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Design question / your experience / advice


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I am going to convert my 2nd vcl application within the next 6-9 months to uniGui. My first application is designed the more traditional way whereby
forms are opened like with a vcl application.For my second application I want to see if another approach offers more benefits,
This second application is also a large application with around 140-160 forms and tables. Many tables are often filled once and used as kind of a lookup table.
I have separate forms for each table for maintenance.


Here are a few design questions:

  • what do you mainly use ... forms / frames and why?
  • how do you open forms / frames, is this, for example, each time on a separate tab or within the same tab and do you close an existing form?
  • what is the advantage of such a model versus the vcl-like way where you can open multiple forms at the same time, for example
  • what is the best way to do that if you choose to load forms into separate tabs so that you have control over the opened form / frame?
  • if you have a form to maintain a table, for example, do you open it as a show / show modal on the screen or also in a separate tab?
  • the look-and-feel of a small form (with for example 4 fields / 2 buttons) in a full screen tab is often not nice compared to displaying that form
    through show / show modal because you adjust the form format to the amount of components ... how do you solve that ?.
  • how do you design with regard to the different screen resolutions and how do you ensure that everything stays on the form?
  • is there an example 'framework' how to build this, by which I mean for example mainform, menu, pagecontrol to open the tabs in it and that it also looks neat / professional.

Both variants have advantages and disadvantages and combinations are of course also possible. The biggest disadvantage of opening everything in separate tabs is that
it quickly becomes unclear for i user (i think).Especially when you get so many tabs that you get multiple rows and 2 rows of tabs on your screen.
On the other hand, multiple forms on your screen can also be tricky, but you can minimize them. What I don't want is that the user cannot do multiple things at the same
time and must be able to switch within a number of important forms.

What are your experiences, tips, tricks, suggestions, examples

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Based on my own experiences.

Firstly, I now do all of my web app development in Mobile (unigui has inbuilt desktop emulation) and once complete optionally build desktop versions if deemed necessary (not often).

In my opinion it is better to have good looking useable Mobile Screens (phones and tablets) with automatically scaled desktop emulation rather then having good looking desktop Screens with poor finger userbility on auto-scaled down mobile screens.

Most of my comments below are based on working with a green unigui (early adopter) but over the years unigui is now slowly maturing. 

1) I prefer Forms as in the past there were a few inconsistencies with Frames but there are exceptions of course (HTMLFrame for one).

2) I open Forms with ShowModal (optionally I add CallBack for a very specific purpose -otherwise- the breadcrumb logic is automatically added). 

3) Multiple Forms are no issue as the are only created when called (you can destroy after use), if you have many watch your GDI resources (set in SystemModule).

4) Tab Sheets are created on Tab Change with slide in transition, Forms are faster - obviously there are times when Tabs are needed.

5) I have all of my Table / Query logic on my MainModule, in this way it is accessible by all forms in the session etc. The tables / queries are opened / fetched / refreshed when a Form is created or shown (subject to design) that needs access.

6) Looks are subjective.

7) ?

8) Flex

9) All things are possible, some may have excess time and make this for you (check out the examples) but most of us are busy - money always is a good motivator.

Note: There is a massive push on the web to have secure websites so please consider a valid Domain Name with a corresponding Digital Certificate. 

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