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#21

Thanks for your answers to all my objections! I’ll give this a serious try.

I very much appreciate you taking the time to help me get set up.


#22

There’s already been a lot of great suggestions here, but I wanted to elaborate a bit on why Panorama always sorts the entire database.

Imagine a list of people and addresses on a sheet of paper. You could make this list sorted, for example alphabetically by last name, or by zip code, or by city. But if you have just one piece of paper, the list on that piece of paper can only be sorted one way. If you wanted the list sorted a different way, you’d need a new sheet of paper.

The Panorama data sheet window shows an exact representation of your database as it is stored in RAM (the computer’s memory). When you sort the database, the data is actually being rearranged in memory.

Now let’s talk about Panorama selections. When you perform a selection, some of the data becomes invisible. But internally, all of the data is still there. Suppose you had a database with 5 names, like this.

1 John
2 Mark
3 Jack
4 Jim
5 Len

Now suppose you select only names beginning with the letter J. So you would see this:

1 John
3 Jack
4 Jim

But internally, the database is still the same – record 2, Mark, is still between John and Jack, and record 5, Len, is still at the end.

Now suppose you say you want to sort only the selected records, in this case the three records starting with J. So the result is:

3 Jack
4 Jim
1 John

But internally, Mark and Len are still part of the database. They have to go somewhere! I suppose they could be put at the end, or the beginning, but neither of those options really makes any sense in my opinion. So what Panorama does is sort all of the records, whether they are currently visible or not. When you do a Select All, you’ll see the invisible data sorted into place. In this particular example, they wind up at the end, but in a different order than they started out.

3 Jack
4 Jim
1 John
5 Len
2 Mark

I think the best answer to the question from @Ilkuul is to add an additional field to the database, and put data into it that will allow the database to be sorted into the order you want. What you are asking to do is essentially to create additional data by the order in which you perform operations (i.e. select then sort), I think a better plan would be to explicitly put that information into the data itself.

At one point you mentioned restoring a database to it’s “default sort order.” In Panorama, there is no such thing as a default sort order. Initially, records are stored in whatever order you entered them, just like entering into a spreadsheet. If you sort the database, that order is normally lost. If you want to be able to get back to the original order in which data was entered, you’ll need to set up a field with an automatically numbered sequence. Then you can sort by that field to get back to the original order. There’s an example of this for automatic check numbers on this tutorial page:

For more detail see Numeric Increment Default on this page:

If you have a database that is already full of data, you can add sequence numbers to it after the fact. See Start with Sequence on this page:

This is a technique I use frequently – I’ll sequence the records to save the current order, then sort it some other way, then sort it back into the original order by the sequence number.


Arrays are a very powerful tool and might be helpful to you at some point, but I think you should skip this idea for now – arrays are not really designed for beginners but require a fair amount of programming knowledge to use effectively. Before tackling arrays you would need to learn about variables, at a minimum, and be comfortable with setting up programs (called procedures in Panorama).

I will however mention quickly that in standard programming terminology, an array is a N dimensional structure, where N could be 1, 2, 3 or more (1 is most common). Array elements are numbered, they don’t have categories. The concept of array’s goes back at least to the Fortran programming language in the 1950’s, probably earlier. So the word “array” has a special meaning for programming that is a bit different than standard English usage.


#23

Thanks for your comprehensive response, Jim! I want to respond to some of the points you make, but am out of time at the moment. I very much appreciate all the help that’s been offered here.


#24

Sorry, but I have point out that there’s a misunderstanding here of what Bento did. There is no such thing as sorting a subset of the database, and there was no such thing in Bento. What you did in Bento was simply a search followed a sort. The difference is merely that in Bento there was an interface for saving that search-then-sort sequence as a single action, whereas in Panorama you would express this as a simple procedure. Two slightly different ways of doing exactly the same thing.