Back in the early days of Uniface (v5, I believe), there was the concept of overlays. This allowed for sharing of space on the paint tableau by several fields or entities. What I\'m looking for is more flexibility in placing fields from various entities on the screen. It is often difficult to define screens in nice rectangular areas, with nested rectangles explicitly preventing fields from other entities appearing inside them. What I propose is a two-level presentation interface, where one level (a tree widget) defines the nesting relationship between entities on the form, and then another level, which lists the fields associated with each of the entities, and allows these fields to be dragged to ANYWHERE on the paint tableau. There would be some implied limitations about where fields could be placed (for example, if you wanted to display multiple occurrences of an entity, there would be restrictions about where and how the occurrences could be displayed), but in general, fields could be placed anywhere on the screen, and would not be limited to a predefined rectangular area.
\"The primary use of such a feature would be when attempting to clone an existing application, where the user interface is already known to a user group, and it would be beneficial to reproduce the screens as faithfully as possible without the limitations imposed by the current \"\"nested-rectangle\"\" methodology.\"
In addition to providing more flexibility in screen design, it would benefit the Uniface product and direction, by finetuning the presentation layer model within Uniface. Uniface should be able to logically define the hierarchy of elements on a form without physically imposing a limitation on where display elements are placed on the form.
Uniface Development Environment