the SQL was pretty easy, so it only took about an hour to rewrite the SQL in Manifold 8. It's a cool little program in that it:
- allows easy entry to times, rooms, instructor, and credit hours, and course number
- finds all instances where a professor is teaching at the time twice
- finds all instances where a room is occupied by two different courses at the same time
- calculates each faculty member's course load and overload
- calculates the entire department course offerings and credit load
- generates a room schedule for each classroom and lab and exports the results as a .pdf and sends the results directly to the printer
- generates each faculty members schedule and exports the results as a .pdf and sends the results to the printer
I just have it as a separate script, but once we get the Fall 2023 schedule entered, and the pressure off a bit, I'll turn it into a form.
I do have to say that returning to Manifold 8 was a pleasant experience:
- The Layout was really nice to work with (very easy, as the elements weren't as granular),
- turning the SQL queries into a PARAMETER query and passing faculty name or room number in the script was super convenient
- copy/paste of results of the queries to the clipboard and then into a Word document was much more convenient than writing to a new table, exporting the table to .csv, and then using Word or Excel to open the table up.
- and I can't even begin to tell you how nice it is to get intellisense, keyword highlighting, and meaningful error messages in the SQL engine and VBScript engine.
Dan, you'll really appreciate this part: I have the schedule as Area features for each hour (9:00 - 10:00). Some classes obviously span 1 hour, so there are two boxes that indicate the same class (9:00-10:00; 10:-11:00). That's kind of ugly. So, I used the dissolve function to dissolve the area features that were adjacent to one another, and was the same class number. (see the attached .pdf) Talk about space/time analysis :-)
I did have to brush up again on the UI scripting in order to call the dissolve function, but there were some good examples from years ago that made it very easy to do. There is still a lot of really good stuff in 8, and its copy/paste capabilities of tables, drawings, etc. make it very user friendly.
I also did all the new maps, tables, and figures for my book update using 8 - for those tasks, it was just easier than using 9.
I'm finding for hobbyist kinds of things (like my book, creating powerpoints, or even this schedule thingy), 8 is so convenient and easy to use.
I find 9 to be more complicated and less convenient. But, for my work with the bathymetric data project where I am plowing through 10s of gigabytes of data, and over 100 million objects, 9 is indispensable, and the only product that can get the job done.
So, 9 is my tool for big data analytics, and 8 is my tool for hobbyist activities with less than 100,000 objects. I know that 9 will add more of those nice little conveniences in time, but for now, I'm glad I have both.