Dean Jones

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Top Stories by Dean Jones

When moving applications to the Web, one of the challenges facing developers is how to migrate rich client features to a browser environment. Two features that can give your Web applications a boost in both appearance and functionality are popup calendars and lookup (search) windows. They both apply the same concept - create a mapping between an HTML DataWindow column on a parent window and a selection made in a child window. In this article I provide an overview of how to leverage this mapping and incorporate these two common features into a Web-based application. Popup Calendar The Internet is rife with popup calendars. We've all encountered this functionality when making a flight or hotel reservation. Click an icon and a calendar pops up in its own window; choose a date and your selection appears in the input field of the parent form. What are the inner workings of... (more)

Data Window Expression

One of the major improvements that came when PB5 was released was the ability to encapsulate expressions within DataWindows. To understand a DataWindow and work with its expressions, you need to know the difference between a DataWindow control, a DataWindow object, and now a DWObject. In previous versions of PowerBuilder we had one method to access data in a DataWindow object (i.e., SetItem(), GetItemString(), GetItemNumber(), etc.). If you wanted to change a DataWindow object's property such as background color or column border you needed to specify an attribute expression or use... (more)

Pocket PC Design Considerations

When a writer sits down to draft an article or story, she must consider her audience. In a similar manner, when a developer sits down to code a Pocket PC application, he needs to consider the environment in which the application will be deployed. While similarities exist, Pocket PC development is not the same as developing for the client/server world or a Web-based environment. Aside from a drastically reduced screen size, the Pocket PC developer must also think about such factors as memory, CPU power, storage space, limited keyboard function, and a mouse-less operating environme... (more)

Moving Parts: Leverage the Best-of-Breed

When anyone asks me for help developing Web applications I usually say, "That's easy," or "It's really simple." The last time I responded that way I was told, "Everything is easy for you." The fact is, I've been developing C/S applications for over 10 years and Web applications for four (when I started my own ISP). Now that the industry is moving to distributed development, I have the necessary skill set to understand relational databases, objects and components, Web servers and HTML, CGI, page servers, servlets, JSP, Applets, COM and more. While I learned all these moving parts,... (more)

Racing Toward Failure?

When asked if I would write an editorial, I jumped at the opportunity to express a growing concern I have for the direction of corporate Web development. In today's market, upper management often selects an application server for the enterprise before knowing all their business needs. This one-size-fits-all attitude can set up many projects for failure. I'll use a race car-team analogy to make my point. A successful race team has been racing a stock car for many years. Because of improvements in technology, the team knew they'd need a new race car. Upper management (who had nev... (more)