September 2012 Meeting

StartSeptember 25, 2012 4:00 pmEnd time6:00 pm

Gradients, Not Glitz: Methods to Modernize PowerBuilder User Experiences

Since PowerBuilder 10.5 introduced DataWindow gradients, only a few applications have used them. Modern applications have controls with gradients. They give a fresh look to an old application. Where developers used solid colors to highlight columns, gradients add nuance, flair and more.

This presentation will show practical methods and guidelines for applying gradients to convey meaning, grouping, and give visual focus. It begins by introducing the basics of gradient properties. The show advances to many types of subtle effects for general visual interest. Examples are “soft spots” or “title bar shades”, focus indicators for rows and columns. Gradients have uses in detail and group bands, and framing free form objects inside–or instead of– group boxes. The audience will see distinctive DataWindow controls like edit text, checkboxes and radio buttons. Property expressions that create data-driven effects convey real meaning in a variety of cases.

Lastly, we will explore the extended PFC (Multi-) Column Sort service. Gradients visually declare when the service is available or not, aiding quality checks. They solve the interface challenge of click-sorting by enhancing column labels. Users see which columns sort forward or backward, by looking at system color gradients. It’s so much more than eye candy. It’s practical!

Jeff Wayt is President of IOBar, Inc., a Houston, Texas, independent software vendor since 1991. He has over 30 years experience in software design and development, both internal and commercial, and 14 years with PowerBuilder.


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