Small Basic - Hammer and Nails

One of the great things about Small Basic is that you have to be imaginative to solve problems, since there is such a small set of commands.  This makes it fun to use even when you have quite good programming skills - it is still a challenge to get it to do new things more efficiently.

There was a recent Small Basic forum question that highlighted this for me, and reminded me of the saying...

"If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail"


In other words for programming - "if you know one way of doing something, then this may be how you try to do everything".  This is a very good lesson to be mindful of.

I had been adding and fixing some methods for a Small Basic extension, when I saw this post by jricestk (JR).

TextWindow Issues Can't Show after hiding textwindow

"I have tried this on 2 computers that are running windows8.1 and get the error that is in the image.


Can anyone confirm that they get the same error? If I comment out the 1st line I don't get the error. This does occur with no extensions present."

A few posts later it was confirmed that it appeared to be a Small Basic bug and some-one suggested perhaps an extension could be written to create a fix for it.

It was a simple fix and I had just been working on extensions so I created a couple extension commands to handle hiding and showing the TextWindow.  Job done.

Then came a post by Jibba Jabba with simple and effective workaround without any need for extensions reminded me of the Hammer and Nail proverb.

"Hello jr

What about a simple work around?

I use this for both TW and GW, it solves any clearing of the TW and any Shapes issues for the GW."

TextWindow``.``WriteLine``(``"hello, hide for 3 seconds"``)



lastTop `` = ``TextWindow``.``Top

TextWindow``.`` Top `` = ``Desktop``.``Height


TextWindow``.`` Top `` = ``lastTop


So all you have to do is move the TextWindow off the desktop, and return it to show it again - cool - lesson learned again.