Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shatner Really *is* Speaking at an IBM Conference

Got an email today about the Rational Software Developer Conference and saw that William Shatner is one of the keynote speakers. He's been rumored to be at Lotusphere so often that it's become cliche.

I've enjoyed the music at the Lotusphere OGS the last couple of years but I'm a little jealous that the Wallflowers are playing the RSDC. Maybe next year....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This is a good idea?

So Delta and Northwest are going to (try to) merge. Two airlines that not too long ago were in bankruptcy. The CEO of Delta came from Northwest and the CEO of Northwest is going to "retire quietly". They are planning to keep all nine (nine!) of their hubs. Their pilots still haven't come to agreement on their seniority issues.

There are obviously a lot of details to be worked out and made public but early on this has the look of 1+1=1. It will be interesting to see where they are going to find the cost savings to justify this. I'm a little worried about smaller airports like the one where I live since we have both Northwest and Delta flying out of here to Detroit, Minneapolis and Cincinnati (and, for a time, Atlanta). I foresee higher prices and fewer choices.

Friday, April 4, 2008

SnTT: @Transform Goodness

If you went to Rocky's session at Lotusphere 2008 on Formula Tricks, you heard about the @Transform function. It lets you take a list of values and run a formula against it to change some or all of the values in the list based on your criteria.

I've used it in two places recently and it works far better than anything we could have done prior to the function becoming available (which was in Release 6). In my first example, I have a list of dates and a list of numbers. I want to sum the numbers only for the dates that are in the future. For example, say the fields are:
SchedDates is 3/24/08:3/31/08:4/7/08:4/14/08
SchedDays is 5:5:4:5

If I look at this on 4/4/08, I want to end up with 9. This is the formula I run:

@If(SchedDates="";0;@Sum(@Transform(@Text(SchedDates) + "~" + @Text(SchedDays);"x";@If(@TextToTime(@Left(x;"~"))<@Today;0;@TextToNumber(@Right(x;"~"))*8))))

That takes the two fields and joins them (eg. 03/24/2008~5:03/31/2008~5:04/07/2008~4:04/14/2008:5), then replaces each one with 0 if the date portion is before today or the number portion if not. So you end up with 0:0:4:5. When you @Sum that, you get 9. Cool!

The other time I used it recently was to make sure that a name was placed in a field as long as it wasn't already in that field or five other fields. That formula looks like this and is in the Input Translation of a field (in this case Level5):

reqNames:=@Name([Canonicalize];"James Q Public/MyCo/US");

The reqNames field can be multi-valued. If any of the values in the field are in any of the listed fields (Level0, etc.), it replaces that value in reqNames with @Nothing. When all values in reqNames are checked, it prepends the remaining names to the field where the formula lives. If not, reqNames is just prepended to the existing field value, making sure there are no blank entries in the list.

If you haven't already, be sure you take a look at @Transform.