FileMaker 13 Slide Controls + Refresh Object = Faster Layouts
For starters, don’t forget about the new script step “Refresh Object”– I did.
I had some icons whose “hide” status was based on the visibility calc :
GetLayoutObjectAttribute ( “Home” ; “isFrontPanel” )
Now, isFront doesn’t just evaluate as slide panels move around so I’d added a Refresh Window script step to get them to behave. However, the new script step “Refresh Object” applies the refresh to any objects enclosed in a refreshed object as well. So now I’ve gathered the icons in a one-panel FileMaker 13 slide control and applied the refresh to that object. This is less weight than refreshing the whole window–and substantially less weight in Web Direct, where refreshing the window can take much longer than refreshing an object.
(For more on how “refresh window” can be a performance killer–especially if you’re flushing the cache–see Daniel Wood’s classic “Ditch those flush caches“.)
Another benefit of this is that any “hide” attributes common to all icons can now be applied to the slide panel just once, instead of expressed once for each icon. Similarly, sliding can be applied to the enclosure in many cases, vs what’s inside it.
Oreste Schiavone has been doing these kinds of enclosure for years using tabs–we showed off his ideas around this in Year In Review at DevCon 2010–but tabs have the minor disadvantage of having a tab leaf (the name of the tab) to manage. Slide controls can have have additional panels that users can’t get to outside of layout mode (if you disable swipe and navigation dots) and some folks may find those hidden panels a useful place for instructions or developer-notes about the contents of the slide control.
Check out our series on The Best Of FileMaker 13 for more tips on making the most of 13’s new features.
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