spreadsheet-like tables

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spreadsheet-like tables

Jon-3
I want to port a simple (!) program that has a "database record" for
each row in a user viewable (and possibly editable) table. The data may
have to be sorted in more than one fashion, and some fields may have to
have different colored backgrounds or text.   Some fields might be
editable in the table, while other fields (memos) might be edited in a
single field at the bottom, where the current record has the memo
contents displayed (I hope this is clearly explained).  Given that I
have no compatible databases on my Windows system (that I know of!), I
may not actually choose to use a database, but perhaps some other
approach (text file(s), multiple cards (something I do not understand
very well), etc)..

So.  Two questions.

First off, what is the best way to present the user with tabular data?  
I tried the "table", and it has lots of problems, at least the way I did
it <sick grin>.  Any sample stacks out there for me to study?  I had the
most trouble allowing the user to edit the data: the appearance of the
table went to hell when the user started modifying a field in the table.

Secondly, are there any simple databases that "come with" Windows?  Any
freebie databases that can be (easily?) installed on Windows?  Any
resource I should have consulted before posting this probably-redundant
question?

Thanks

Jon
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Re: spreadsheet-like tables

Alex Tweedly
Jon wrote:

> I want to port a simple (!) program that has a "database record" for
> each row in a user viewable (and possibly editable) table. The data
> may have to be sorted in more than one fashion, and some fields may
> have to have different colored backgrounds or text.   Some fields
> might be editable in the table, while other fields (memos) might be
> edited in a single field at the bottom, where the current record has
> the memo contents displayed (I hope this is clearly explained).  Given
> that I have no compatible databases on my Windows system (that I know
> of!), I may not actually choose to use a database, but perhaps some
> other approach (text file(s), multiple cards (something I do not
> understand very well), etc)..
>
> So.  Two questions.
>
> First off, what is the best way to present the user with tabular
> data?  I tried the "table", and it has lots of problems, at least the
> way I did it <sick grin>.  Any sample stacks out there for me to
> study?  I had the most trouble allowing the user to edit the data: the
> appearance of the table went to hell when the user started modifying a
> field in the table.

If you can live with one limitation, I think the easiest answer is to
use Chipp's altHeader plugin. It provides headers for  columnar data,
allows for resizing of the columns, makes it easy (or automatic - I
don't remember) to sort by different columns, etc.  Only thing I wanted
and didn't find was column re-ordering (i.e. selecting the third
column's heading, and drag-and-dropping it to make it now be the fifth
column).

The limitation is that, as far as I know, you can't have different
fields in different colours - though it may be possible to program that
yourself.

You mentioned "memo" fields - I'd be inclined to keep them out of the
tabular display completely, so that only the "current" record has its
memo field(s) displayed at the bottom.

> Secondly, are there any simple databases that "come with" Windows?  
> Any freebie databases that can be (easily?) installed on Windows?  Any
> resource I should have consulted before posting this
> probably-redundant question?
>
How much data do you have to deal with ? You can go a long way with CSV
files (actually, use TABs or some other character that won't appear in
your data, not commas, as your separator - makes things much easier),
and the speed of text manipulation and searching in Rev will allow this
to scale quite a long way.

I wouldn't use the "data on cards" approach - I like to keep data and
code separate, and to have the data in a format that can be readily
accessed by other tools if needed.

You should look at SDB (Serendipity Database-Binary). I have failed
utterly to get it to work for me, in spite of trying seriously 3 or 4
times - but I know others have succeed, so it may be just me that thinks
differently and can't understand the docs, or my system set-up that is
peculiar, or something. (If ever there was a product that needed a
detailed step-by-step set of instructions for installing it, SDB is it.  
I would have a go at writing it - except that I can't figure it out well
enough to do it myself :-)  So if you try this and succeed - you owe me
a write-up on the exact steps you took ....


Alternatively, stretching the definition of "simple", install MySQL or
PostgreSQL. Free (beware mySQL ceases to be free if your app is a
commercial app, in some complicated way), and both come well packaged
for Windows, and with lots of books, articles, support available, etc. -
but not quite "simple".

Or pay a modest sum for altSQLite.

Or write your own extneral to interface to sqlite.

Or .....
or just use CSV files :-)

--
Alex Tweedly       http://www.tweedly.net



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Re: spreadsheet-like tables

Jon-3
thank you, Alex!

:)

Jon

Alex Tweedly wrote:

