Very Hard to learn for beginner

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FourthWorld
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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by FourthWorld » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:15 am

True, LiveCode has many advanced features which will take some time to learn to use well. DataGrids are one of them.

If you truly need fully custom list definitions, they're the most flexible I've seen, and far easier to work with than writing LDEFs in C++.

But most folks don't need to dive into the deep in of the pool just to get wet. LC offers many things far simpler to get oriented with. Heck, most of the apps I've ever made haven't used a single DG. It's great when you need it, but many times it's just not needed.
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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by jacque » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:38 am

I have to agree with the big red warning. Datagrids assume a certain level of experience.

The easiest way to lay out text in columns is with tab-delimited lines of text. At its simplest, that's all a datagrid does too, though it does it more elegantly and accomodates larger data sets. If you don't need the forms feature, you often don't need a datagrid. What are you trying to make, exactly? Maybe there's an easier way.

For updates: open the LC preferences, go to the Updates pane, and uncheck the last two items. That way you will only be notified of stable and maintenance releases.
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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by AxWald » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:55 am

Hi,
jacque wrote:I have to agree with the big red warning. Datagrids assume a certain level of experience.
But for some strange reason every other newbie unavoidably starts with them.

I don't know why - I'm not the person to watch tutorial videos (it makes me pull my hair with impatience, even at double speed), and I don't like the lessons, too - they are dry, lengthy, and teach bad habits ("put 'Hello World!' into field 1"). I need the v6 dictionary (best in the form of BvG Docu 2), and Google - that's it.

So I don't know the path newbies are guided - but, judging from the questions here in the forum, it seems there's DataGrids and Widgets quite at the beginning. And this is very bad:
I think the DataGrid alone is guilty of more repelled new try outs than anything else.
Since years now.

(Reason #2 for run-aways may be the insanely bad made, obtrusive "livecode.org" page ...)
jacque wrote:For updates: open the LC preferences, go to the Updates pane, and uncheck the last two items. That way you will only be notified of stable and maintenance releases.
Sure, but it's not what I meant. If a newcomer has passed the "intrepidity & tenacity test" of "livecode.org" and found "http://downloads.livecode.com/livecode/", there's a bunch of options to choose from:
What choice is the best? How should it know?
For sure, it will choose one of the top most versions. And land in the half finished developer preview, or in version labeled as "stable" but being no more then a public beta, honestly spoken.

There should be, right at the top, a Reference Version that is STABLE - and not only named so. That doesn't contain features that are only half ways implemented - like HTML5, LCB & Widgets (assuming this as I read here in the forum).
A version that you can show to newcomers as well as fellow coders without fear of disappointing them, and a version suitable for serious commercial coding. And that you can choose in the preferences to keep up to date with, without fear of blowing up your project.

You get my idea? Have fun!
Livecode programming until the cat hits the fan ...

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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by richmond62 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:01 am

the "intrepidity & tenacity test" of "livecode.org" and found "http://downloads.livecode.com/livecode/"
Indeed.

The Open Source button buried way down at the bottom of the landing page is, frankly, a negative signal (if one manages to find the thing)!

What is needed are these things on the landing page:

1. A button that allows new-comers to download the latest Open Source STABLE build for their operating system.

2. A very clear explanation of what constitutes the benefits of buying the Indy or the Business version of LiveCode.

I really wonder why anyone should get involved in a situation where they buy a commercial version and then, because they don't like it,
have to go through a long, involved rigmarole getting their money reimbursed.

The entry method needs to go via the Open Source version.

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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by dunbarx » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:08 pm

But for some strange reason every other newbie unavoidably starts with them.
Sure. Look how sexy and self contained they seem. A package instead of a learning curve. They should be restricted until one can write a calculator without the dictionary.

Craig

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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by sritcp » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:20 pm

AxWald wrote:Hi,
jacque wrote:I have to agree with the big red warning. Datagrids assume a certain level of experience.
But for some strange reason every other newbie unavoidably starts with them.
I don't know why......
Anything most anyone wants to make involves a table, and LC doesn't have a good alternative to Datagrid (the Table and modTable objects don't measure up). This is the reason most new users wade right into the DG maze.

