SISU, Boolean Algebra, WidgetStudio, UTF-8 Files

Lots of Fun Things

As we wait for this years new FileMaker offering (coming this month!), people in the FileMaker Community and elsewhere haven’t been standing still. Here is a small sampling of great things I found around the web.

Boolean Algebra

Mislav Kov gives a mini lesson on the the use of boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) be teaching De Morgan’s laws. This will help FileMaker developers struggling with complex logic puzzles, specifically with Conditional Hiding. I’ve seen (and written) some long, complex rules for hiding objects, and this post makes it easier to figure out the logic.

Boolean algebra describes the rules for how Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are evaluated. See how to simplify Boolean expressions using De Morgan’s Laws.

Source: Boolen Algebra and De Morgan’s Laws | Soliant Consulting

Custom Menu Creation

John Mark Osborne shares custom menu creation techniques for developers wishing to give their clients just the menu choices they need. And he shows how to make them dynamic.

If you don’t use custom menus on every FileMaker solution, I’m here to convince you otherwise! For starters, they allow you to remove unnecessary choices from the menus that just confuse your users. What users end up doing is calling you and asking why a particular option is dimmed. Or, maybe they never call you and just get frustrated from all the grayed out menu items. It’s best to limit menus to the available choices instead of presenting the user with a sea of seemingly endless unavailable choices.

Source: The Philosophy of FileMaker – Custom Menu Creativity


Geist Interactive released WidgetStudio, a simple way to add non-FileMaker widgets like a Timer, Text Compare, an Analog clock, a Pivot table, and More. Their product includes the use of three free widgets, offers a handful of prebuilt widgets, and has more on the way. To unlock more than three requires purchasing a license.

Last week we introduced a game-changing app in the FileMaker & JavaScript space. WidgetStudio makes it so simple to add simple or FileMaker web viewer widgets to your custom app. From pivot tables to charts, WidgetStudio allows you to find or createcustomize, and deploy the widget in a matter of minutes.

Source: WidgetStudio: Use FileMaker Web Viewer Widgets – Geist Interactive

Exporting UTF-8 Files from FileMaker Pro

Douglas Alder posted recently on the ability, starting in FileMaker 16, of exporting files in the UTF_8 format. Sounds kind of boring and useless, until you need to actually do so for client or project.

In FileMaker 16, a new function was introduced called ‘TextEncode’. It was a lifesaver and an answer to my repeated whinging about how much trouble it was in previous versions of FileMaker to export plain Jane UTF-8 files.

It is very useful for exporting files in a variety of formats. A popular file format from my perspective, is UTF-8, used by most web pages. This blog post is a note to my future self about how to easily export a file in UTF-8 format. It may be useful to other readers as well.

Source: Exporting UTF-8 Files from FileMaker Pro | HomeBase Software

Sisu: A Finnish Word for Extreme Mental Toughness

James Clear explores mental toughness in this fascinating post about how the Finns repelled an overwhelmingly superior Russian invasion in 1939. Over the course of a very cold, bitter winter, the Finnish people displayed an almost unbelievable mental and physical toughness to keep their country from becoming a Soviet satellite.

Without warning, Soviet Union planes came roaring over the city of Helsinki, Finland on November 30, 1939. Finland was about to receive a violent shove into World War II.
The Soviets dropped more than 350 bombs during the raid. Innocent civilians died. Entire buildings were turned to dust. And it was just the beginning. Three hours before the air strike, more than 450,000 Soviet soldiers began marching across the Finnish border. The Soviet soldiers outnumbered the Finnish army almost 3-to-1. That wasn’t the worst of it. The Soviets also commanded more than 6,000 armored tanks and almost 4,000 aircraft. Finland, meanwhile, had just 32 tanks and 114 aircraft.
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