Sunday, February 3, 2008

ARC: Did You Know #2

Did you know you can finally drag and drop files onto an existing ARC instance and it will open them?

The main reason I am posting this is for those of you who tried years ago, learned ARC could not open the files, and gave up trying. The drop support was fixed in a recent update to ARC 8.1

You can now drag a table or dictionary instance from Windows Explorer and drop in on ARC and it will be opened.

Added Bonus: A sidebar of sorts on reporting bugs/enhancement requests

I'm going to attempt a preliminary strike against the "This is trivial. Why didn't you do this earlier" comments: We love the keyboard. By "we" I mean the Advantage R&D team. We are not big mouse users, hence the reason you have always been able to open a table or dictionary from the command line. This doesn't mean ARC shouldn't be able to open a table by dragging it, it just means we don't use ARC that way, so we didn't notice the lack of support.

I'm sure many of you have tried this in the past, noticed it didn't work, mumbled something under your breath, and continued on. I think this is very common in the software industry and I know I do it all the time. I don't have time to interrupt my work flow, find some way to submit a request to the vendor, then post what feels like a "trivial" problem that I don't think they will take seriously. (I'll write an entire post in the future about how important those "trivial" things that drive you crazy truly are.)

I'm hoping in the future we can add a simple dialog to the help menu in ARC that lets users submit a bug or feature request. You wouldn't have to search a web site or post to our newsgroups. We wouldn't require any information other than your request and your e-mail address if you feel like providing it so we can clarify your request if necessary.

My favorite third party website is provided by Developer Express. I love their support center. Before submitting a question or bug report, I am forced to do a quick search on existing issues. If I don't find a relevant post, I am allowed to post my question. I can keep my question private, or by default have then entire conversation with their support staff public. This automatically results in a superior knowledge base for other users to search. This is a bit more ambitious than what I am currently proposing, but I'd like to see us get to this sort of system at some point.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this "short" Did You Know...

3 comments:

Tom A said...

By "we" I mean the Advantage R&D team. We are not big mouse users, hence the reason you have always been able to open a table or dictionary from the command line. This doesn't mean ARC shouldn't be able to open a table by dragging it, it just means we don't use ARC that way, so we didn't notice the lack of support.
I'm sure many of you have tried this in the past, noticed it didn't work, mumbled something under your breath, and continued on.

Bang on! But then again, if you (the R&D team) are so keen on using the keyboard why isn't it possible to open a table by pressing ennter? I love the ability to jump to a table by writing the first few characters in its name but when I wan to open it I have to find the mouse to do a double click - pressing enter would be a lot easier...

J.D. Mullin said...

I've never tried to open a table that way, but it makes perfect sense. The only reason you can't is because I've never heard the request before, and probably because people thought it was too nitpicky to mention. I'll see what I can do about fixing this. :)

Anonymous said...

this was fixed in one of the 9.0.0.x updates.

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