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Thor TWEeT #17: Using Local Aliases in IntellisenseX

In an earlier TWEeT about Aliases for VFP Tables, there was a brief and dismissive discussion about Local Aliases.  However, they provide some worthwhile features that are worth discussing.

Local Aliases are like LOCAL statements (“Local name as class of classlib”) in two ways:

  • they provide an annotation to your code so that IntellisenseX can provide a drop-down list.
  • they apply only to the current method or procedure.

There are three equivalent ways to define Local Aliases:

  • {{ SomeAlias = What-It-Stand-For }}                  … in any comment
  • *#Alias SomeAlias = What-It-Stand-For    … at the beginning of a line
  • &&#Alias SomeAlias = What-It-Stand-For         … at the end of a line

(The bold text above must be entered exactly as is, with no intervening spaces.)

Note: Bowing to popular demand, the first of the statements above (the one with the double curly braces) applies to the entire PRG, not merely the Procedure or Function in which it lives.

“What-It-Stands-For” can be any one of a number of things, referring to either tables or objects.

  • A table, cursor, or view name
  • The full or relative path name to a table
  • The name of an SQL table
  • A reference to class from a class library; thus,  “{{ loObject == {class, classlibrary} }}
  • A reference to an object; thus,  “{{ loObject == Thisform.oParts}}
  • An executable expression that returns an object or the name of an table, cursor, or view. This executable must start with an “=”; thus, something like “{{ loObject = = MyGetObject(‘Parts’)}} “.  (Note the double ‘=’ signs.)

One handy use of this occurs with variables created using the SCATTER NAME command. 

Select MyTable

Scatter Name loObject && {{ loObject = MyTable }}

This provides the dropdown list for the table MyTable when the properties of loObject are referenced.

Note also that “SomeAlias” can also refer to compound names, such as This.oMainObj or This.oMainObj.oData; the substitution rules work the same way.


This TWEeT has addressed Local Aliases; the earlier TWEeT on the Alias Dictionary addressed global aliases; and an upcoming TWEet will address Aliases that apply to an entire form or class (both VCX and PRG-based).


See also History of all Thor TWEeTs and the Thor Forum.

Last edited Nov 19, 2014 at 2:19 AM by JimRNelson, version 7


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