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John Olson

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Top Stories by John Olson

Many terms are born out of reality, based on observable evidence. When I hear the term silent majority I think of a large crowd of people, sharing some commonality, moving along peacefully without fanfare or press coverage. Maybe the commonality is a belief, like a religious or moral conviction, or maybe it's immutable, like race or gender. Occasionally, one in the group will speak out, saying something that resonates with the crowd. They nod in agreement, yet remain quiet, silent in support. That one becomes an involuntary spokesperson for thousands just because he or she had the courage to speak up. Studies have shown that for a particular demography each person who speaks out actually represents a large number of people, usually in the thousands, though the estimation varies greatly. Frankly, I don't get a lot of concrete feedback about PBDJ. Sure, at conference... (more)

n_ds DataStore Coupled to Parent Window in PFC 6.0+

Last year, after migrating a client's application from PFC 5.0.02 to 6.5, then applying some enhancements to take advantage of new features, the program began giving the following PFC error message: "For certain functionality the PFC DataStore requires a reference to its parent window. One of these cases has been encountered. To let the DataStore know who its parent window is, call the of_SetParentWindow() function after the DataStore creation." At first I was disturbed that the PFC developers had coupled the DataStore to a parent object. And worse, not only a parent object, but... (more)

Modern Apps Are Hybrids

Another year has flown by and here we are, still cranking out PowerBuilder-related articles as regularly as ever. This past year we've heavily covered EAServer from the PB angle and have published at least half a dozen articles on each new product release - including PowerBuilder 8, PowerDesigner, and EAServer 4. This issue delves heavily in PowerJ4, but next month we'll be back to our normal PB/EAServer content. Hybrids Don't Always Make Sense Over time, Sybase's PowerBuilder customers have matured from just using a single tool to using a broad variety of tools. It's hard these d... (more)

Advanced WebDW HTML Generation

Okay, so I've been promoting the inclusion of PB client/server articles, yet here I am writing about the Web DataWindow. Don't stop reading! This article applies to all PB developers, whether n-tier or client/server. That said, I now have to prove that this article is important to client/server developers.... Here's my angle: HTML has become a standard beyond Web development. People doing work unrelated to the Web, even nonprogrammers, need to learn the basics of HTML. Here's an example: I'm a consultant and I invoice my customers using QuickBooks. When I generate my invoices I ... (more)

Third-Party Products

My goal in this article is to raise your awareness of the products available and give you enough information to go on if you choose to investigate them. I'll also discuss some of the main issues involved in searching for and selecting off-the-shelf products. Finally, this article ends by listing a few dozen products you should find useful. What's Out There? Often the only products that are well known are the ones for which large amounts are spent on advertising, which often translates into a high-price tag. It's a paradox of capitalism. For a company to get its product noticed, ... (more)