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  • Introduction to Forum

    In general, there would be one thread in this forum for each Help topic. Forum folks could post comments or suggestions, which moderators will eventually use to edit the official Help topic.

    General purpose threads, not specific to an existing Help topic, will be added by the moderator as the needed.

    For example, if someone has a general question about understanding/using DATE$ it would go in the PBWin forum. If they have a question about the content of the Help Topic Date$ (it's vague, wrong, needs beefing up, suggested example .etc) it would go in this forum under the Date$ topic.

    Threads may be started only by the moderator, but users may post to any thread.
    Last edited by Gary Beene; 23 Jul 2014, 11:29 AM.

  • #2
    It would be much more useful if they were in alphabetical order like the keyword section of the help file.
    Apologies, just found the index
    Last edited by John Petty; 18 Aug 2014, 09:52 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi John!
      Also, you can also sort the threads themselves in alpha order. Just click on the column header.

      Comment


      • #4
        wow ... never knew that.... thanks Gary

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gary Beene
          Just click on the column header.
          Originally posted by Brad D Byrne
          wow ... never knew that.... thanks Gary
          Only column headings with underlining are sortable.
          Attached Files
          Work is what you are doing when you would rather be doing something else.

          Comment


          • #6
            Berkley,
            Only column headings with underlining are sortable.
            I've never seen them without an underline. When does that happen?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gary Beene View Post
              Berkley,
              I've never seen them without an underline. When does that happen?
              Today's Posts
              New Posts
              Results from Search

              If there are others I don't know of them.
              Work is what you are doing when you would rather be doing something else.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't see it on the New Posts screen, but the subforum pages (PB/Win, Source Code, etc.) all have it. My habit is to go to http://www.powerbasic.com/support/pbforums/ and click New Posts, but depending on my mood, sometimes I'll double-click the Cafe icon first. From that page you can click on the subforums, if you are looking for a recent message or something. Those pages all have it, including "PBWin Online Help and Commentary".
                Last edited by Eric Pearson; 19 Aug 2014, 07:58 AM.
                "Not my circus, not my monkeys."

                Comment


                • #9
                  One thing I'd like to make note of... One of the main reasons for this project is too allow everyone to share their knowledge of a particular function/keyword and give an example of it. For instance... let's say you've got a cool way to use the MID$() function that took you hours to figure out and you think it would be cool to share it. Well, just go to the MID$ function page, and post a reply to that function so that everyone can see it. Or perhaps you've figured out a clever way of getting around an issue with a known problem... let everyone know about it!

                  Let's try to stay clear of "oh there's a typo here" or "that example won't ever work!"... those types of things should be made aware of in a private message. I know I've been pouring thru the help of both PB/WIN and PB/CC and converting them over to BBCode so they can be searched easily (Almost done) and one thing I've noticed is that many of the keywords don't have much of an example of how it's used.

                  If you see a keyword that could use more clarification of, post a reply and give a good example. Try to be descriptive about it and let everyone share the knowledge. Together WE can make it better!
                  Even if you think you don’t love mathematics,
                  mathematics loves you. Don’t believe me?
                  Solve the following for “i”.
                  9x – 7i > 3(3x – 7u)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by James Davis View Post
                    ... one thing I've noticed is that many of the keywords don't have much of an example of how it's used.
                    That usually slows me down when using something for the first time, or trying
                    to use it in a different way than usual.
                    The world is strange and wonderful.*
                    I reserve the right to be horrifically wrong.
                    Please maintain a safe following distance.
                    *wonderful sold separately.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kurt Kuzba View Post
                      That usually slows me down when using something for the first time, or trying to use it in a different way than usual.
                      Well for some commands it would be nice to see just how they are used to get things done. Maybe one command is better then another or perhaps comparing the speed of the different kinds of loop to each other (eg: for/next, while/wend, do/loop)... I'm just saying that we've each found different ways of doing basically the same thing and I think it would be nice if we shared those things we've discovered!
                      Even if you think you don’t love mathematics,
                      mathematics loves you. Don’t believe me?
                      Solve the following for “i”.
                      9x – 7i > 3(3x – 7u)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by James Davis View Post
                        Well for some commands it would be nice to see just how they are used to get things done. Maybe one command is better then another or perhaps comparing the speed of the different kinds of loop to each other (eg: for/next, while/wend, do/loop)... I'm just saying that we've each found different ways of doing basically the same thing and I think it would be nice if we shared those things we've discovered!
                        That's what I mean, also.
                        Without an example of proper usage, it takes a bit of trial and error to get
                        it right. And if there are multiple usages, my being familiar with only one, it
                        takes some time to work out how to use it differently.
                        The world is strange and wonderful.*
                        I reserve the right to be horrifically wrong.
                        Please maintain a safe following distance.
                        *wonderful sold separately.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well for some commands it would be nice to see just how they are used to get things done. Maybe one command is better then another or perhaps comparing the speed of the different kinds of loop to each other (eg: for/next, while/wend, do/loop)...
                          The performance is a wash; you should pick the construct which suits your style.

