Ben Langhinrichs

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December, 2003
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Mon 8 Dec 2003, 09:41 PM
A customer has posed an interesting challenge, and I am playing with different ways to accomplish what he wants using our Midas Rich Text LSX.  He is looking for a dynamic table which represents a number of other documents, but his users want to be able to make changes to this one document and the changes reflected in all the other documents.  This "grid control" is a more grandiose version of what can be done in Notes 6 to a small degree with in-view editing, except with more control and with an R5 client as well as a Notes 6 client.

Now, I am under a bit of a time crunch here, but I want to experiment with the best way to do this.  Here are a few options, but I am trying to keep my head open to other alternatives as well:
  1. Create a table in rich text and let the user edit the cells, then push back the changes based on position or cell values:
    • Pros: Easy to create, low overhead, very flexible
    • Cons: Users can fiddle with the table, deleting rows for example, or can alter the key value
  2. Create a document with a stored form, and have the individual cells actually contain fields, then push back the changes on any document as it is modified
    • Pros: Tight control over what can and cannot be modified.  Possible to add a Save/Revert mechanism.
    • Cons: Lots of fields may be required, and no easy way to clean them up from UNK table.  Also, may be problems with signing scripts appropriately.
  3. Create a document with a stored form, and have each document have its own table, so the key can't be changed and any table alteration will simply cause that document to be left alone.
    • Pros: Medium control over what can and cannot be modified.  Possible to add a Save/Revert mechanism per document.  Also, no limit to rows because it isn't a real table.
    • Cons: Fewer fields, but way more tables.
  4. Some other choice I haven't considered yet.


I plan to use the Pinnacle East sample database, which some people may have seen used in my Lotusphere demos, and I'll try to implement all three solutions (and any more that occur to me) within that one database.  If it works well, I'll publish it as a sample on our website.  If it goes badly, well, I guess that is the risk of taking a challenge publicly.

If any of you have ideas of how this could work, or would like variations that would make sense in your business, feel free to post of send me e-mail, but if you want it done for this demo, send it quickly.

Update 1) I now have the selection working and it creates a tabbed table with the appropriate information, then takes changes and pushes them back.  Essentially Option #1 with a bit of flash.

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