As a non-professional (but not hobbyist) programmer, I have used LC primarily for its DataGrid feature.
It is my opinion that the basic DataGrid concept is simple, elegant, and yes, easy to understand. Quite suitable for beginners.
The problem is, its presentation (in the tutorials) is complicated by introducing its endless options right from the beginning.
The options that give DG its flexibility and versatility (to the experienced programmer) are the same ones that make it confusing and impenetrable to a newbie.
The tutorials on the LC website are not new-user-friendly.
If we have a dedicated tutorial board or DG board on this forum, may be some of us can chip in with simple, self-contained tutorials on the basis of what we know to be a new user's common problems. This way, we don't have to keep re-inventing the wheel every time a new user posts a DG question.

Aside, I agree with gurusonwheels that it doesn't help when LC tries to upsell you their Business edition when you are struggling with the Indy version.

Regards,
Sri

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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by FourthWorld » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:17 pm

RE suggestions regarding the web site, pricing, etc.:

Many good ideas, but no one here in these user-to-user support forums can help with those.

The best way to share your thoughts with the company is to share them directly: support AT livecode.com will forward them to the appropriate team members.
Richard Gaskin
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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by richmond62 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:02 pm

I have been working with LiveCode for 15 years and have yet to try anything with a Data Grid; I cannot quite see what the attraction is.

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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by jiml » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:58 pm

AxWald wrote:
Hi,
jacque wrote:
I have to agree with the big red warning. Datagrids assume a certain level of experience.
But for some strange reason every other newbie unavoidably starts with them.
I don't know why......
The datagrid is an advanced feature which assumes an advanced level of LiveCode experience. Perhaps one reason that newbies unavoidably start with them (and perhaps unfortunately end their LiveCode experience with them!) is because the datagrid appears in the Tool Palette alongside more simple LC tools, such as a Field, Button or Circle Graphic.
The Tool Palette interface does not discriminate between basic and advanced tools - they all appear equal to the novice.

For those old enough to remember HyperCard, recall it had two modes, between which the user could toggle. One was for very simple use and the other for more complex authoring. Perhaps the Tool Palette or LiveCode's entire IDE could benefit both new and experienced users by revisiting such a tiered mode concept.

Jim Lambert

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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by jiml » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:02 pm

And the recent inclusion of Widgets in the Tool Palette has the potential to introduce even more complex tools to the novice. Some Widgets can be beautifully simple while others may be quite complex. Yet all can be jumbled together indiscriminately in the Tool Palette.

Jim Lambert

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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by Lagi Pittas » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:32 pm

@Richmond

I've been using Xbase languages (never used Dbase because it was Crap for a programmer who wants to validate stuff not a manager who wants reports) starting with "Clipper Winter '84" and finishing with Visual Foxpro 9 (the last version in 2012) and I still support software that was written in 1994. I have used Grids (we called them Browse windows) for nearly every project I did Unless it didn't have customers, invoices, stock listing, names, addresses quotes, time sheets, ledgers ...... which were very few
Unless it is a graphical program I can't see how you can create a fast usable program without a browse window of some type.

Although I will now say in 80% of the cases I can use the LC list field to do most of what I would have done with a "browse window" and I did knock up something the other day that used a scrolling group to make what I would have used a DG or a Browse window with but there was no easier command than the browse command
Visual Foxpro Browse

BROWSE [FIELDS FieldList] [FONT cFontName [, nFontSize]]
[STYLE cFontStyle] [FOR lExpression1 [REST]] [FORMAT]
[FREEZE FieldName] [KEY eExpression1 [, eExpression2]] [LAST | NOINIT]
[LOCK nNumberOfFields] [LPARTITION] [NAME ObjectName] [NOAPPEND]
[NOCAPTIONS] [NODELETE] [NOEDIT | NOMODIFY] [NOLGRID] [NORGRID]
[NOLINK] [NOMENU] [NOOPTIMIZE] [NOREFRESH] [NORMAL] [NOWAIT]
[PARTITION nColumnNumber [LEDIT] [REDIT]]
[PREFERENCE PreferenceName] [SAVE] [TIMEOUT nSeconds]
[TITLE cTitleText] [VALID [:F] lExpression2 [ERROR cMessageText]]
[WHEN lExpression3] [WIDTH nFieldWidth] [WINDOW WindowName1]
[IN [WINDOW] WindowName2 | IN SCREEN] [COLOR SCHEME nSchemeNumber]
Look at that power and weep! It was easy to remember as each parameter wasn't position dependent. That one command save 100s of lines of code in other languages but more importantly , time. If you just wanted to look (or quickly edit) a table in the command window and look at the name and phone number it was just browse Field Name, phone, if you wanted all the fields just browse (as long as the table was open) - that command could also do what the DG form does in LC

