Am 14.04.2012 13:04, drew jensen wrote:
Sorry, I can't agree with your advice to avamk on this one.
Sure you can edit tables on 'your' database, as long as he is the one
doing the work the fact that it is a server based system is meaningless
in this regard
As for Base features, the problem is that there just aren't enough of
them, or they are half done, not too many.
All those half done features should be removed. They don't really do
what they promise to do and all they promise to do can be done without
them. They do not really serve any purpose other than looking similar to
MS Access but leaving new users alone in frustration.
When they come to the forums we have to explain how to do it from
scratch or how to proceed where the tools left them alone.
- A table designer which supports only constant default values but not
dynamic ones. It does not support the CHECK clause neither. It is a
matter of seconds to type the respective ALTER TABLE commands to enable
the missing features and CREATE TABLE is very easy to learn so you may
even leave the table designer and the relations designer.
- The table wizard lets you compose all kind of things which is counter
productive if you don't know exactly what you want while it's a waste of
time if you know what you want. In particular, it does not really care
about matching data types between potentially related fields. It may
lead to major frustrations and next time you start with the designer
since you need it anyway.
- A query designer which produces no more than most simple baby-SQL.
Most of the time I click together some field names because the tool is
at hand but then I finish the statement in plain text. While in design
view, I avoid saving complex but working queries because they may be
rendered useless by the graphical query designer.
- I can type SQL faster than I am able to do the right thing with the
- A form wizard which supports only one pair of form/subform and for
this pair only two aspects of a 1-n relation. It never creates any list
box which is the key control make relations editable. The tiny little
fraction of possibilities covered by the form wizard is not worth using
it. Almost every time I need more than that and so I use to start on a
blank Writer sheet (sometimes it's a Calc sheet).
- I don't know much about the report designer. Has there ever been a
version where all features worked as advertised? For me it was very
useful when I had to impress a gang of banksters, but usually I build
informative ad-hoc reports on spreadsheets when formatted print data are
required. With the right collection of styles in a template this is a
matter of max. 5 minutes including pivot tables and charts.
- The old report wizard was the one and only feature in the whole office
suite which enabled us to bind row sets to Writer tables. It is still
there when you disable the report designer, but in OOo v1 we could do
that trick with every stand-alone Writer document.
A hobbyist database designer like me needs one lazy Sunday afternoon for
a dozend of interrelated tables and a set of input forms to edit each of
the relations. The result would be the first version of something that
is usable by anybody who is able to order something on ebay. It is more
functional, reliable and comprehensible than what millions of people try
to achieve in Excel. The development work stops at a certain point while
the input forms keep on collecting data input for years to come and
maintenance free. At least this is my experience with 3
Base/H2/HyperSQL-projects and I am confident that I would be able use
the same database with any other frontend tool or convert the backend
database to a similar backend.
Leaving aside any of the above mentioned development "helpers", just
typing (or copying) plain SQL in a Notepad-like text editor and drawing
forms manually, the development process would take no more than 2 extra
hours (if any). My Emacs editor has an SQL mode and I added generic text
snippets for auto-IDs, foreign keys and two-column ID+Name lists. It
takes care of quoting and braces. Working with plain text SQL in a
capable developers editor is more convenient than any of the Base tools.
In the end we are talking about development tools. We develop something
which is hopfully convenient and intuitive to use while the development
process can not be convenient nor intuitive because we need to fully
understand all the technical abstractions in order to hide them away
from the user.
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