The Well – v0.3.9.2

The Well v0.3.9.2 was released on October 8th, 2018 (.fmp12 format only, so far, meaning for Mavericks - Sierra).  This release does away with Gooey Gadgets and DialogPlugin methods for displaying progress bars, restoring Sierra compatibility in the process.

Bug fixes in v0.3.9.2:
  • Introduced new progress bar display method that should be more compatible and long-lived that previous methods (using the BaseElements plugin)
  • Changed main menu layout to omit text no longer relevant due to the above change.
New "features" in v0.3.9.2:
  • Sierra compatibility.
Known Limitations:
  • NEW:  The "Cancel" button in the new progress bar windows is greyed out and can't be clicked, however the escape (ESC) key functions.  Testing and research must be done to improve the situation.
  • When first installing the stand-alone version of The Well, if your admin password is blank you may find the install process more annoying than you would like, but it is not possible to automate installation of the app's components without a valid admin password.  Diligently following the prompts should lead you to a working copy of The Well.
  • When restoring or importing records from backups, The Well is excruciatingly slow to process the additions, especially when checking for duplicates.  This is partly a limitation of Filemaker's scripting environment, which processes steps in a less efficient manner than FileMaker's native functionality that you may be used to, and partly reflects a lack of development time to further optimize or re-think the import code.  Something for another day.  In the meantime, imports and backups will be something for you to run in the background while you are doing something else.
  • Favorites Lists must be restored after the records they reference have been restored.
  • Duplicates (same Group/Folder/Track/Description) will not appear if searching on a Group or a Folder (i.e.:  by clicking on the respective magnifying glass buttons), but will show up after clearing search.  This is a bug that will require some exploring.
  • Currently, only .mp3, .WAV, and .AAC (provisionally) files are listed & supported formats within the app.  Some testing needs to be done with alternate formats, time permitting.  If you are using the "source file" version of the app, you can add other formats (i.e.:  file extensions) in a hidden table in the app.  Any Quicktime-compatible format is supposedly compatible with PlaySound, which is the playback engine used by The Well.

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The Well – v0.3.9.0

The Well v0.3.9.0 was released on October 7th, 2018 (.fmp12 format only, so far, meaning for Mavericks - Yosemite+).  This release completes the funcionality of a major feature and fixes some bugs.

