This Help file was originally distributed on 8/28/99 as A5v4Help and has been updated to include all the A5v5 functions listed in the XBasic Reference Manual plus a few other items from the Alpha Five Version 5 message board. It has also been updated with xbasic commands from later versions whenever I've found that a command was hard to locate in Alpha's help file or I wanted to add other information.
NOTE:It is intended for reference only - it is not a tutorial document.
To learn more about how the Help file was constructed and how to use it, go to the A5v4 Help page.
Sometime in 1999: Alpha will soon be coming out with an improved Help file of their own but this one was so close to being completed that I decided to go ahead and finish it. From what I know at this time, I believe that Alpha's new help file will have more examples so it will be better for those who want to use it as a tutorial.
The advantages of the AIMS A5v5 Help file are:
Some additional info that is not in Alpha's Help files.
Whenever I find something in Alpha's Help file that is either difficult to locate or needs more information, I add it to this A5v5_Help file.
More 'accurate' keyword links.
Due to the method of creating this file, keywords were specifically chosen for each topic. This means that (a) every hit for any given keyword should be a valid choice and (b) often synonyms were used as keywords so, for example, a search on 'delete' would also show functions like 'file.remove()' and 'table.erase()'. The keywords for the Alpha Help file (as far as I know at this time) were chosen by an automated method which often finds unrelated hits and can occassionally miss a valid one. This is because it can only determine if a specific word is used in the text but it can't determine how relevent that word is.
(Don't get me wrong - selecting and defining the keywords took a lot of time. If I had the choice, I would have used an automated keyword selection myself!)
Topics that are new to later versions show the first version it was available in - (v5), (v6), etc.
The (v5) next to a topic in the contents or under the title in the topic itself indicates that this fuction only became available in version 5. This makes it easier for developers who are working with both v4 and v5 applications because they don't have to check a separate file to determine if a function is applicable to version 4.
This help file still uses the older .hlp type of file which means that it loads instantly.
This is a minor issue but it makes it more convenient to open and close the help file as needed. Edit: Unfortunately the old .hlp file type is not supported by XP or later unless you download the driver from Microsoft. Just go to the Microsoft site and search for ".hlp". Due to the size and complexity of this Help file I've chosen not to update it to the .chm format. If someone has a good conversion routine that will do it automatically and is willing to do the conversion, please contact me.
There is no trial version anymore. This is now a free download.
We have also begun work on an XDialog Help file but it is only about 10% complete as of March 2003. (And as off 2005 it's a dead project.)
AIMS DataCom, Inc. - Custom Database Applications
This site created and maintained by Cal Locklin, CALocklin@chartermi.net, using 1st Page 2000.
Last update: 12-Mar-10
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