The perils of programming and a social note

The social note is at the end of this post

Still alive and working to shift my hypercard stacks to FileMaker Pro (see  The documentation for FileMaker Pro is extensive, but assumes you know a lot.  Answers to some  very basic questions must be discovered the same way an infant learns language — by example.

I’ve yet to figure out if there is a list of key words in FileMaker Pro

Nowhere is it stated what characters can and can’t be used in a name

Nowhere is it explained that variables don’t have to be declared as to type (as in C, C++ etc. etc) but come into existence simply by equating something to a name of your choosing.  This was mentioned in passing on p. 427 of a book I bought in desperation ( “FileMaker 9 Developer Reference).

Not that the HyperCard scripting language is perfect.

The following sort of code produces an error

If Variable = 3 then

Beep 3

Call your father


Call your mother

End If

This code works

If Variable = 3


Beep 3

Call your father


Call your mother

End If

What’s the difference — if multiple statements follow after testing a conditional in the if statement, the then must be on a separate line.  It took an hour to figure out what I was doing wrongl

Social Note:  Look at  Now look at this one

What’s the difference?  Note the fullness at the angle of the jaw and the very round face.   This appearance is called cushingoid, and tells you that he’s on high doses of corticosteroids, in addition to his chemotherapy (or perhaps because he’s receiving radiation).  We’ve heard very little about exactly what Hugo Chavez  has other than it’s some form of cancer.   Despite his protestations that he’s healthy and vigorous and will beat this thing, he’s in serious trouble.  High doses of corticosteroids are not used lightly.

Also if he had a curable form of cancer, don’t you think he’d have told us exactly what it is?   More likely, he’s putting on a front so his regime doesn’t collapse.  Years and years ago I was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in a western town.  Various speakers were brought in — General Maxwell Taylor, etc. etc.  The most interesting  was the current Egyptian ambassador (or an attache).  He said that the governments in the mideast were all ‘one bullet governments’ — which was all it would take to change their direction radically –all were run by one man at the top —  this before the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

At least we see Chavez.  Recall the last hospitalization of Yasser Arafat in France.  We were told that everything was going well.  What we were not told until very late, was that all this information was from the family and not from the people taking care of him.  The investigative press was nowhere to be found.

This is unlikely to change.  The powerful will always be able to warp the medical system to their desires.   Think Michael Jackson, or even president Woodrow Wilson (incapacitated by a variety of strokes in his last years in office).

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