Commentary is a database application for creating, entering, and submitting ballot votes and comments and for logging clause editors' recommendations, group decisions, and editor's actions. This software was written by Roger Marks for the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access using FileMaker Developer 5.
Commentary is meant to be self-explanatory. External documentation is currently minimal. The author will attempt to answer your questions. Bug reports and ideas for improvement, including new scripts, are also welcome.
- This is a standalone application. You don't need anything but Windows* or MacOS.
- It is a full database and data entry system. You can search, sort, edit, whatever. I've included scripts to sort in most of the normal ways.
- Under View, you will see "Browse Mode" and "Find Mode". In Browse Mode, you can tab through the data fields and enter things. In Find Mode, you enter the search term in the field you want to search in. You can use an asterisk as a wild card in any Find field.
- Built-in scripts (under the "Scripts" menu) allow the creation and export of ballot comments. Data is typically distributed in the "Full Records" format; you will import this using the "Import Full Records" script, which is the first one under the "Scripts" menu.
- Built-in scripts also allow you to import and export the following portions of the data record:
- Clause Editor's Proposals
- Group Resolutions
- Editor's Input
- Entire data records
- The layouts (views) are selectable from the popup in the upper left corner. A number of buttons are included to switch between layouts, so you may never need to use this popup.
You can replace everything in a particular field over a batch of records. For example, clause editors might not want to type their name in the the "Recommendation by" field each time. Here is a solution to the problem illustrating the use of "Replace":
- Clause Editor Jane Doe writes "jd" in the "Recommendation by" field for each comment she works on.
- Go to Find mode and look for "jd" in "Recommendation by". This will find all of the records "jd" worked on.
- Go into in browse mode and put the cursor in the "Recommendation by" field.
- Under "Records", choose "Replace".
- Choose "Replace with calculated result".
- In the box, write, in quotation marks ("Jane Doe"). Click "OK".
- Click "Replace".
*Windows caveat: The application requires the files comctl32.dll and shfolder.dll. These files are not part of a standard install on the following systems:
- Windows 95 retail - neither DLL
- Windows 95 retail with Service Pack 1 - neither .dll
- Windows 95 OSR2 - comctl32.dll but no shfolder.dll
- Windows 98 retail - comctl32.dll but no shfolder.dll
- Windows NT 4 With Service Pack 1 or 2, neither .dll
Customers without these files can get them by installing Internet Explorer 4.x, or NT Service Pack 3 or later. Please see the Microsoft web site for more details.
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