if the user has permissions to turn on spell-checking, while greatly reducing the size of the runtime package. I've never had any problem with this arrangement, but, admittedly, I've never removed all of the dictionaries from one, so I don't know if that would befuddle anything.

           

          Stephen Huston

          • 3. Re: Are dictionaries necessary in a runtime?
            doctorvandermast

            See if this helps:

            http://www.filemaker.com/help/html/fmpa_tools.24.16.html#1028581

             

             

            The above link to the FileMaker Help page addresses removing the dictionaries where you don't need to support that language.  But it doesn't address what the consequences are of removing all the dictionaries.

             

            Is there something else besides spell checking that requires the presence of some dictionaries?  Size isn't the main issue for me. For me the issue is simplicity.  The less stuff there is in the runtime folder for customers to see, the better.

            • 4. Re: Are dictionaries necessary in a runtime?
              richardsrussell

              The link may not tell you what the actual consequences of a total deletion ARE, but I get the distinct impression that you probably don't want to find out:

               

              2.

               

              Delete language resource folders for languages not supported by your solution.

              Important  Do not delete the language resource folder for English.

               

              However, I pass along the advice of one of my favorite high-school teachers: "Be a scientist. Experiment." TRY deleting the whole shebang from a discardable version of your solution, then come back here and let us all know how it turned out.

              • 5. Re: Are dictionaries necessary in a runtime?
                doctorvandermast

                The link may not tell you what the actual consequences of a total deletion ARE, but I get the distinct impression that you probably don't want to find out:

                 

                 

                2.

                Delete language resource folders for languages not supported by your solution.

                Important  Do not delete the language resource folder for English.

                 

                However, I pass along the advice of one of my favorite high-school teachers: "Be a scientist. Experiment." TRY deleting the whole shebang from a discardable version of your solution, then come back here and let us all know how it turned out.

                 

                -----------------------------

                On experimenting.

                 

                I've been "experimenting" with missing dictionaries for some time. Several weeks ago, my Mac's display went black and wouldn't come back. This is my production machine and because I am always looking for an excuse to buy a newer computer, I immediately replaced it and took the old one in for repairs.

                 

                When I transferred the contents of my old, black-screen Mac to my new Mac from my external backup drive, the process somehow didn't transfer the dictionaries in FileMaker Pro Advanced Extensions folder.  I didn't know these dictionaries were missing and worked happily on using FileMaker to add features for a soon-to-be released upgrade of my comercial runtime solution.  Then, one day, I made a runtime and found there was no Extension folder with dictionary files created in the runtime folder. Hmm.  Had FileMaker decided to internalize these files? What was going on?  I called FileMaker tech support and they couldn't explain it and had no suggestions why this was happening.  The runtime seemed to test out and run perfectly even with no dictionaries present.

                 

                Finially, I figured out the cause was the missing Extension folder in the FileMaker App folder, reinstalled FileMaker, and new runtimes got created properly with an Extensions folder and Dictionaries.  Problem solved.

                 

                But by now I was intrigued. My customer base is an older demographic group and I go to great efforts to make my solution easy to use by human beings who hate to read manuals. Getting rid of the Extensions folder in my runtime folder means one less icon that requires explaining and to befuddle folks.  I'd really like to know if I have that option.

                 

                There are two sets of resources that are suggested in the FileMaker help document as deletable to make a runtime solution smaller:

                 

                1. Dictionaries: for a Mac runtime they are in the Extensions folder in the Runtime folder.

                 

                2. Language Resources: on a Mac they are not in the Extensions folder but inside the runtime application package Resources folder. They are folders with file names like English.lprog, French.lprog., etc.  On Windows, according to the help file, these are inside the Extensions folder.

                 

                The one and only file that FileMaker specifically warns against deleting (at leaset in the Window's section) is the language resource folder for English.  I don't care about deleteing that file because it doesn't show on a Mac.