                          Ditto for compound conditions..

                          Code:
                              IS ISTRUE (X) AND ISTRUE (Y) THEN
                          .. is (because of short-circuit evaluation) exactly the same as ...
                          Code:
                              IS ISTRUE (X) THEN 
                                   IF ISTRUE (Y) THEN 
                          ...
                          .. and with each likely marginally faster than ..
                          Code:
                           
                             IF ISTRUE (X AND Y)  THEN
                          ... when X is false.

                          That is, don't look for a performance boost in your choice of looping statements. It's a waste of your (or your boss') valuable programming time. Use what's comfortable in the context of your application.

                          Maybe that is what the help file should say.

                          MCM
                          Michael Mattias
                          Tal Systems Inc.
                          Racine WI USA
                          mmattias@talsystems.com
                          http://www.talsystems.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael Mattias View Post
                            Code:
                             
                               IF ISTRUE (X AND Y)  THEN
                            ... when X is false.

                            Maybe that is what the help file should say.

                            MCM
                            Then again, all of that can also be coded as:

                            Code:
                            IF X+Y<>0 THEN
                            Being old school, I find that the easiest way for me. I never can remember what the ISTRUE/ISFALSE or %TRUE/%FALSE actually contain for the comparison to actually work... and it's alot less typing for me. But then again I started out in GW-Basic so making sure your code was under 1k was a premium and an habit I never really lost!

                            However, on the topic of this help section, what I've been thinking of how we can make this help forum better is if we follow the example of how PHP has presented their online help. Each command keyword has multiple examples for usage. Even some nice little routines for getting things done using those commands. This is what we need here... here's an example of the PHP STRPOS command (which behaves almost exactly like PB's INSTR):

                            http://php.net/manual/en/function.strpos.php

                            This is the kind of thing we need here for each of the PB commands... give an example or even a little subroutine to do a certain task that utilizes the same command. Hell... if you have a better way of doing something then using this command, show it off. Think about what people would be looking for when they do a search for trying to figure out how to do something like how to search a string backward, or reading records from a flat file, or even how to replace a keyword or command to make it work better using your own code. Wouldn't this make more sense? The more we add to the knowledge base, the better new people will be able to find the answers to their questions and the less we'd have to repeat ourselves over and over. I'm sure you'd like that Mikey!
                            Last edited by James Davis; 3 Oct 2014, 10:59 AM.
                            Even if you think you don’t love mathematics,
                            mathematics loves you. Don’t believe me?
                            Solve the following for “i”.
                            9x – 7i > 3(3x – 7u)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              (assume Y is true)
                              Code:
                              IF X+Y<>0 THEN
                              wrong!

                              In a case like this mathmatical plus would act as a
                              logical OR, not as a logical AND; and the IF is TRUE
                              when X is false.

                              While MCM's IF is false when X is false.
                              Dale

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Dale Yarker View Post
                                (assume Y is true)
                                Code:
                                IF X+Y<>0 THEN
                                wrong!

                                In a case like this mathmatical plus would act as a
                                logical OR, not as a logical AND; and the IF is TRUE
                                when X is false.

