Editing your source code

What is your developer comfort zone? FileMaker Script editor is a point and clicks experience – but for many, the opening of modal windows to edit script step parameters are outside the comfort zone.
The ACF functions source are text files. They can be edited using your favourite text editor – but we have created syntax-colouring addition to TextMate on Mac and Notepad++ on Windows. Many languages including PHP and Javascript has their source on text files. If this is your comfort zone, the ACF is definitely for you.

The syntax of the ACF language is easy to learn. It is intuitive, and it is not far from many other programming languages you might know already.

And the ACF functions run fast.

In a typically FileMaker application, there is a considerable amount of small scripts to do navigation tasks and simple operations. There is sometimes also huge scripts to do complex processes, like import/export functions of complex data formats; creation of statistical data; complex calculation models with many conditional options; to name a few. Those are the primary target for ACF functions. Take a look in the documentation for the examples: The Import of the Cremul Data Format, The vCard import/exporter.

There is also room small handy ACF functions that can simplify other scripts in doing their logic. Examples from the ACF_Pack1 we have called bootstrap. They are called so because many of the functions are used in service layouts and general data handling. Examples are read/write files in various formats; Produce logg files; A number formatter with 1000 separator and fixed decimals; Select dialogs for files and directories.

Editor preferences

Most clean text editors will do – The files use UTF-8 encoding. We have developed Syntax colouring for TextMate on Mac, and Notepad++ on Windows. Here is how it looks like in TextMate

Syntax Colouring in TextMate

It is possible to write the code directly in the FileMaker layout, but this editor does not have this Syntax Colouring. A clean text editor contains more editing facilities, like search and replace, and more. This is how it looks like when loaded into the developer tool:

This one is used for compile and test. The binaries goes into the target application. The App can be downloaded in the download section.