Bug fixes in v0.3.9.0:
  • Added import of Group Metadata from .TWB backup files (Group Folder Prefix and Group File Export Prefix).  Now, restoring from a .TWB full backup will retain this information (see New Features, below, for more information).
    NOTE:  This means that you can now migrate from an older version of The Well to the current version with your Groups' data intact.
  • Added automated BaseElements plugin install.   First-time users should see fewer installation messages and generally have an easier time getting started.
    NOTE:  If your admin password is blank, you may find the install process more annoying, but it is not possible to automate installation without a valid admin password.
  • Changed database startup behavior to more gracefully ignore missing DialogPlugin (now deprecated:  only works in 32-bit mode!)
  • Fixed erroneous appending of the term "KeepSpaces" when adding a space at the end of a manually entered Group Folder Prefix in the pop-up window.
  • Changed main menu layout to display new longer missing plugin message & altered conditional formatting to look less intrusive.
  • Fixed broken link to Kargas Software's page for DialogPlugin.
New "features" in v0.3.9.0:
  • Restoring from a .TWB (The Well Backup) file now also restores any Group-level customizations pertaining to the Group's physical folder name (Group Folder Prefix) and the Group's optional, user-determined export prefix (Group Export Prefix) which is appended to the exported file name of a sound file).
    IMPORTANT NOTE:  since the Group Folder Prefix is used to determine the physical location of a sound file, setting this prefix incorrectly (or adding one when the physical folders do not have a common prefix) can lead to a breaking of the link the sound file, making it go offline.  To restore the link, examine the physical folder naming conventions and correct as necessary.  This can be done by clicking the pencil icon of a sound effect belonging to the Group in question, and then selecing the red tab, "Sound Effect File Link Data," then clicking on the pencil icon next the the Group name.  In the resulting window, the Group's Folder Prefix and File Export Prefix can be directly edited.  This will change the data for all records belonging to that Group, so use this functionality wisely!
Known Limitations:
  • NEW:  While working on this version's code, it was discovered that both methods of displaying progress bars are problematic.  The DialoguePlugin method (which was always considered the fallback method) only works when launching the app in 32-bit mode, which is not recommended and is a bit silly to ask the user to think about.  Meanwhile, Gooey Gadgets, which has seemed to work well, is apparently incompatible with Sierra (and possibly El Capitan? – and probably any future macOS's).  Another method of displaying progress bars will have to be implemented.  For some reason, inexplicably, Filemaker itself has never deemed this a necessary feature and does not offer a progress bar function.  So its back to the drawing board...
  • When first installing the stand-alone version of The Well, if your admin password is blank you may find the install process more annoying than you would like, but it is not possible to automate installation of the app's components without a valid admin password.  Diligently following the prompts should lead you to a working copy of The Well.
  • When restoring or importing records from backups, The Well is excruciatingly slow to process the additions, especially when checking for duplicates.  This is partly a limitation of Filemaker's scripting environment, which processes steps in a less efficient manner than FileMaker's native functionality that you may be used to, and partly reflects a lack of development time to further optimize or re-think the import code.  Something for another day.  In the meantime, imports and backups will be something for you to run in the background while you are doing something else.
  • Favorites Lists must be restored after the records they reference have been restored.
  • Duplicates (same Group/Folder/Track/Description) will not appear if searching on a Group or a Folder (i.e.:  by clicking on the respective magnifying glass buttons), but will show up after clearing search.  This is a bug that will require some exploring.
  • Currently, only .mp3, .WAV, and .AAC (provisionally) files are listed & supported formats within the app.  Some testing needs to be done with alternate formats, time permitting.  If you are using the "source file" version of the app, you can add other formats (i.e.:  file extensions) in a hidden table in the app.  Any Quicktime-compatible format is supposedly compatible with PlaySound, which is the playback engine used by The Well.

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The Well – v0.3.8.9

The Well v0.3.8.9 was released on June 17th, 2018.  This is the first release of the app since its initial release in 2016 and addresses some long-standing issues:

Bug fixes in v0.3.8.9:
  • Prior version could not import audio beyond the first file chosen, due to buggy code introduced into the import script just before the original release.  This has been fixed, unlocking a great deal of potential in the app:  now disorderly audio files can make their way into The Well and become neat, searchable libraries, just as intended.
  • Fixed recognition of invisible files (based on starting with a period, ".").  They will now be properly ignored when performing an audio file import.  This is especially helpful when importing audio from a non-Mac network share, such as Nexus/ISIS/Unity or a generic NAS.
  • Prior version had a very annoying habit of jumping to the first record after any search, making the first record the active record. Subsequently clicking on any other record's audio playback button would cause that audio file's duration to be assigned to the first record in the search, rather than the record clicked.  Playback on/off behavior became inconsistent for the same reason.  This was due to a subtle interface bug in FileMaker that requires a work-around.  As a direct trade-off of that work-around, after a search has been performed, you will now have to click on the search box to perform the next search, rather than just typing again.  Considering most people's search habits, this compromise will be an improvement.
  • After canceling Report Duplicates, you might have landed on a blank white screen.  This has been fixed.
  • Report Duplicates now lands in Maintenance Mode, displaying duplicate records.  Some future refinement to this workflow is being considered, but for now only a single set of duplicate records is shown, not the other records that match them.  Which record is considered the "duplicate" is a bit random at this time.
  • Automatically-generated log files, for example the report generated by an audio file import, now use timestamps in the YYYY-MM-DD_HH-MM-SS format so that they sort nicely in Finder.
  • Leading and trailing spaces are now allowed in Folder Prefixes (to better allow matching pre-existing disk filenames and paths to database filenames and paths).
  • In the Import Sandbox, clicking on Delete All Sandbox Records, Delete Marked Sandbox Records, and either of the  Import buttons now stops audio playback, which should prevent runaway audio playback with no button available to stop it.
New features in v0.3.8.9:
  • No new features.  Although the bug fixes rescued a major feature:  audio import!
Known Limitations:
  • When restoring or importing records from backups, The Well is excruciatingly slow to process the additions, especially when checking for duplicates.  This is partly a limitation of Filemaker's scripting environment, which processes steps in a less efficient manner than FileMaker's native functionality that you may be used to, and partly reflects a lack of development time to further optimize or re-think the import code.  Something for another day.  In the meantime, imports and backups will be something for you to run in the background while you are doing something else.
  • Favorites Lists must be restored after the records they reference have been restored.
  • Duplicates (same Group/Folder/Track/Description) will not appear if searching on a Group or a Folder (i.e.:  by clicking on the respective magnifying glass buttons), but will show up after clearing search.  This is a bug that will require some exploring.
  • Currently, only .mp3, .WAV, and .AAC (provisionally) files are listed & supported formats within the app.  Some testing needs to be done with alternate formats, time permitting.  If you are using the "source file" version of the app, you can add other formats (i.e.:  file extensions) in a hidden table in the app.

