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fmLogAnalyser - never miss another bug!

Posted by Russell Watson on January 7, 2014 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Don't you just hate it when your code breaks when pasting code into FileMaker?

- especially when you don't notice for ages!

(...and when pasting between files, or across database versions things break ALL THE TIME!)


Maybe you've already heard of the import.log file? that FileMaker writes info and errors to when you paste or import code into FileMaker.

Well, it is a really neat feature, BUT ...

the import.log is a pain to trawl through for errors

- especially if you are using Notepad on Windows!

Can you believe it? Many FM-developers I know, know about it, but do not use it, because it is so difficult to read.


The import.log file is the


What you need - what every FileMaker programmer needs - is fmLogAnalyser!

fmLogAnalyser makes finding your pasting errors a piece of cake!

After pasting code into FileMaker, simply open your log file in fmLogAnalyser...

...and a huge button tells you immediately if everything is OK (green) or not (brown), and if not ...

fmLogAnalyser turns your log into a TO-DO list!

Just press the big button and work through the bugs one by one until they are all done. The location of the error (file, script name and exact script step position) are shown clearly at the bottom.

Together with fmSyntaxColorizer (and line #s) you can

find errors in a fraction of the normal time

Once you have corrected the issue, just tick it off in your to-do list log!


fmLogAnalyser does not just show the errors,

it also highlights any warnings

and grays out cancelled imports

(which are all really difficult to read correctly in the import.log!)

For example, if objects are renamed when you insert them, or if FileMaker automatically adds a missing external reference (which may be an undesirable self-reference) warnings are flagged up.

Don't just think you are right, PROVE you are right!

 If fmLogAnalyser gives you a green light, it proves you are right*.

* or at least very nearly - there are some IMPORTANT considerations: 

- There are some limitations in the FileMaker clipboard, that you must know about and account for (Layout objects, custom functions, field calculation context, import records script step, themes), but I shall cover these in a coming blog entry. Nevertheless a green OK from fmLogAnalyser is way way better than a believed OK from your belly.

- fmLogAnalyser is NOT multilingual! To get want the most out of it, use english or german.

Happy - and good, clean - FileMaking!


Happy New Year, Happy New Website!

Posted by Russell Watson on January 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Happy New Year fellow FileMaker developers!

With the new year comes a (slightly) new look to the webste. Although teething troubles are to be expected, it should make getting updates out to you easier (and hopefully more frequent)...

Watch this space...

...there are some good things coming soon.

Next release of fmWorkMate to appear shortly

...including a brand new tool fmPluginMate

it makes managing your FileMaker plugins a drag.


Great greets


fmSyntaxColorizer + FileMaker 13 = less bugs + more joy

Posted by Russell Watson on December 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (0)

FileMaker 13 - the funky new version of our favorite FileMaker Pro database platform - has just been released with pepped up database creation, fantastic new layout styling, the FM WebDirect browser and a bunch of new script and function stuff.

To make FileMaker 13 as bright, colorful and awesome as FileMaker12 just...

download the new version of fmSyntaxColorizer from the Downloads page today.

With fmSyntaxColorizer 0.9v16 you can not only colorize the new fm13 script steps, but - thanks to the amazing MBS Plugin from Monkeybread Software - you can now also highlight undeclared $variables.

IT IS AWESOME! Those fiddly variable names that are always getting mistyped stick out like a sore thumb!

You can see the errors in an instant - EVEN IN THE SCRIPT DEBUGGER! No more stupid little errors!

Have a bright day!


Post Script:

I have just noticed that in all releases of fmSyntaxColorizer to date all the example scripts have no calculations...


This is apparently - and interestingly - a side-effect of using the FM developer tools to remove the Admin-Access from the file... I'll see if I can find a solution for the next release, and for now, please use your own scripts to check your colorizing and variable-checking results, thank you. Sincerely MrWatson

New release of fmCheckMate XSLT

Posted by Russell Watson on November 14, 2013 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

There's a new release of the fmCheckMate XSLT Library now available on the Downloads page.

Biggest change: Transformation names have been made (a little) less cryptic.

Step by step we make our way to perfection! :)

Greets from around the globe!


fmCheckMate Ready? Get Set, Go!

