CodeMine Framework
Development Environment

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The CodeMine framework extends the VFP developer environment with a set of tools to aid in creating and debugging your applications. When you install CodeMine, a new menu pad is added to the default VFP developer menu, as shown below.

CodeMine Developer Menu Options

The CodeMine menu contains options to access and control various components of the development environment. Some of the more important options are described below.

Create New Application
The "Create New Application…" option creates a new project and application development folder under the root CodeMine folder. It also creates empty subclasses of the default application components to give you a complete ready to run application skeleton. The skeleton application consists primarily of a default menu bar, default system toolbars, and dialogs to manage the interface, user preferences, and application security. You can then customize the default subclasses and add your own forms as needed to build your application.

Create New Form
The "Create New Form…" option allows you to create a new form (SCX file) based on any arbitrary form class you specify. This option is quite useful when you need to create a form that is not based on the single class specified as the default in VFP.

Application Registry Editor
The CodeMine framework make use of an "Application Registry" to hold system message translations, language definitions, security information, primary key counters, and user preference settings. The information is stored as a hierarchical database of named keys and values, similar to the way the Windows system registry operates. The Application Registry Editor gives the developer an easy way to edit and maintain this information.

The Application Registry Editor can also be included in final application to give end users the ability to edit preferences, or to customize message and help text translations. Each key can be assigned an individual protection level to determine what privileges are required to read or modify the key and its value.

Superclass Utility
This menu option is enabled when you are in a method code editing window of either the Form Designer or the Class Designer. It allows you to easily view the method code (if any) defined in all parent classes, tracing up the class hierarchy until a VFP base class is reached. The parent class code is displayed in a read-only window, along with a class hierarchy map.

Being able to easily view all parent class code for a method is quite helpful when you are first learning the framework, and trying to understand how everything works. It is also useful when deciding when and where to issue DODEFAULT() commands in custom subclass code, and determining what parameters may need to be passed.

Initialize Development Environment
The CodeMine framework includes an Interactive Development Environment that allows you to run individual forms and other objects interactively for testing and debugging. This development environment creates all the global service object that your forms need to run, such as message management, state management, and (optionally) security management. The development environment also displays a developer toolbar with a default set of buttons for controlling your forms when they are run outside of the full application.

CodeMine Development Environment Toolbar

The CodeMine Developer Toolbar combines the features of the standard VFP toolbar, with standard record navigation buttons commonly used by forms. During development, this toolbar with normally be used in place of the standard VFP toolbar at all times.

Standard system buttons such as Save, Revert, Print, etc. perform the normal system function when a system window is active, and call the appropriate form method when a form is active. This gives you a very clean and tightly integrated development environment for testing and debugging. Some of the more interesting buttons are discussed in more detail below.

Run and Design buttons
The "Run" button allows you to run an SCX or VCX based form interactively, without having to rebuild your entire application. The "Design" button allows you to edit a running SCX or VCX based form in the VFP form or class designer. These are similar to the native VFP buttons, except that they also support VCX based forms, whereas the native buttons only operate on SCX based forms.

The "Logon" button lets you log on to the development environment under different user accounts to test forms and other objects under differing security access levels.

When the "Inspector" button is down, Ctrl+Shift+Click on any visible object will load that object into the CodeMine Object Inspector. You can also access the Inspector from the CodeMine menu to inspect non-visible objects. The Object Inspector allows you to examine and change properties of running forms and objects. It also allows you to traverse object hierarchies to examine parent or child objects.

CodeMine Object Inspector

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