Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Janakiram MSV, Yeshim Deniz, David H Deans, Andreas Grabner, Stackify Blog

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
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a mu...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
Real IoT production deployments running at scale are collecting sensor data from hundreds / thousands / millions of devices. The goal is to take business-critical actions on the real-time data and find insights from stored datasets. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Walicki, Watson IoT Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud, will provide a fast-paced developer journey that follows the IoT sensor data from generation, to edge gateway, to edge analytics, to encryption, to the IBM Bluemix cloud, to Wa...
There is huge complexity in implementing a successful digital business that requires efficient on-premise and cloud back-end infrastructure, IT and Internet of Things (IoT) data, analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Applications. In the data center alone, there are physical and virtual infrastructures, multiple operating systems, multiple applications and new and emerging business and technological paradigms such as cloud computing and XaaS. And then there are pe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, 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 r...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...