Posted by Russell Watson on November 13, 2013 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (1)

Getting set up and started with fmCheckMate is now super-easy-peasy with new defaults, a new settings menu, and an improved XML Editor menu.

For a start fmCheckMate now starts up in Internal XML-Editor mode, so that newcomers can get to grips straight away with their fmxmlsnippets.

And with the new XML Editor Settings menu you get a great overview of your settings - and changing them is A SIMPLE SINGLE CLICK - with your mouse or with an easy-to-remember shortcut key.

Moreover, the XML Editor menu has been revamped:


  • Functions are much more logically grouped,
  • The new Clipboard menu shows all functions that interact with the clipboard,
  • The Find and Replace Menu has also been reorganised to make it even easier to find the functions and remember the keys.


One final snazzy touch: each tool file now has its correct icon in the Finder.

New Release of fmWorkMate (Mac) is available, as ever, on the Downloads page.

Happy Checking Mate! ;-)


Hello World! +1 for fmWorkMate and fmSyntaxColorizer

Posted by Russell Watson on November 1, 2013 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Hallo Deutschland! Hej Stockholm! Hej gutter i københavn!

How ya doin' San Jose / Cupertino / Los Altos?

All right down under?

How's it going? Well, thank you! Busy.

In the meantime, interest in fmWorkMate and fmSyntaxColorizer is on the rise:

Lots of you guys have been looking in, web visits rose significantly in october; can you see yourself in the city-list?

Two tweets about us to date.

A couple of links here and there.

One accidental imitation.

One contact.

Some mentions over at the FileMaker Technet developer community site.

And at least one 'happy customer':


"[fmSyntaxColorizer] is one of the most time saving tools I use, [....] Work with the colors on a day or two, and you will almost not be able to live without [it]....

... I encourage you engineers to take a look at this and try for yourself. It is really great."

                                                                    Claus Lavendt

And hopefully a lot more that I don't know about yet.

Happy and colorful discovering!



Transform you code faster with fmCheckMate

Posted by Russell Watson on October 30, 2013 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm doing some very intensive FileMaker code transformations at the moment - porting masses of Mail-Sync code from FileMaker 12 back into our old FileMaker 11 solution, so the focus for this release has been getting things transformed fast and efficiently with fmCheckMate (on Windows).

Thus, in this release the XSLT chooser has been pepped up: 

  • New shortcut keys for selecting one of the top 5 transformations quickly
  • Your favourite transformations remain at the top, even after an update, because the usage statistics are now stored in user preferences!


AND, most importantly, the Windows version works better.

SO: fmWorkMate for Mac and Win released - get it on the Downloads page 


Good night!


Line numbers are IN - fmSyntaxColorizer+fmCheckMate are OUT!

Posted by Russell Watson on October 29, 2013 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Get the new releases of fmSyntaxColorizer and fmWorkMate from the Downloads page!

If you haven't seen the Line Numbers in FileMaker Scripts yet, then get moving and get the latest MBS Plugin!

With the newest release of fmSyntaxColorizer it is just ONE CLICK easy locating of those bugs quicker than ever!

No more senseless searching, scrolling and screaming!

And, seeing as line numbers are so handy, I've also built a function into fmCheckMate to add line numbers to your text result:

or even to your filemaker xml fmxmlsnippet:


Press SHIFT+COMMAND+0 (zero) to toggle the line number on and off to discover exactly where your lines are.

 (In the XML-Editor you may want to first press SHIFT+COMMAND+H in order to format the XML one step-a-line)

Enjoy knowing where you are!


Line Numbers in FileMaker Scripts! Your dreams come true in a single click

Posted by Russell Watson on October 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

OMG! Monkeybread Software have done it again and taken our breath right away.

The new MBS-Plugin version 3.5 brings not just beautiful - and meaningful - colors into your FileMaker development....but now also shows LINE NUMBERS in your scripts!


FileMaker developers have been screaming for this for years!!! Thank you MBS-Plugin, you make our dreams come true!

You have to see it to believe it - it's not just a mock-up - and it's FREE!


 And with fmSyntaxColorizer your dreams are only ONE CLICK AWAY!

