Chris Manton

I found out yesterday (April 7th 2016) that Chris Manton had passed away from cancer; the FileMaker community has lost one of its giants and the world has lost one of its kindest and most generous souls. I had known Chris for some years; we had worked together briefly for ADS and had struck up a solid friendship, both of us being British, with an acerbic wit and an irreverence for most things.

Chris was an absolute genius at interface design.  I remember seeing his solution ‘The Base’, which he had designed in 1999, and being completely blown away by how incredible (and beautiful) it was.  It was also the 1st FileMaker project he had ever done and it was when the FileMaker tools were still really in their infancy.

It is no exaggeration to say that Chris changed my life because his interface work became my inspiration and I sweated blood and tears (and still do) to come slightly close to his skill in the area of UI.

When I wrote my first FileMaker eBook, FileMaker & Me, which is focused on interface design, it was Chris I turned to for advice and feedback, both of which he gave unreservedly and with enthusiasm, and allowed me to showcase some of his work in the book.  I distinctly remembering him saying how flattered he was that I wanted to use his work as examples of ‘great’ interface design; that was how modest he was about his talent and talent it was.



For those of you who haven’t seen much of his work, I am including the examples that he sent me and which are in the book; they are at the end of this blog post.  But before we get to that, I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing the beautiful eulogy written by his friend Yousaf Shah, including a link to that post so that you can read all of the comments and, indeed, perhaps post one yourself.

Rest in peace, my friend – you will be sorely missed.

Michael Rochard, April 8, 2016

P.S.  If you do manage to convert Heaven to FileMaker, I can give you a great deal on the licenses.  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Eulogy by Yousaf Shah

With a heavy heart I wanted to share the news of the passing of Christopher Manton of Babelfix in the UK who died at home on Tuesday after battling cancer for some months. Chris is survived by his loving wife Maria and by a group of close friends who loved him dearly. I am sure that you will join me in expressing every sympathy for their loss.

On a work level, Chris was a very sincere, hard-working and talented developer who worked both in the US and in the UK during his FileMaker career. He was a long time FileMaker evangelist, a former US Devcon speaker, regular contributor to the UK FBA and Technet meetings and FBA Platinum Partner. Those of you who knew Chris will know of his passion for UI, design and for the plight of the humble user that solutions are built for. He had an empathy for the user which allowed him to see complex problems through their eyes and an expertise which allowed him to deliver solutions that packed an enormous power into a very simple interface, something we all aspire to. Indeed for most developers, myself included, one look at a ‘Manton’ solution was enough to have one in a mixed state of awe, admiration as well as pitiful embarrassment at how feeble their own attempts at building a business system were.

On a personal level, Chris was one of life’s true gentlemen. Supremely honest, passionate about a variety of subjects and superb company on any occasion. He had an extraordinary way with words which you could not help but be charmed by and a humorous warmth which placed you instantly at ease. He had a generosity and built in drive to ‘do the right thing’ in any given situation and he always knew what the right thing to do was – he humbled us all.

Despite this he was also a very modest and private man, indeed he kept news of his illness to all but a few and I appreciate that for many this will come as a bit of a shock. In accordance with his wishes there will be a very simple family funeral and at a suitable time in the future, a memorial of some kind to celebrate his life and achievements.

Sad as I am today I am proud to have had Chris as a good friend and will miss him tremendously, more than I can say at this time. I have many fond memories of Chris as I am sure a great many of you will also so feel free to share them here. I will make sure Maria his wife sees these messages. I enclose a picture of Chris for you to remember him by.


‘go to original post’

Chris Manton Portfolio

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