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 :

FileMaker 13 Slide Control used as a refresh enclosure on a layout.

Using a single panel as a refresh enclosure.

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.

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2 Responses to FM13 Best Of: Slide Controls as Refresh Enclosures

  1. Brian Schick says:

    Great tip! Very cool how simple this makes it to update multiple objects’ visibility in one step. And maybe even nicer that this will also lighten our code & improve its semantic meaning. Thanks!

  2. Just leaving a note to anyone reading this great tip. Because FileMaker 12+ now hides the rightmost area of a layout, meaning everything beyond the rightmost edge of the visible portion of your layout parts, you can always drag your tab controls well beyond the rightmost edge of your layout and right align your tabs so they never show. Simply anchor the tab control to the left and right.

    This essentially provides multiple views for the same layout.

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