 Just 4 steps away:

  1. first make sure you've got the newest MBS-Plugin version 3.5 from Monkeybread Software,
  2. download and install the latest version of fmSyntaxColorizer from the Downloads page,
  3. open fmSyntaxColorizer and
  4. => Click Colorize! <=


Enjoy your FileMaker development - like never before!


fmSyntaxColorizer de-bugged and re-released

Posted by Russell Watson on September 30, 2013 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

New Versions of fmSyntaxColorizer, and of Mac AND WINDOWS Versions of fmWorkMate are available on the Downloads page

What would software be without bugs? What would I hunt?

Greets from Germany


fmWorkMate is the answer to your cross platform copying problems

Posted by Russell Watson on September 25, 2013 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

As the folks over at FileMakers fmdev Technet Site noticed,

Copying and pasting Scripts or Script lines from Mac to Remote PC is not easy and does not always work.

Apple Remote Desktop, TeamViewer, Remote Desktop Connection, Cord, et al can copy text cross-platform (usually), but often stumble when trying to copy FileMaker objects directly across the divide.

Well, here we know the answer to the problem, and it's called fmCheckMate, the heart of the fmWorkMate toolbox.

The solution is VERY EASY:


1. Install fmCheckMate on the local computer                 2. Install fmCheckMate on the remote computer


3. Copy FM objects here       4. CLICK here       -^v->      5. CLICK there      6. Paste FM Objects in the remote DB



ONLY TWO EXTRA CLICKS in fmCheckMate (one local + one remote) are necessary.


fmCheckMate has bridged the divide and the FileMaker objects have jumped the gap!


But of course, fmCheckMate is only a fraction of the story: In the forum thread you can read my original comments, as to: Why fmWorkMate the ideal toolkit is to help FileMaker developers support & develop bug-free remote solutions.



Happy remote supporting!





New releases are getting BETA 'n' BETA!

Posted by Russell Watson on September 25, 2013 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

There's some great new stuff in the new releases of fmWorkMate, fmCheckMate and fmSyntaxColorizer!


now ships with a CampSoftware color palette (see last blog entry), and has greatly improved palette-import & export functionality to support easier community palette-swapping.


has been honed again to provide a much smoother interface experience, with more intuitive menus and shortcut keys. A vastly improved text result editor now supports search & replace, and provides the ability to save the text to an external file in the much more useful UTF-8 encoding, as does the XML editor.


has seen some subtle development in the simple calculator, making it possible to do away with the mouse and operate it entirely via the keyboard.


Good to know:

  • You can define your own functions in the settings page for the simple calculator.
  • You can now start the simple calculator with a keypress (SHIFT+Command+0)
  • All fmWorkMate tools have been equipped with a structured arsenal of shortcut keys so you can perform repetitive tasks easily and efficiently.


Actually, it's the other way round: fmWorkMate is getting better and better, and thus, as more and more functions are 'rounded off',  it's getting less and less BETA.


Releases, as ever, are to be found on the Downloads page

Happy work, mate!


fmSyntaxColorizer is getting noticed...

Posted by Russell Watson on September 20, 2013 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

So the folks at CampSoftware have found fmSyntaxColorizer - the quick way of customizing your colors - and like it :)!

That's nice to hear! They have even constructed their own default palette -> maybe I'll add a "CampSoftware' palette to the next release ...

Lots of thanks to the MBS-Plugin, but let's not forget to mention the author of the tool, eh?

Greetings from all around the world


fmCheckMate gets some new funky stuff

Posted by Russell Watson on September 11, 2013 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)

There is a new version of fmWorkMate on the downloads page, with some nice goodies in the fmCheckMate tool.

I'm working on a huge conversion task at the moment; porting FileMaker 12 stuff back onto old FM 11 versions, which means that the focus of this release is on improving the pace of the work flow, that means

  • improved menus, 
  • useful keyboard shortcuts and 
  • more intuitive flow through the data.

 Both the XSLT Chooser and the Text Result Viewer have been honed into efficient tools:

XSLT Chooser

Text Result Viewer

The text statistics really help to find problem characters in your code - or even in any text: just paste it in the text viewer and press command-8.

