Current Issue of OmniScience

The first volume of the OmniScience Omnis Reference Library was released on 31 March, 2003. This volume is nearly 200 pages in length and is now available for sale for US$30.00. It can be purchased directly from David Swain of Polymath Business Systems by one of the following means:

We will also have a web form and an Omnis Studio Remote Form available soon on this site for this purpose.

We have also begun receiving comments from satisfied readers for this first volume. You may find their insights valuable.

Here is a brief summary of what’s included in the book:

Omnis Reference Library Volume I — Variables and Fields

Variable Terms and Concepts

The first concern in any technical discussion should be the definition of terms so that the clearest communication can be achieved involving the concepts those terms represent. To this end, let’s pin down a few important concepts with specific words or phrases so we can work with them.

Variable Scope

The variables we declare using the Variables Pane of the Method Editor are “scoped” variables. One of the top questions asked by students is “How do we know what level of scope to use for a given variable?”. Here are some ideas to consider.

Values and Contents

The values we see in fields on windows, reports and remote forms are not the actual values in the variables associated with those fields. Rather they are display strings intended to represent those values. Normally we ignore the difference between these two concepts, but there are times when we need to be more aware. Hopefully, this explanation will help.

“dataname” Options

The “dataname” property is the bridge between a field and its associated variable. There are many ways we can apply values to this property — some of which may surprise you.

“Operational” Properties

Since the early days of Omnis 3 I have taught about the “screen program” that consists of certain properties of fields on a window. These properties still exist and are as important to understand as ever.

Custom Constants

Omnis Studio provides us with a number of useful constants, but every discipline has its own unique set. We can provide our applications with constants by naming and populating appropriate variables and not changing their value — but where should we put them and how should we initially assign those values? Here are some thoughts.

Special Field Level Events

Omnis Studio offers us a great deal of flexibility in detecting and reacting to events, but not all types of event detection are automatically or globally available with it as shipped. Mouse, keystroke and status events are types that need special explanations.

Tips and Techniques

This chapter offers a variety of useful tidbits of technical information. Subjects range in difficulty from introductory to advanced levels. Each of these subjects was too small to warrant its own chapter, but together they make quite a collection.

“Clairvoyant” Data Entry

To sum up this issue, let’s look at a technique that makes use of what we’ve learned. I hear that a lot of people have attempted such a technique without success. Here is one viable solution and examples of variations on the theme.