Re: General Question — Notation

George Ziemann gzieman54 at
Thu Mar 12 20:20:40 EDT 2015

Thanks to everyone who responded to this question (and especially to Bas
for his lengthy explanation on pros and cons). I now have a much clearer
perspective on this subject. You all gave me a lot of solid advice to

I obviously need to get more familiar with notation, but not give up
completely on 4GL (which I am very comfortable with) because some of it
still works very well, depending on the exact scenario within a specific

On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 4:29 PM, Bastiaan Olij <bastiaan at>

> Hi George,
> There are pro's and con's. The other guys have already pointed out some.
> I'm going a bit further.
> There are two main key drivers for notation:
> The first is simply the structure it provides.
> Calculate
> $cinst.$objs.ContainerField.$objs.ComplexGrid.$objs.FieldOnComplexGrid.6.$visible
> as kTrue
> Is a whole lot easier then trying to find some sort of equivalent in
> 4GL. I'm not even sure if you can think of a nice way to write that in
> 4GL without expanding this to 6 or 7 commands.
> The second could be argued is part of the move to OO but also the simple
> inherent dangers in using global state as it is in Classic.
> For each line in list...
> end for
> Which list?! Yeah the current one, but what if one of your team mates
> changed the current list in a method you called just before your loop
> because he didn't know your code called his method and he needed the
> current list to change where he uses his method himself? All of a sudden
> your for loop handles the wrong list.
> If him changing the current list is subject to a condition that isn't
> always true, that is one hard bug to find.
> For myList.$line from 1 to myList.$linecount
> end for
> Not only have I no longer got the need to set the current list
> somewhere, my code now becomes explicit. There are no ifs or buts, this
> for loop works on the list it is intended to work on.
> Now lists are simple but because you can now have multiple instance of
> the same class, so you can have the same window open multiple times,
> that explicitness becomes paramount. Alot of the old style of coding in
> Classic assumed there was only one instance of your window, that same
> code in Studio would likely interact with the wrong instance. Have two
> windows open for the same class, something you do in window A may
> inadvertently do something in Window B.
> However I'm going to play devils advocate for a moment as well.
> As natural as this step feels to me, and as used to notation I've
> become, I firmly believe it wasn't necessarily the best step to make.
> First on the practical side, Doug made the observation that notation can
> be faster, and this is definitely true. $sendall comes to mind and is an
> amazing bit of kit.
> That said, our for loop up above, is slower in its notation form then it
> is in its old "for each line in list" form. The way the old 4GL code got
> "tokonized" did away with an amazing amount of overhead usually
> associated with runtime languages.
> But more so on a theoretical side. Omnis' approach at implementing their
> 4GL language, and the way it was integrated into the IDE, was a stroke
> of pure brilliance. It requires a lot less programming know how and is a
> lot easier and more intuitive to understand. While I am not sure how you
> would solve certain things we now do notationaly in 4GL without running
> into heaps of issues with the more complex scope inherent with OO there
> is was a certain simplicity to 4GL that made Omnis Classic a joy to work
> with.
> I feel Omnis Studio as a result appeals much less to those who are
> comfortable with the style of development that was applicable in Omnis
> Classic and leans much more to the more traditional 3GL languages which
> may have more to offer then Omnis Studio has. In some ways Omnis has
> lost a little of the edge it had over its competition by going down the
> path they have.
> Cheers,
> Bas
> On 13/03/2015 7:46 am, George Ziemann wrote:
> > I've been using Omnis since Omnis 3. Used Studio 2 and now have Studio
> 6.1,
> > so I'm up-to-date for the moment.
> >
> > I've been watching this list and notice that every answer to every
> question
> > involves using notation. I have no general issue with this and have been
> > slowly adapting to using notation to get more granular control over
> things
> > (and to replace old processes that break after an upgrade because the old
> > method has been deprecated/discontinued), but most of the old Omnis
> > functions still work fine for me.
> >
> > My question is: What is the overwhelming reason to convert to using
> > notation instead of the traditional Omnis functions? Is it performance?
> > More control? Or is it because the old functions are gradually being
> phased
> > out?
> >
> --
> Kindest Regards,
> Bastiaan Olij
> e-mail: bastiaan at
> web:
> Skype: Mux213
> _____________________________________________________________
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George Ziemann
Database Developer
(480) 278-9746

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