7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 4, 2012 4:36 PM by gdurniak

    Screen Real Estate - It's Not Unlimited Nowadays

    AlanStirling

      I've been a FileMaker Developer for over 20 years and with each version, the screen clutter for the developer increases.  So each year I would buy the latest MacBook Pro, with the largest screen resolution so as to avoid having to move modal diagolue boxes around the screen so as to see what was actually happening to my database.

       

      It has now become a much bigger issue, with the demise of the 17" MacBook Pro.  I have a 15" MacBook Pro retina display and wherever I position the developers tools, they mask an important part of the screen of the system that I'm trying to develop.

       

      There appears to have been little effort to optimise the size and shape of these tools, particularly the Script Debugger window and the Data Viewer.  The three panes of the Inspector go some way to help, but the Inspector shows only in Layout mode, whilst the Debugger is used in every mode except Layout mode - perhaps they could be combined?  What about a fourth pane in the inspector that switches to the Script Debugger when not in Layout Mode.

       

      I'm sorry to bring up the Relationship Graph, but although it switches between Tables, Fields and Relationships, these three windows have differening needs.  We need the Relationship Graph to be as big as possible, but we don't need the Table and Fields windows to be as large - they could be less than half the size of the window for the Relationship Graph.  This is a design mismatch. Perhaps these three functions should be separated, so the Relationship Graph can display in its own window set at a different size to the other two.

       

      I believe that a careful review of the way that this program is used by developers could reveal some obvious changes that would improve the interface for the developer - this needs to happen.

        • 1. Re: Screen Real Estate - It's Not Unlimited Nowadays
          eshoshin

          I agree and that's why I prefer at least a 20" iMac. Currently I have a second 20" Cinema Display connected as well. Adding debugger to the inspector is an interesting idea.

           

          I was not too happy when the 17" MBP line died either.

           

          Have you tried developing in Windows? Absolutely brutal.

          • 2. Re: Screen Real Estate - It's Not Unlimited Nowadays
            caromsoft

            About a year ago I switched to Mac from Windows for development. I was very surprised how much easier FM programming is on the Mac. I use a 21.5 iMac and a 24 second monitor.

            • 3. Re: Screen Real Estate - It's Not Unlimited Nowadays
              jrenfrew

              While I generally agree, I am bi-lingual in developing, and on windows use a 27in monitor with a 19in off the side, which pretty much replicates my Mac experience. Now Sublime is x platform the only thing I am missing is my Spellcatcher.

              Prefer Mac now but dont feel restricted on Win at all

              • 4. Re: Screen Real Estate - It's Not Unlimited Nowadays
                gdurniak

                It seems that Developers today need two monitors. It's the same with photoshop, etc.

                 

                FileMaker should review EVERY dialog, to make them smarter, consistent, and more readable

                 

                greg

                 

                 

                > they mask an important part of the screen of the system that I'm trying to develop.

                • 5. Re: Screen Real Estate - It's Not Unlimited Nowadays
                  AlanStirling

                  Hi All

                   

                  I should have explained that I do have a 30" Apple Cinema Display on my desk in my office, but much of my work is still done on site in my client's offices around London.  I did find that my 17" MacBook Pro (Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1200) was getting too heavy to carry about, so I 'downgraded' to a 15" MBPR, but I don't have the luxury of a big screen monitor waiting at each of my client's sites.

                   

                  So now that my screen space is limited to 15" MacBook size, I wish FileMaker could redesign the development tools and dialogues to take account of limited screen area.  The present overall design does not seem to worry about this. However much I shrink the dialogues, they can soon take over the whole screen - especially if they are permanently set to 'stay in front'.  Maybe I need to set up my iPad as a second screen?

                   

                   

                  I did find a little app called 'DisplayMode' which lets me run the MacBook Pro Screen with a screen resolution of 1680 x 1050 (Retina) as opposed to the native 1440 x 900 (Retina) - this does help the situation.  But I'm looking for a better way for FileMaker to provide us with these tools, using clever ways to hide them when not needed or when they are just in the way.

                   

                  Thanks for all your suggestions.

                   

                  Best wishes - Alan

                  • 6. Re: Screen Real Estate - It's Not Unlimited Nowadays
                    eshoshin

                    The way FM operates within an application window on Windows is what frustrates me.  The "free-ranging" windows on a Mac make it much easier.  I have FMA on a Windows laptop that I'm forcing myself to use sometimes because I feel it's important to be functional in both environments... but I still prefer Mac.

                     

                    Ethan

                    • 7. Re: Screen Real Estate - It's Not Unlimited Nowadays
                      gdurniak

                      I also just noticed that the same Inspector seems to work across all files, in a Multi File Solution. This is very neat

                       

                      Imagine if ALL Dialogs worked that way

                       

                      I should not have to open a new Scriptmaker for each open file !

                       

                      greg

                       

                       

                      > The three panes of the Inspector go some way to help