Just Another Saturday

I feel like I’m repeating myself.  Yet another Saturday wasted where I started getting into the details on a new REAL Studio training video only to get stymied by a bug.  This bug is related to FileType UTI’s and has been reported, and verified and has been around since 2010 R2.

Unless you’re using REAL Studio creating document-type applications and forcing yourself to use UTI’s you’ll never get bitten by it.  This bug isn’t a particularly bad bug as far as bugs go but it does involve project file DATA LOSS which is one of the worst types of bugs in my opinion.

It furthers my belief that REAL Software doesn’t create enough new projects using REAL Studio that are full, complete, going to be used by end user type projects.  I’m not talking about examples because they’re generally too simple and only demonstrate how to use one thing.  What I’m talking about is making a complete project that does something real and useful in a way that exercises major portions of the REALbasic framework, coordinated such that it could be considered commercial quality (even if it does nothing real).

In my case, I had a need on several projects recently to use Virtual Volumes.  I searched for a utility and the one that’s been around for years was no longer available.  I ended up making a quick and dirty utility to make them which wasn’t all that hard.

After weeks of adding new functionality to it and getting it into good working condition I decided that it would make a good training video to show new developers how to use REAL Studio.  Of course, that’s where the real work began since I now had to look at every aspect in Mac OS X (drag and drop) and in Windows (non-MDI windows) and make some changes.  I also incorporated feedback from clients that were using the utility as well.

REAL Studio and REALbasic are huge – I don’t think I appreciated that until I started doing the training videos and started listing everything I need to discuss.  Even on the things that I’ve already done (that’s over 100 videos and close to 25 hours of training!) I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface and my list keeps getting bigger and bigger.  So I understand that bugs happens and the Law of Unintended Consequences can hit for seemingly innocuous changes.

I talked about example projects earlier.  There is one example in the REAL Studio Examples folder that is a great example of what I wished RS would do more of:  The Database Example.  It is a more or less complete example of a database application that does reports.  It is pretty much how I go about my projects and it has copious comments.  It combines multiple techniques, classes, and controls together that is how real world users would do it. I wish there were more examples like it.

It’s a prime candidate to get updated with the new Segment control.  The new Prepared databased statements would be another fine thing to add to it.  It’s a good example project that should get updated with newest stuff.  It would also force the developer to use it in a real world situation and would probably expose some of the weaknesses we find in new stuff.

In general, I’m surprised that they don’t do more tutorial and sample projects showing how to do things in REAL Studio.  But then if they did that I’d have to find other things to complain about on Saturdays.  😉

13 thoughts on “Just Another Saturday

  1. As an educator, including instructor of programming courses, I know how important examples can be for effective student learning — not just to complete the immediate assignments, but to be able to use the knowledge gained by the examples to handle new situations.

    The REAL Software examples are outdated, incomplete and not well documented. This is a shame. I don’t blame the RS engineers for being less adept at writing clear documentation or example code — their priorities are on fixing bugs and creating new features. A documentation expert with educational background could provide this information to the users, and take user feedback to improve the examples.

  2. @Dr. Scott Steinman
    More than a few people have commented that ARBP could/should provide better, more modern examples. There have been a few aborted attempts at getting people to volunteer but, to be honest, it’s a lot of work for volunteers.

    It’s part of the reason I started doing the training videos since it sure is nice to get *some* compensation for all the work that goes into making a decent tutorial. I wish I had more time because I rather enjoy doing them.

  3. I agree the Database example is definately one of the best examples,
    but….I’m still surprised that RS don’t pay more attention to the examples.

    They might have fixed the unlucky naming of the StaticText fields that broke with the new Labels class, yah it compiles now, but it still won’t display any data running ‘as is’ from the IDE…..

    It’s a simple bit of code for me to add/change, but someone ‘checking out’ RS for the first time???

    Why on earth they didn’t allow for “if there’s no path in a folder item and it’s in debug mode look up one folder” when they first introduced the ‘debug’ folder is totally beyond me.

    Breaking every one of the examples that has an external file….how dumb is that!!….thou probably not as dumb as leaving it like that for how many releases????

    I personally know of 1xEnterprise & 1xProfessional that RS blew because of this example not ‘just working’….
    The sales may still not have happened, who knows, but this is were they stopped testing RS.

    Slight change of subject… 😉

    How about the 4.1 release… just bugfixes!!!

    Haven’t heard a peep out of anyone that wants more priority on bugfixes(me included).

    Maybe everyone’s holding their collective breath hoping that this is the forerunner of things to come… I know I am…

    My personality profile suggests that I’m a huge Optomist… must be true 😀

  4. Examples are hard work. Real likes to use the excuse that implementing a feature is using up resources enough and they don’t have time to update the documentation and create examples. IMHO if a new feature isn’t documented and doesn’t have an example I don’t have time to waste to figure it out.

    By the way, how can an UTI be responsible for data loss?

  5. As at today, only 7 of the top 20 in the Feedback system are bugs, the rest are feature requests. Seems #14287 (split bugs from feature requests) is more important than ever – currently at 56th position.

  6. Maybe I can do some examples once I have a bit more energy.

    Do you need examples showing how controls or subsets of the frameworks work, or examples about language features?

  7. Do you need examples showing how controls or subsets of the frameworks work, or examples about language features?

    Well, anything is better than nothing. I like to take something and use it in how people generally use it. Like in my aborted Segmented Control training video I was trying to make it exactly the width of a listbox because I thought that would be a fairly normal thing to do. This is when I discovered that it was…um…not optimal for that.

  8. By the way, how can an UTI be responsible for data loss?

    I put data into the project and save it. I reopen it and the data isn’t there. Seems to be classic definition of Data Loss to me. Granted, it’s ONE field, but it’s still losing my data.

  9. Interesting tidbit in Feedback tonight. Of the 13 visible cases reported against R4, 8 of them are about examples not working. NOT reported by me, BTW.

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