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Wing Forward: FileMaker in New Mexico

Make a new plan, Stan.

or even use an old one… just HAVE a plan, and STICK to it.
A few thoughts for the next time we make a brand new database:
We should set some strict naming and formatting conventions so that all the names used for tables, field, layouts and scripts use the same rules, allowing us to construct references based on variables and knowledge of our naming conventions. I suppose there still remains the problem of what happens if we change some names… but maybe we could use one login to set up names of stuff and other admin logins to do all other work – and somehow disable the permission to rename stuff… ? I don’t know. It was a thought inspired by what I’ve been working on recently. It seems that a lot of what I’ve been doing the past few weeks has involved going through several instances of parts of the database that are built SIMILARLY but not consistently, and therefore I have had to do a lot of double-checks and fixes. We might save ourselves some time if we structure things a little more strictly from the start and try not the make changes to our naming conventions part way through the game. Part of the challenge here is that there are several of us working on the database and we don’t have a central reference for the way we are going to do things. I suppose that might be a good first layout to make – a reference with naming conventions and font choices, etc. David has talked about that. It’s a good idea… but it’s less practical to implement half-way through creating the database than it is at the very start.

One Comment

  1. David says:

    Conventions are nice and we DO use conventions (field naming, relationship naming, script naming, script formatting, layout naming, etc), maybe I haven’t made those explicit enough. I figured you’d just imitate how I’m doing things. A central reference, or guide, to how those things should be done is a great idea.

    I understand the temptation to think that more rigid naming conventions will solve problems. But the other perspective is that if you use rigid conventions, you start serving them rather than having them serve you.

    I think naming conventions are useful for helping other developers, and yourself, understand your work (along with comments), but since most elements in FileMaker are referenced (ie selected rather than typed) I don’t think having more consistent field names will matter. Using field names like: “convention” & “specific” is a dead end. Variables are an exception and I would like us to use simply named arrays more for that reason.

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