> Jon wrote:
>
>> I want to port a simple (!) program that has a "database record" for
>> each row in a user viewable (and possibly editable) table. The data
>> may have to be sorted in more than one fashion, and some fields may
>> have to have different colored backgrounds or text.   Some fields
>> might be editable in the table, while other fields (memos) might be
>> edited in a single field at the bottom, where the current record has
>> the memo contents displayed (I hope this is clearly explained).  
>> Given that I have no compatible databases on my Windows system (that
>> I know of!), I may not actually choose to use a database, but perhaps
>> some other approach (text file(s), multiple cards (something I do not
>> understand very well), etc)..
>>
>> So.  Two questions.
>>
>> First off, what is the best way to present the user with tabular
>> data?  I tried the "table", and it has lots of problems, at least the
>> way I did it <sick grin>.  Any sample stacks out there for me to
>> study?  I had the most trouble allowing the user to edit the data:
>> the appearance of the table went to hell when the user started
>> modifying a field in the table.
>
>
> If you can live with one limitation, I think the easiest answer is to
> use Chipp's altHeader plugin. It provides headers for  columnar data,
> allows for resizing of the columns, makes it easy (or automatic - I
> don't remember) to sort by different columns, etc.  Only thing I
> wanted and didn't find was column re-ordering (i.e. selecting the
> third column's heading, and drag-and-dropping it to make it now be the
> fifth column).
>
> The limitation is that, as far as I know, you can't have different
> fields in different colours - though it may be possible to program
> that yourself.
>
> You mentioned "memo" fields - I'd be inclined to keep them out of the
> tabular display completely, so that only the "current" record has its
> memo field(s) displayed at the bottom.
>
>> Secondly, are there any simple databases that "come with" Windows?  
>> Any freebie databases that can be (easily?) installed on Windows?  
>> Any resource I should have consulted before posting this
>> probably-redundant question?
>>
> How much data do you have to deal with ? You can go a long way with
> CSV files (actually, use TABs or some other character that won't
> appear in your data, not commas, as your separator - makes things much
> easier), and the speed of text manipulation and searching in Rev will
> allow this to scale quite a long way.
>
> I wouldn't use the "data on cards" approach - I like to keep data and
> code separate, and to have the data in a format that can be readily
> accessed by other tools if needed.
>
> You should look at SDB (Serendipity Database-Binary). I have failed
> utterly to get it to work for me, in spite of trying seriously 3 or 4
> times - but I know others have succeed, so it may be just me that
> thinks differently and can't understand the docs, or my system set-up
> that is peculiar, or something. (If ever there was a product that
> needed a detailed step-by-step set of instructions for installing it,
> SDB is it.  I would have a go at writing it - except that I can't
> figure it out well enough to do it myself :-)  So if you try this and
> succeed - you owe me a write-up on the exact steps you took ....
>
>
> Alternatively, stretching the definition of "simple", install MySQL or
> PostgreSQL. Free (beware mySQL ceases to be free if your app is a
> commercial app, in some complicated way), and both come well packaged
> for Windows, and with lots of books, articles, support available, etc.
> - but not quite "simple".
>
> Or pay a modest sum for altSQLite.
>
> Or write your own extneral to interface to sqlite.
>
> Or .....
> or just use CSV files :-)
>
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Re: spreadsheet-like tables

Sarah Reichelt
In reply to this post by Jon-3
> First off, what is the best way to present the user with tabular  
> data?  I tried the "table", and it has lots of problems, at least  
> the way I did it <sick grin>.  Any sample stacks out there for me  
> to study?  I had the most trouble allowing the user to edit the  
> data: the appearance of the table went to hell when the user  
> started modifying a field in the table.

I would have the data in a standard list field with the tabStops set  
to make the display look OK. When the user selects a line, pop the  
different items into separate editable fields. Then have an "Apply  
Edits" button that gathers up the edited data and puts it back into  
the selected line of the data field.

HTH,
Sarah

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Re: spreadsheet-like tables

Jon-3
Ugh.  No way to edit values right in the tables?  Really?  Sigh


Sarah Reichelt wrote:

>> First off, what is the best way to present the user with tabular  
>> data?  I tried the "table", and it has lots of problems, at least  
>> the way I did it <sick grin>.  Any sample stacks out there for me  to
>> study?  I had the most trouble allowing the user to edit the  data:
>> the appearance of the table went to hell when the user  started
>> modifying a field in the table.
>
>
> I would have the data in a standard list field with the tabStops set  
> to make the display look OK. When the user selects a line, pop the  
> different items into separate editable fields. Then have an "Apply  
> Edits" button that gathers up the edited data and puts it back into  
> the selected line of the data field.
>
> HTH,
> Sarah
>
> _______________________________________________
> use-revolution mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your
> subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-revolution
>
>
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Re: spreadsheet-like tables

Sarah Reichelt
> Ugh.  No way to edit values right in the tables?  Really?  Sigh

You can edit directly in the table, but I find it ugly & confusing,  
especially if the data becomes longer than the column width. I would  
much rather have a dedicated edit field. If you don't want to pull  
the complete record out, do it one cell at a time, like most  
spreadsheet programs do.

Sarah

>>> First off, what is the best way to present the user with tabular  
>>> data?  I tried the "table", and it has lots of problems, at  
>>> least  the way I did it <sick grin>.  Any sample stacks out there  
>>> for me  to study?  I had the most trouble allowing the user to  
>>> edit the  data: the appearance of the table went to hell when the  
>>> user  started modifying a field in the table.
>>>
>>
>>
>> I would have the data in a standard list field with the tabStops  
>> set  to make the display look OK. When the user selects a line,  
>> pop the  different items into separate editable fields. Then have  
>> an "Apply  Edits" button that gathers up the edited data and puts  
>> it back into  the selected line of the data field.
>>
>> HTH,
>> Sarah

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