One select statement and a browse and you could do most lookups with very little code.

and "Clipper Summer 1984" had what they called "code blocks", today they are hyped up by Ruby and Python and Haskell as First Class Functions for "functional Programming" and we had them 34 years ago -
"The more things change the more they stay the same"
But to get back to your point (Nostalgia isn't what it used to be ...) When You are browsing a file of 500,000 or more records the DG or the browse window would do the Caching of Blocks of records in memory so you wont have to (but there are simple ways round that as well).

The more I use LC the more I find different and sometimes quicker ways to do stuff but the DG is there when I need to do some real heavy lifting using the FORM variant part, but for straight forward Table/Grid I use RRPGrid. Because you don't write Business Oriented programs the list box is all you need so, yes I can see why you don't have a use - you program (I assume) mostly educational,game and teaching programs and your Devawriter which have no need of long lists - but a lot of other developers do.

Regards Lagi

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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by bogs » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:43 pm

jacque wrote:
For updates: open the LC preferences, go to the Updates pane, and uncheck the last two items. That way you will only be notified of stable and maintenance releases.
I am thinking those preferences should maybe be considered the default, instead of the way they are now. I can speak from experience that on first use of the IDE, I never assumed that someone would by default set updating to alpha and beta packages, and so never thought to look there initially ( I do now for sure ).
.... I also think due to the nature of most software these days, when people see "Update available", their brains to some degree shut down and they just update. Should it be that way? Should you not read everything? No, but that is what most people are kind of trained to do (click through syndrome), and it had bitten me at least once before I understood what the references meant in Lc.
AxWald wrote:
(Reason #2 for run-aways may be the insanely bad made, obtrusive "livecode.org" page ...)

<sic...>If a newcomer has passed the "intrepidity & tenacity test" of "livecode.org" and found "http://downloads.livecode.com/livecode/", there's a bunch of options to choose from:
What choice is the best? How should it know?
For sure, it will choose one of the top most versions. And land in the half finished developer preview, or in version labeled as "stable" but being no more then a public beta, honestly spoken.

There should be, right at the top, a Reference Version that is STABLE - and not only named so. That doesn't contain features that are only half ways implemented - like HTML5, LCB & Widgets (assuming this as I read here in the forum).
A version that you can show to newcomers as well as fellow coders without fear of disappointing them, and a version suitable for serious commercial coding. And that you can choose in the preferences to keep up to date with, without fear of blowing up your project.<...sic>
As a somewhat Newb, I probably wouldn't go as far as 'insanely bad' with my description of the pages, but I would have to agree that someone downloading it for the first time probably *should* be pointed at not just stable, but would go so far as to say the most stable of what is available as a starting download. As a general downloads page, RCs and DPs almost should definiitely be left out completely, accessible only to people literally testing out the software or at the very least retrieved from a completely different page, regardless of the warning on the top of the page ( there is a warning, but I often wonder if anyone, aside from myself and the people who wrote it, ever read it? ).

Obviously I enjoy older releases, and am thrilled that they are available on the page, but even there they might again be set on their own linked page under something like "Older versions" or "Archived versions", so that at most on the main download page there are, as in the lessons descriptions, maybe 3 versions, I believe thats 6.5, 6.7, and 8.1 currently.

Also, probably should be listed in the order of their stability (not enough experience on my part to rate that one heh, but I'm sure there is a means to figure it out).

Anyhoo, my 2 cents as someone still sticking.
Image

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Re: Very Hard to learn for beginner

Post by AndyP » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:50 am

Yes the multitude of downloads is both confusing and at the same time a great resource.

I've always thought that the current most stable version should be at the top of the list and labelled as Recommended Version, this makes it very obvious which version a new user should be looking for.
Andy Piddock

http://2108.co.uk/tinyide/ - Mini LC IDE alternative

http://2108.co.uk/script-editor-themer/ - Script Editor colour theming

http://livecodeshare.runrev.com/stack/897/LiveCode-Multi-Search - Search across 8 LC resources

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