Easy to Create, Easy to Change - Easy to use!

DataEase 8 PRE I - Preview

The development up to and including PRE II focused on functionality and more than 40 new functions and a lot of new functionality has been added. We are still adding some more functions, but we are getting close to being satisfied with what DataEase 8 Developer now is capable of doing, so the focus will now move on to other pressing matters.

The main focus on DataEase 8 Pre-Release I is to improve the user interface. The presentation in DFW has been very dated as it should/would when the technology is from the early 90ies. For some reason the transition from 6.x to 7.x also made the flickering and re-drawing of forms/tool bars/menus etc. even worse.

A lot of the brilliant functionality of DataEase for Windows have gotten lost in bad presentation and quality control. In DataEase 8 both quality and presentation (as well as functionality) will improve dramatically.

DataEase is supposed to be simple and understandable, but one thing that is not very simple is to orientate in the application itself. You drill down into the application and suddenly you have a lot of windows open and they are all over the place. Due to the way it has been designed, you have not been able to have a maximised and a normalised form at the screen at the same time. If you one a maximised form, all forms get maximised, and if you normalise or minimize a form, all forms get normalised or minimised.

To get around this, developers have devised a lot of "hacks" or "tricks". One is to oversize all forms so that they will always be bigger than the screen when normalised, another is to go the other way and make all forms always Maximised  and try to place the content in such a way that it looks good.DataEase have ourselves made a hack for the system forms, so when they are opened (and they will open as normalised) all the forms will be normalised and resized to fit the screen...We will not even get started on stupid functions like IsMaximized or IsNormalised etc...

In our mind, DataEase has gotten further and further away from its original idea over the last couple of decades. In the old days, it was quick and easy to get things up and running and it looked OK. Over the last decades "proper" programming have invaded the DataEase space. Instead of focusing on making things work and look good quick, they have made the users take more of the irresistibility of  understanding and knowing what to do to get it to look and feel right. The DQL editor "type ahead" functionality that was so much loved by most DFD users, was not implemented in DFW because it was deemed "invasive" an "unnecessary" as users now knew the DQL syntanx better than DataEase did itself. The fact that users screamed and wanted it back went on deaf ears. When users wanted more functionality and more interactivity, the standard approach was scrapped and they got OML instead. A quasi C++ dialect that interacted with the rest of DataEase in such a way that one could easily break the entire thing for good. The fact that the editor was based on the "crap" DQL editor with even less help and documentation, didn't help the situation a whole lot.

The DataEase form model was maybe OK back in the 90ies when everyone had either 800x600 or 1024x768 sized screens, but as things have progressed and people have all kinds of screen sizes the model has become obsolete. It looks a little weird when all the content is squeezed up into the upper left corner and 80% of your screen is unused. Try to use the Zoom function and it becomes at least entertaining. A from made for a 800x600 looks really cool when it is resized to fit a 1920x1080 screen... 

In PRE1 we introduce a new window model that will open forms in Tabs and all content will be centralised in the form. When a form is opened as a Dialogue, it will also be opened centralised on the screen as you see above.

You will finally be able to utilise background images and transparent records etc.



Published: 09/01/13 - 18:30:16 (DataEase Development)

Last changed: 08/04/13 - 12:56:37 (Ulrik Jacob Hoegh - Krohn)

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