                                While MCM's IF is false when X is false.
                                You're right... my bad... I guess it should have been:

                                Code:
                                IF X*Y<>0 THEN
                                That fixed that problem! LOL
                                Even if you think you don’t love mathematics,
                                mathematics loves you. Don’t believe me?
                                Solve the following for “i”.
                                9x – 7i > 3(3x – 7u)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The thread that prompted this post is: https://forum.powerbasic.com/forum/u...e-as-a-service


                                  Before coming to programming, I had 14 years experience writing technical manuals for everything from military trucks and CCTV control systems to medical processes and software applications. So I noticed that when a request goes out for information on a topic, few replies actually address the underlying concepts, and many replies refer to someone's code that employs those concepts in a specific use.

                                  The problem for the newbie is in "dis-entangling" the features of the example from the portions that are the enveloping concepts. This makes it REALLY difficult to learn the topic! Especially if there are multiple examples, each done in a different style. The job of learning "what are the essential points" becomes a major investigation, because the student has to first learn what was used in each example and why, then find all the similarities and differences, and understand each of those... And if the examples were provided by a really advanced coder, there may be many more topics involved before they can be understood (eg: objects, pointers, threads, virtual listviews, etc.) To find the "least common denominator" can blossom from what could be a few hours to days or weeks of effort (especially for someone who is not programming every day). An example of such a topic is the thread about: How (when, and why) to make (or not make) an EXE into a service (link above). Or: How to determine if an internet connection is available. Or: How to create a modeless progressbar display while "invisibly" processing a large amount of data.

                                  OK, I'm a bulldog and I'll do all the work, but I must say, I think the PB community would benefit from someone sitting down and making a list (in words) of the context/framework/major points for the various "advanced" topics. Like the way attorneys learn about what makes a crime - they learn that "these elements must be present: actual damage of property, an intent to effect the damage, the capability of actually effecting the damage..." It may look like a "Cliff Notes" approach, and that's OK - it works!

                                  If such OUTLINES existed for topics of interest to PB beginners, I believe the community would attract more new interest and elevate the reputation of the tools/language.

                                  If anyone would be interested in being an "expert reference", I would be willing to begin generating such guides. If you would be willing to serve as one of my "subject matter experts", please contact me through a private message.

                                  Although I will begin creating a list of such topics, I would be willing to hear from others: what topic would you have liked to have had better documentation?


                                  -John
                                  Last edited by John Montenigro; 3 May 2017, 10:30 AM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I am not sure if this is what you are thinking...

                                    But it would be good to have a list of good programming techniques

                                    And another list of debugging techniques
                                    [I]I made a coding error once - but fortunately I fixed it before anyone noticed[/I]
                                    Kerry Farmer

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Hi Kerry,

                                      If I'm understanding you correctly, "techniques" to me means "programming style", and that's not exactly what I was trying to convey. While it WOULD be good to share "good techniques", I was thinking of slightly "larger" topics like:

                                      How (when, and why) to make (or not make) an EXE into a service.
                                      How to determine if an internet connection is available.
                                      How to create a modeless progressbar display while "invisibly" processing a large amount of data.

                                      But I am open to giving folks who are new to PB every possible advantage to learning quickly.

                                      -John

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Is what you are really asking for, John, is a forum not unlike "Source Code", except dedicated to actual discussions? Mostly conducted in English* rather than in code?

                                        That's not really necessary IMO; the forum for "Programming" would be a perfectly suitable place for any user to ask something like "When should I think about creating an application as a service?" or (to answer #3) " Why did not I not find the progressbar demo at Progress Bar Dialog for PB/CC programs October 24, 2002 which shows me how to have a modeless display whilst processing in the background?"

                                        When you start getting into the subjective such as application design ( "When should I ...?") " or "choosing a technique" when there is more than one way to "do something" are IMO far more suited to post & reply threads with multiple opinions than they are to pontificating.

                                        If you really want newbies to learn quickly, IMNSHO one of the very first things they should learn is, "There's more than one way to skin a cat."

                                        MCM
                                        * or whatever is convenient if the member is not fluent in English. We have enough multilingual members here to make language a small rather than large barrier.
                                        Last edited by Michael Mattias; 4 May 2017, 11:21 AM.
                                        Michael Mattias
                                        Tal Systems Inc.
                                        Racine WI USA
                                        mmattias@talsystems.com
                                        http://www.talsystems.com

                                        Comment

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