                 

                I have been "experimenting" with no dictionary files and solutions seem to run just fine. But this kind of experimenting is not sufficient.  I can't risk releasing an experimental solution on my customer base.  I need a definitive answer.

                 

                Any suggestions on how to find this out would be appreciated.  Any strategy suggestion about contacting FileMaker for support on this issue?  I contacted them twice before about the missing Dictionaries and asked if they were really necessary if I didn't have spell checking enabled. Neither customer support rep knew the answer.

                • 6. Re: Are dictionaries necessary in a runtime?
                  richardsrussell

                  "I can't risk releasing an experimental solution on my customer base.  I need a definitive answer."

                   

                  Does your customer base include about 4-5 reliable users with a variety of hardware configurations who would be willing to beta test it for you? Possibly you could incentivize them with a price break on their next upgrade. Besides learning about the absent dictionaries, you'd also get other fine-tuning feedback on the rest of the package.

                   

                  I'm intrigued that you are able to count on an all-Mac user base. Must be nice. FMP makes cross-platforming about as easy as it gets, but there are still too many annoying inconsistencies to make me a happy camper doing the cross-platform thing. (For all of that, tho, I'd still like to see Linux compatibility.)

                  • 7. Re: Are dictionaries necessary in a runtime?
                    doctorvandermast

                    Richard S. Russell wrote:

                     

                    "I can't risk releasing an experimental solution on my customer base.  I need a definitive answer."

                     

                    Does your customer base include about 4-5 reliable users with a variety of hardware configurations who would be willing to beta test it for you?

                     

                     

                    Based on my experience with software bugs, that would not be sufficient to make me comfortable. I need someone with some understanding of all the ways FileMaker uses these dictionaries to give me an opinion.

                     

                    I've opened a Priority Support case with FileMaker and they are going to "send the question up the food chain."  I'll post what I find out.

                    • 8. Re: Are dictionaries necessary in a runtime?
                      comment

                      doctorvandermast wrote:


                      I'll post what I find out.

                       

                      Please do. Meanwhile, if you want to make it easy for your users, I'd suggest you use an alias to the runtime.

                       

                       

                      See also:

                      http://fmforums.com/forum/topic/71970-runtime-as-mac-os-x-app-bundle/

                      • 9. Re: Are dictionaries necessary in a runtime?
                        doctorvandermast

                        comment wrote:

                         

                        Meanwhile, if you want to make it easy for your users, I'd suggest you use an alias to the runtime.

                         

                         

                        See also:

                        http://fmforums.com/forum/topic/71970-runtime-as-mac-os-x-app-bundle/

                         

                        I've been using FileStorm Pro which creates a disk image, one-click download, that opens displaying an installer. The customer launches the installer, and it puts the runtime folder where I tell it to. The customer also gets whatever instructions I want to provide. It's worked pretty well for me.

                         

                        I tell customers to drag the runtime icon to the Dock. In the upoming version of the solution I have replaced the FileMaker runtime icon (which confusingly looks like a folder instead of an appliction) with a custom icon making it easier to identify my solution in the Finder and the Dock.

                         

                        Here's a link to FileStorm Pro

                        http://www.mindvision.com/filestorm.asp

                        • 10. Re: Are dictionaries necessary in a runtime?
                          doctorvandermast

                          doctorvandermast wrote:

                           

                          I'm creating a Runtime using FMP 11 Adv on the Mac, for distribution only to Macs.

                          My solution doesn't need spell checking and I have turned it off in the Spelling tab under File Options.  In this case, is it really necessary to include any dictionaries in the Runtime/Extensions folder? Or even the Extensions folder itself, since dictionaries are all that's in it?

                          Being able to simplify what's included in the Runtime folder is desirable.

                           

                          Here is the response I got from FileMaker. This also matches my experience with using FileMaker solutions on the Mac with no dictionaries present.

                           

                          "On Windows, the resource folder for English cannot be deleted as you already know. For MAC compiled solutions that do not use spellcheck, the dictionaries CAN BE DELETED safely."