I recently had a chance to try out the LiveCode for FileMaker plugin, which allows you to use forms, components and scripts built in LiveCode. If (like me) you aren’t too familiar with LiveCode, you can still use the plugin out of the box. This is because they include some useful prebuilt functions (create/delete files, read from/write to files, bring up a color picker, show a progress bar, etc.), components (annotate images, upload/download from Google Drive, select text from a pdf) and forms (address, feedback, rating, etc.).
LiveCode has also included a workspace which allows you to create your own functions or forms and add components. Forms are easy to create – there is a nice graphical interface that lets you add text, text inputs, radio buttons, sliders, etc. Creating a new function is a little more difficult – the interface is straightforward, but you really need to know LiveCode’s scripting language to build them (which looks to be extensive). Adding a new component will probably be the most time consuming – you’ll need to build them in LiveCode’s development environment – but is probably the most interesting. It allows you to add some interesting new functionality into a FileMaker solution.
Using the plugin seems to be simple as well. There are only 4 functions that are part of the plugin:
- LC – run an existing LiveCode function, component or form.
- LCExec – execute a sequence of LiveCode script commands.
- LCEval – evaluate a LiveCode script expression.
- LCErr – receive information on any errors generated by the other 3 functions.
So, if you wanted to, for example, call the predefined colour picker function, you would call LC(“lccolorpicker”).
From what I’ve seen so far, the plugin looks interesting. It’s still in beta, and judging from the road map on their website, they’ve still got a lot of features that they are working on. It will be interesting to come back to this in the future and see how things shape up. Personally, I am looking forward to the windows version of the plugin.
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