"Force Field" around Layout Fields

Vince Menanno AKA @vmenanno did a very interesting and important DIGFM presentation demonstrating that there is a "force field" around a "Layout Field" that causes Layout Text to change when the matching Field name changes. Lots of testing included in the presentation!

DIGFM: Discussing Roadmaps and App Maps (9/14/2023)

(starting at 1:06:04)

(57 and counting views at time of posting this)

Useful feature?

Is there a risk to this feature?

What do you do to mitigate the risk?


1 Like

It is nice to understand a bit better this behavior.

I will attempt answering your questions (not in the same order).

  • Is there a risk to this feature?
    Yes, like with anything that automates something, there can be cases where this will transform something you would otherwise like to see preserved.

  • What do you do to mitigate the risk?
    I believe this is all about field naming. I use field names that do not involve spaces, start with a lowercase and use capital letters to mark where spaces would normally be. This means "Phone Number" as a field name becomes "phoneNumber" something I won't ever use as a label.

  • Useful feature?
    On a dev (or API call) layout, if I have a label next to the field, I want that to be the field name. If the field name is updated, it is nice not to have to revisit the dev layout(s) involved

  • Thoughts?
    Perhaps claris should have a layout level flag that let us specify for a whole layout if we want that layout to be impacted by this feature or not. I would like created the layouts to default with that flag (or default to a dev preference about it, that would be even better), and would flag all user-facing layouts. If I forget to remove the flag on a dev layout, it is of less incidence. I would like the same flag to prevent newly defined fields to be added to the layout. Basically, I want something that let us tell FileMaker "I'm the one in charge of this layout, do not mess with it thank you very much."

1 Like

Interesting. Is there any documentation of this feature?

Way, way back in time text objects that were place automatically as a field label carried a flag that was modified when the text field was modified. Any modification meant that you owned the field label and it no longer changed.

At the time I had asked why we couldn't control that flag ourselves in the inspector. I never received a response, nor has the option been made a user setting.

This part talks about the flag that is modified when a text field is resized...

...(starting 1:19:02 in )