Well today I’m going to attempt to make good on that assertion. In case you aren’t already familiar with CustomList, it allows you to iteratively generate and/or parse lists using the full power of the FileMaker calculation engine. CustomList can process up to 500,000 rows — it is non-recursive and very fast — and today we’re going to use it to solve a variety of problems, both real world and theoretical. [Actually, the row limit can be adjusted, and it varies by platform — for full details see the CF definition.]
Update 5 May 2014: article and demo have been updated as per observations by Jeremy Bante in the comments section.
This weekend I threw together a Unicode utility file (unicode-characters.zip). It takes the values 1 through 65535 and converts them into Unicode symbols, and makes it easy to copy characters and values into the clipboard.
(The original version of the demo had 99999 records, but as pointed out by Jeremy in the comments section below, the range 65537 – 99999 is a repeat of the range 1 – 34463, with 65536 being a special case.)
Any value over 99999 the Char function will interpret as multiple characters, and bear in mind that multiple values are interpreted a) from right to left, and b) in five digit blocks with leading zeros, except the leftmost one will not have leading zeros.
Last time we looked at several summary reporting tricks, including a conditional subsummary (when an item’s Status is “Scheduled” it will have a value in the Substatus field — otherwise Substatus will be blank). The challenge was to generate a summary report showing Substatus only where appropriate, without seeing any annoying empty gray rows beneath Pending, Cancelled or Completed. And last week’s report worked fine… in preview mode.
Recently I asked Jason DeLooze about something that was puzzling me. As usual I found his comments illuminating, and with his permission, am sharing them here.
KF: Why does the following evaluate as true (i.e., return a 1)?
GetAsNumber("") < 0
JDL: There actually is method in this madness. FileMaker numbers, dates, times, and timestamps have a duality nature. Remember that FMP stores these data types as text strings and interprets their value in the proper “space” when needed; that is, in their “text” form when the comparison operator is evaluated in “text space”; as a number value when the comparison operator is evaluated in “number space”, etc.