And that's it!

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The Well – v0.3.8.7

The Well v0.3.8.7 was the initial public release in the Summer of 2016.

Known Bugs:
  • Audio File Import does not function:  only the first audio file is recognized and copied / processed.  A real bummer.
  • Canceling a Report Duplicates operation can land the user on a blank screen with no obvious way out.
Known Limitations:
  • When restoring or importing records, The Well is excruciatingly slow to process the additions, especially when checking for duplicates.  This is partly a limitation of Filemaker's scripting environment, which processes steps in a less efficient manner than FileMaker's native functionality that you may be used to, and partly reflects a lack of development time to further optimize or re-think the import code.
  • Favorites Lists must be restored after the records they reference have been restored.
  • Duplicates (same Group/Folder/Track/Description) will not appear if searching on a Group or a Folder (i.e.:  by clicking on the respective magnifying glass buttons), but will show up after clearing search.
  • Currently, only .mp3, .WAV, and .AAC (provisionally) files are listed & supported formats within the app.  Some testing needs to be done with alternate formats, time permitting.  If you are using the "source file" version of the app, you can add other formats (i.e.:  file extensions) in a hidden table in the app.

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FileMaker “Source File” Notes

How to work with the FileMaker "source file" version of The Well:

Source files are available in either .fp7 (actually made in FileMaker v11) and .fp12 (actually made inFileMaker v14) format.  Download whichever version suits you and note the following:

  • To eliminate distractions and confusion when using the application, the standard FileMaker toolsets and menus are disabled upon starting the app (and subsequently re-disabled actively while using the app to keep things clean and neat and to protect the user).  To temporarily restore this functionality:
    • Upon launching the file, you will need to re-enable standard menus by selecting "Standard Menu Set" in the Custom Menus... menu.  As of v0.3.8.9, you will have to manually set this again as you navigate from window to window and invoke certain functions.
    • If you want the standard controls header (toolbar) on top of your FileMaker window, hit Command-1 to invoke a function that restores this toolbar temporarily.  As of v0.3.8.9, you will have to manually set this again as you navigate from window to window and invoke certain functions.
  • To permanently restore the Filemaker toolsets and menus requires looking into the script triggers of the app's various forms and finding the code that enforces the custom menu set and disables the toolbars.  Probably not worth the effort?
  • The plugins and helper apps – BaseElements, PlaySound and Gooey Gadgets – must be properly installed for The Well's operations to function (BaseElements is a hard requirement, the others add wanted functionality).  The proper installation location and method for these helpers differs by version of FileMaker, so refer to online help sources to set things up properly in your environment.  Once they are installed, however, they need not be dealt with again and can be used actively in all FileMaker projects on the same machine.  BaseElements is especially helpful when scripting heavily.

Note that the file is complex to understand and will require some patience to reverse-engineer, even for a "power user."  Scripts are commented to help navigate the logical flow and are organized in folders by function type (User Interface / basic functions / file operations / etc.).

Good luck!

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