Volume 7, Number 13 -- April 4, 2007

Improving Upon WDSC's Table View

Published: April 4, 2007

by Jon Paris

Although most WDSC users are familiar with the Table View, few take advantage of all its many features. For those of you unfamiliar with Table View, it is the closest thing in WDSC to the familiar PDM Work With lists. To display the equivalent of a Work With Members list, right click on the source file name to display the context menu and select Show in Table as shown below.

The result is the display shown here:

(Click here to see a larger image)

Unlike the PDM list, options are selected from an item's context menu. The primary items like Copy and Delete show up in the main context menu, but as you can see here there is also an additional PDM Options sub menu which includes the familiar PDM numbered options:

You many have noticed that there is an entry headed "Status" in the Table View columns; I have never seen any other value than "OK" in this position and nobody from IBM has ever been able to explain to me under what circumstances any other value might appear. So, let's get rid of it and add a couple of other items that might make better use of the space!

Start by clicking on the downward pointing triangle as indicated above and select Show columns --> Customized the dialog shown here will appear.

First we remove the Status entry by clicking on Status and then pressing the Remove button. Next we click on the Last modified and Created entries in turn and press the Add button. You can see the result below--well, not quite--I "cheated" a bit to further enhance the display. We clicked on the "Last Modified" column heading to sort the Table into date sequence, and a second click sorted again to bring the most recently modified sources to the top of the list. Pretty neat--and we can sort any column in the table in this way.

(Click here to see a larger image)

Before I leave you, I'll just point out a couple of the other features of the table view. We've highlighted the relevant buttons in the image below:

The rightmost button can be used to lock/unlock the table. When unlocked, the table will be updated with the content of any object selected in the RSE tree view. When locked, the table view remains the same regardless of the RSE selection. Very useful. Next to the right is the (hopefully) familiar Refresh button. Use this as you might use F5 in PDM. The next two buttons allow you to move forward and backward through the history of the Table displays very much in the same way that a Browser's Back and Forward buttons work. Last but not least is the "Back one level" button. For example, when you are displaying a list of source members, pressing this will take you back to the list of objects in the library, press it again and you will be asked if you really do want a list of every library on your system!

Hopefully I've introduced you to a few capabilities of the Table View that you may not have been familiar with. One last feature before I go.

The effect of Show in Table differs with each types of object, just as expanding them in the tree view itself does. For example, ILE program objects display a list of the modules they contain and modules display a list of the procedures contained within them. Files offer an additional option--their context menu in the RSE tree view allows you to choose to see either file members or fields. In the tree view you will always see members, but when taking the Table option you can instead choose to view the list of fields (and their definitions) in the record format.

Jon Paris is one of the world's most knowledgeable experts on programming on the System i platform. Paris cut his teeth on the System/38 way back when, and in 1987 he joined IBM's Toronto software lab to work on the COBOL compilers for the System/38 and System/36. He also worked on the creation of the COBOL/400 compilers for the original AS/400s back in 1988, and was one of the key developers behind RPG IV and the CODE/400 development tool. In 1998, he left IBM to start his own education and training firm, a job he does to this day with his wife, Susan Gantner--also an expert in System i programming. Paris and Gantner, along with Paul Tuohy, are co-founders of System i Developer, which hosts the new RPG & DB2 Summit conference. He can be reached at jon@systemideveloper.com.

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