Have fun. New XSLTs should be coming soon.


At last fmCheckMate XSLT (BETA) is released

Posted by Russell Watson on September 1, 2013 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

OK, it's not polished, it is not error-free, but it's here and it's mind-blowing.

fmCheckMate XSLT Library (BETA) is now available for download on the downloads page.

The fmCheckMate XSLT Library upgrades fmCheckMate from a Super-Tool to a Mega-Tool.

For those who are new here: fmCheckMate is the main tool in the fmWorkMate toolbox for converting copied FileMaker objects to XML and back.

Important notice before we go any further: 

The fmCheckMate XSLT Library is work in progress, this means:

  • Some things work, and some things don't (& it's not terribly well documented)
  • It is not guaranteed to do a) what it says, b) what you expect, c) what I expect, d) any good. But it might.
  • The bits of it I use are in a "it works for me" state - please help me to get it into a "it works for you" state!
  • If you have questions, suggestions, input, corrections, uncertainties or anything else, please contact me (e.g.: using the contact button on this website)


Here's how to use it:

  1. If you don't have fmWorkMate yet, download that first from the downloads page.
  2. Download the fmCheckMate XSLT Library from the downloads page.
  3. Unzip it to your documents folder. (~/Documents/CheckMate)
  4. Start fmWorkMate and then fmCheckMate.
  5. Copy some FileMaker objects and use fmCheckMate to convert them to XML (an fmxmlsnippet).
  6. Press Command+T (on Windows Ctrl+T) to open the XSLT Transformation window.
    (Note: If you are updating your version of the fmCheckMate XSLT Library press the reload button)
  7. Click an interesting looking transformation (see note below on abbreviations used in the names).
  8. If the result is an anlysis just look at, copy or save the text.
  9. If the result is a further fmxmlsnippet, press the [-> FM] button to convert the result back to FileMaker objects then paste them back into FileMaker.


About the XSLT file names

The XSLT files names have the following form:


The SourceType and ResultType describe the type of object expected: 

  • XMAA - Any/All FileMaker object types
  • XMLO - FileMaker 11 Layout Objects
  • XML2 - FileMaker 12 Layout Objects
  • XMTB - FileMaker Table Definitions
  • XMFD - FileMaker Field Definitions
  • XMSC - FileMaker Scripts
  • XMSS - FileMaker Script steps


Note: Script step (XMSS) transformations often also work correctly on scripts. Ditto Fields and tables.

The following terms are also used:

  • Text.List - Produces a list of information, usually limited to one result per line
  • Text - some other text result. 


To get the text of a script:
  1. Copy one or more scripts in FileMaker
  2. Open fmWorkMate and switch to fmCheckMate (or press Command 2)
  3. In fmCheckMate press the big [convert] button (or press Command+2 again)
  4. Press Command+T to open the XSLT transform chooser
  5. Select XMSS > Text.List Indented
=> You get a numbered list of the script steps (one line per step).

To get a list of all ID fields with serial numbers:
  1. Copy one or more tables in FileMaker
  2. Open fmWorkMate and switch to fmCheckMate (or press Command 2)
  3. In fmCheckMate press the big [convert] button (or press Command+2 again)
  4. Press Command+T to open the XSLT transform chooser
  5. Select XMFD > Text.List FieldsWithSerialnumbers

=> You get a list of the serial fields.

To change column-oriented table processing scripts (using Replace Field Contents) to record-oriented loops:


  1. Copy the Replace Field Contents in FileMaker
  2. Open fmWorkMate and switch to fmCheckMate (or press Command 2)
  3. In fmCheckMate press the big [convert] button (or press Command+2 again)
  4. Press Command+T to open the XSLT transform chooser
  5. Select XMSC = XMSC ExplodeReplaceFieldContentsToLoop
  6. Click the [-> FM] button (or press Command+Alt+V) to convert the fmxml back to FileMaker objects
  7. Paste the script steps back into the FileMaker script
=> Voilá, you now have a record-loop with Set Field instead of Replace Field Contents.


There is a whole bunch of other functions, ... I guess I'll be posting more about the available functions as people start using and enquiring about them.

Have fun, and let me know how it goes!