Popup menus are a useful way to provide users with context-based shortcuts to frequently used actions. In Visual FoxPro, popup menus are commonly invoked from the right-click event code of a control on a form, while the code you want to execute from a bar on the menu may be contained in a custom method of the form.
The challenge is, how do you get a popup menu to run a method of the form that invoked it? You can't reference 'thisform' within the menu, because 'thisform' is out of scope when the menu is active. And it's bad design to reference the calling form with a specific object name, because then the menu is tightly coupled to a particular named instance of the form.
The solution is to pass an object reference to the form as a parameter to the menu. This enables the menu to call back to the form using the parameter as the object reference.
For example, say you have a form with a grid to display rows of data, and another form to edit the data for any given row. The main form has a method named Edit() that does whatever's necessary to launch the editing form, perhaps passing it the primary key of the record for the currently selected grid row. You want the user to be able to right-click on the grid and choose 'Edit' from the popup menu, which in turn should call the form's Edit() method. Here's how to do this:
In the right-click method of a control(s) in the grid, put
DO myPopup.mpr WITH thisform
This passes an object reference to the form as a parameter to the popup menu. In the Setup code of myPopup menu, put
Use PARAMETERS instead of LPARAMETERS so oCaller is PRIVATE rather than LOCAL. As a private variable, oCaller is visible to and can be referenced by any other code in myPopup.mpr. So in the code for the Edit bar of myPopup, you can write
This runs the Edit() method of the calling form, regardless of what the calling form's object name is.
You can extend this concept even further by passing an object reference to the individual control as a second parameter. For example, put
DO myPopup.mpr WITH thisform, this
in the right-click method, and put the corresponding
PARAMETERS oCaller, oControl
in the menu's Setup code. Within the menu, you now have fine-grained access both to the calling form and to the specific control from which the menu was launched.
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