If You Had One Thing You Could Change In REAL Studio

If you had one thing to change about REAL Studio, what would it be?  I’ve been giving this some thought recently and I think the number one thing that I wish was better is the training material.  To me, training material includes tutorials and example projects.

Yes, there are examples, but I find them to be so simple they don’t scale very well into my own applications.  Often, when I’m learning something new in REAL Studio I find the examples to almost hinder me because they demonstrate the most basic way to use <insert control/class/technique here> and not how you’d use it in a real application.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand that you need those types of examples but I want/need something just a little more in-depth.  I could just as easily argue that a more complete project that demonstrates several things at once is better than the simple ones but, as they say, to each their own.

Along with examples, I find the lack of REALbasic training materials on the RS website to be…interesting.  If you look at their training webpage at http://www.realsoftware.com/support/training.php they are pointing to three 3rd party websites (one of which is mine, by the way).  I find it odd that a development tool that is meant for hobbyist developers doesn’t really have a nice and big tutorials and training section.  I’m not complaining (because it’s part of my income) – just pointing it out.

Don’t get me going on the lack of Web Edition apps on their website…

Friday afternoon grousing material for you.  What would you change?

8 thoughts on “If You Had One Thing You Could Change In REAL Studio

  1. A serious grid control. Coming from the VB world, this is one thing that I think is sorely missing from the RB toolbox (and judging from numerous posts in forums and blogs I have read, a real show stopper for many that were thinking of moving from VB6 to RB). Yes, the listbox can do some things well enough as a replacement, especially smaller tasks. But for apps that require a solid grid that can display a lot of data quickly and provide a lot of formatting functionality, it’s not up to the job. I’ve been able to pound on the Einhugur grid long enough to get it to do most of what I want. But I am not sure most folks would go through all that trouble.

  2. Improved and reliable auto-complete! Improved in the way most IDEs work today – allows you to use PHPDoc tokens to describe your code, variables, functions etc. This allows code-navigation (another sad story in REALStudio BTW). The way auto-complete is displayed is also a joke compared to othe IDEs – improvements here are appreciated. my favourite IDE for the moment is NetBeans where in-line documentation is shown right at the cursor.

    The reliability of auto-complete is a complete mystery to me – on my major project it works most of the time but in another project it may fail – haven’t got a clue why.

  3. Fix the whole plugin handling. Plugins not just global but also local to project. Eliminate the precompiling or make it at least in background. Make the whole process less memory intensive and faster.

  4. Things that actually work when Real introduces them. A working html viewer. A working debugger, that doesn’t crash every few runs. A stable IDE. COCOA!

    I think that for newcomers the lack of documentation is worse. In most cases the examples are at least a start for figuring something out. The lack of training for advanced topics like delegates or introspection is more annoying.

  5. I agree that the lack of clearly written training materials can be problematic for those of us that program as a hobby. It’s an area I’d like to see improved. Features aren’t really that useful if I have to burn all my limited time trying to problem solve my way through something that’s really not very complicated had I been able to access quality documentation.

  6. @Joseph
    My (recent) experience has been that new features simply don’t work as advertised. It’s been perhaps my longest running beef against RB and why I joined that beta program. Sadly, in 10 years this trait has not improved and in 2010 I’d say the trend worsened.

    My other thought is that missing documentation is bad enough but lacking a proper example project fully exercising the feature is worse. At least with the example I can ferret out the usage and work with it.

  7. I think that everybody knows my feature request since I’ve been pretty annoying about it for a long time. 😉 I want power tools like QA (even if it’s just static analysis). A more advanced set of refactorings beyond adding a superclass would be nice, or even refactoring to design patterns.

    As for better tutorials and example programs, if there were a good market for a RB book, writers would consider it. Right now, it would be too much effort for too little royalties. However, with a large market, a self-published book could earn some money. One idea for such a book would include submissions of better code examples from experts in the community (with credit given as a co-authors and contact information that could help them get contract work for their areas of expertise). That would free up the author to concentrate on writing a clear tutorial and let experts concentrate on code examples — best of both worlds.

  8. I can live with the slow startup times. I can also live with the annoying pre-compiling for the plugins. But for cryin’ out loud, the binaries are embarrassingly large.

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