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John Olson

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Top Stories by John Olson

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 deliver them as HTML files. Sure, I could deliver them as documents or PDFs, but that assumes the recipients have programs to support my document format (Word 2000) or a PDF viewer. What formats do I know they can read regardless of their software? I can think of only two that support graphi... (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)

Two Heads Are Better Than One

After careful consideration I've come to the conclusion that having two heads is better than having just one. While it may sound like I'm simply stating the obvious, in fact, most people have only one head.1 However, those who are blessed with two heads enjoy a measurable advantage over their single-headed rivals. This conclusion was affirmed in a headline-grabbing paper by two Princeton economists for the National Bureau of Economic Research entitled "Are Two Heads Better Than One?"2 Having multiple heads is most beneficial when performing work that requires multitasking, such ... (more)

PowerBuilder 8-Poised to Conquer

It's been a long time since we've had a new version of PowerBuilder. I don't know about you, but I've been very patient and can't wait any longer. I'm particularly excited about PowerBuilder 8 because many of its new features address the type of development I'm doing - building Web applications consisting of JSPs calling PowerBuilder components running on EAServer. PB7 had several wizards, which helped build and deploy components as well as build proxies. However, when the PB7 team was designing it, they didn't have the benefit of input from hundreds of active developers. PB7 deve... (more)

PowerDesigner: Neck and Neck with the Competition

Though PowerDesigner 7 was released a few months ago, not many people are aware that it's much more feature-rich than past versions. Sybase has been pushing hard to get the word out that PD7 is a great product, but it's getting only mediocre media coverage. We haven't even mentioned it yet in this magazine, so I'm going to focus on it now. First, a little history... Back in 1994, Powersoft was looking to broaden its toolset by adding relational design capabilities, a database and various other components needed for full-cycle development. Rather than taking years to build them f... (more)