Skip to main content

Beware of Using AutoComplete for everything

(note: Yes, I know the first version refered to using .T. - it's been updated)

VFP's AutoComplete feature totally rocks. You turn it on and you've immediately provided a valuable tool for any data entry application where repetition is almost always a way of life. So valuable that you might be tempted to turn it on in your base text box class. In a word (ok it's a contraction so maybe two words) , don't.

The reason? AutoComplete works with password fields.

Huh?

AutoComplete has several properties but the most common one is simply to set AutoComplete property to a value other than 0. When this happens, FoxPro "magically" remembers the previous entry and recalls them in a selectable list each time the user comes back into it and enters the same first letter.

This "magic" isn't all that special : default, the file AUTOCOMP (located in your application data folder or current folder for runtime) contains 7 fields: source (the object name), data (the value entered), count (number of times used), weight (if using the value of 4 for AutoComplete), Created timestamp, Updated timestamp and a custom user field. When you enter the key, FoxPro looks into this table (which you can change by specifying the AutoCompTable property) for the object name (which may be overridden with the AutoCompSource property) and then displays it.

The real problem? AutoComplete still runs even when the PasswordChar property is set.

PasswordChar is the property that changes all of the text entered into a text box into that character (typically a star). While you can still refer to the Value property to refer to what the user entered in, the user can't see it directly - it appears like a "password" would in "*****".

BUT if you have AutoComplete set to work (a value of 1,2,3,4) , FoxPro continues to think you want that extra feature turned on. So you have a form prompting for a password, and if your password was FoxPro, as soon as you enter F, FoxPro shows up in the list (not hidden behind the Password character).

Now, in most cases, a developer may have their own txtPassword class or something similar, but it may still be based on a common text class.

Does using AutoComplete make for a good User interface? It's hard to say - many users like it - while others may find it distracting. However, just "trying" it in your application will make this definitely unwanted effect appear.

Consider yourself warned.

I wonder if it's the same with other languages...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FoxInCloud Stats

FoxInCloud sent this link a while back about their statistics regarding visits to their site:

http://foxincloud.com/blog/2017/12/27/VFP-community-lessons-from-foxincloud-site.html



What's interesting here is the breakdown of people. Yes, I think it's understandable that the Fox community is getting older.

Another factor is the growth of the mobile and web environments taking over development. These environments really do push people towards the newer non-SQL or free SQL/hosted environments but more towards hosted storage options like Amazon and Google. A tool like FoxInCloud that helps MOVE existing applications to the cloud inherently competes with those environments.

But FoxInCloud also allows developers to extend their application further by giving them a starting point using Javascript and the basic CSS (such as Bootstrap). If you're not rebuilding your application from scratch, it's certainly a great step forward.

Well, that explains CodePlex...

In a move that will be sure to anger open source (or rather anti-paid software, anti-Microsoft open source)  zealots, Microsoft is planning to buy GitHub.

A year ago, I mused about why Microsoft would shut down CodePlex and how the world needs competing source code repositories to be strong. I'm not the only one per this Slashdot article :
"...people have warned about GitHub becoming as large as it did as problematic because it concentrates too much of the power to make or break the open source world in a single entity, moreso because there were valid questions about GitHubs financial viability...." - Jacques Mattheij

I will be interested in seeing this play out - whether developers jump ship or not. Have all the efforts Microsoft has made in pushing towards open source be seen as genuine or will all the zealots jump ship or maybe even attack?

Microsoft's comment about why they shut down CodePlex referred to how spammers were using CodePlex. Well, GitHub has its own …

The World of Updates Today

I just received an update for Office 365. It certainly includes some cool features - including starting in one environment and picking it up in another environment. In recent years, I've certainly enjoined the use of Continuity on a Mac and in fact, I feel spoiled being able to start a message in one environment (even Google) and then finish it off on another.  This has become some pervasive when we were reviewing our most recent backlog at a client site, a similar feature was added to the current workload.

But with web applications, the trend is to reduce the amount of software on a client machine. I used to have automatic backup for all of my machines (thanks Carbonite!) but these days, many of my machines don't need anything beyond the core OS and some basic applications. Certainly that's the feeling with Chromebooks and even the lightweight aspect of many iOS apps. The functionality is mostly in the cloud.

When you upgrade your system, you expect it to a big update. So…