Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Aleksei Gavrilenko, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Jaynesh Shah

Related Topics: PowerBuilder, Microsoft Cloud

PowerBuilder: Article

Dancing Checkboxes

Writing a window that will allow you to “set the day of the week”

Normally I write columns about the DataWindow or Appeon. This month though I ran into an interesting little logic problem and when I solved it I realized it was really a nice piece of code so, even though it is not in my normal genre I thought I'd share it.

I was tasked with allowing the user to pick a combination of days of the week with these specifications.

  1. The user may select no more than three days prior to today.
  2. The user may select no more than three days in the future.
  3. The user may not have both prior and future dates in the same group
  4. If there are not three days in the past available in this week then the week "wraps." That is to say, if the day is Monday then you only have Sunday as a past day in the week, but for our purposes Saturday and Friday would be considered past days of the same week.
  5. Repeat rule 4 for future days.

It was actually rules 4 and 5 that gave me fits. If it hadn't been for those rules this would be a straightforward thing. Rules 4 and 5 meant that I had to get really creative. Rules 4 and 5 stem from the fact that this is a means of selecting days for a report. The report may be historical or projected (future). They are only interested in four days at any time. Those four days being the current day and either up to three days in the past or future. In fact they aren't necessarily interested in today. They may only choose last Tuesday - as long as last Tuesday was not farther than three days in the past.

For the purposes of this article I am going to write a window that will allow you to "set the day of the week" so that we can test.

I created a small window and put seven checkboxes thereupon. They were named, predictably, cbx_Sunday, cbx_Monday, cbx_Tuesday, cbx_Wednesday, etc. Each of the checkbox controls were carefully sized to be just a little bit bigger than the text. I put each of them inside a group box that had the text attribute removed so it just looked like a 3D box. Then I aligned them horizontally, see Figure 1.

Here is where the problems with rules 4 and 5 become apparent. If today is Wednesday then everything looks and acts fine. We could have the previous three days selected with no problem. Look at Figure 2.

We are supposing in Figure 2 that today is June 25, 2012. We have Monday checked. Also Sunday is checked and that would be June 24. Sunday and Saturday are both checked and according to our rules they would be June 23 and June 22. However, if you look at Figure 2, does it appear that Saturday and Sunday are in the past? No, of course it doesn't. I found this to be deceptive and prone to user error. Clearly some creativity is required here.

My first idea was to let the checkboxes be moved so that the middle day of the seven was always in the middle. That way the days on the left are always in the past and the days on the right are always in the future. For my first attempt I made all the controls equal size, as big as the biggest, and then it was easy to just move them around.

The problem with this is that the display looked horrible. There was more space between Monday and Tuesday than Wednesday and Thursday. It just didn't look good, see Figure 3.

Compare the space between Wednesday and Thursday to the space between Friday and Saturday. Clearly this is inconsistent. We needed a better idea.

I went back to the original idea of having the controls just a little bit bigger than they needed to be. Now I couldn't use fixed positions for the x coordinate. I needed to generate the x coordinates. That meant that I could start where cbx_Sunday.x is but after that I need to put the second one at cbx_Sunday.x + cbx_Sunday.width + li_some_small_buffer.

To do this I created an instance array of checkboxes (did you know you could do that?). Here is what it looks like:

W_main Instance Variables

checkbox icbx_days[7]

The icbx_days array will hold the days of the week in their proper order. If today is Friday then icbx_days[1] will be the checkbox for cbx_Tuesday. We will handle that in the open event. Let's take a look at the open event, which is the core of this whole thing.

First we need an array that will be the checkboxes in the order in which they will eventually be needed. I named that lcbx.

We can find out the day of the week with the dayNumber function passing today() as an argument. The fourth element of icbx_days should always be today, so we start from there. We set the background color since we want it obvious that is today. After that we set the fourth element (middle) of the instance variable icbx_days to be the checkbox in the local array that is at the day number.

If this isn't clear, go to the listing and look at the four lines under the comment //Today is in the middle. That should make sense to you.

After that there is series of code segments where I decrement the li_index variable, loop it around if needed, then just set the checkbox in the local array to the instance variable. In essence I'm loading the instance array with the checkboxes in the order that I need to display.

You might want to look about halfway down these segments for the comment that says // Now Tomorrow. That's where I start loading the future days.

Finally there is a for-next loop that moves the checkboxes to the proper places.

It is Monday when I wrote this column so if you look at Figure 4 you will see the final result.

W_main.open
// Move the checkboxes to the proper sequence
int li_cbx_x_positions[7], li_index, li_y = 112
long ll_start, ll_delta, ll_count, ll_width

checkbox lcbx[]
lcbx = {cbx_sunday, cbx_monday, cbx_tuesday, cbx_wednesday, cbx_thursday, cbx_friday, cbx_saturday}

// Today is in the middle
li_index = dayNumber(today())
lcbx[li_index].backcolor = rgb(178, 34, 34)
lcbx[li_index].textcolor = rgb(255, 255, 255)

icbx_days[4] = lcbx[li_index]

// Let's do yesterday
li_index --
if li_index < 1 then li_index = 7
icbx_days[3] = lcbx[li_index]

// Now the day before yesterday
li_index --
if li_index < 1 then li_index = 7
icbx_days[2] = lcbx[li_index]

// Now the day before that
li_index --
if li_index < 1 then li_index = 7
icbx_days[1] = lcbx[li_index]

// Now tomorrow
li_index = dayNumber(today()) + 1
if li_index > 7 then li_index = 1
icbx_days[5] = lcbx[li_index]

// Now tomorrow
li_index ++
if li_index > 7 then li_index = 1
icbx_days[6] = lcbx[li_index]

// Now the last day
li_index ++
if li_index > 7 then li_index = 1
icbx_days[7] = lcbx[li_index]

//Now we move them to the right places
ll_delta = 30
ll_start = cbx_sunday.x
ll_width = cbx_wednesday.width

for ll_count = 1 to 7
icbx_days[ll_count].move(ll_start, li_y)
ll_start += icbx_days[ll_count].width + ll_delta
next

Download source code here.

More Stories By Richard (Rik) Brooks

Rik Brooks has been programming in PowerBuilder since the final beta release before version 1. He has authored or co-authored five books on PowerBuilder including “The Definitive DataWindow”. Currently he lives in Mississippi and works in Memphis, Tennessee.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
The basic integration architecture, as defined by ESBs, hasn’t changed for more than a decade. Most cloud integration providers still rely on an ESB architecture and their proprietary connectors. As a result, enterprise integration projects suffer from constraints of availability and reliability of these connectors that are not re-usable across other integration vendors. However, the rapid adoption of APIs and almost ubiquitous availability of APIs amongst most SaaS and Cloud applications are rapidly redefining traditional integration approaches and their reliance on proprietary connectors. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company helps mid-market firms built on IBM hardware platforms to deploy new levels of reliable and cost-effective computing and high availability solutions, leveraging the cloud and the benefits of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits, DevOps is corr...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...