Real Software released Real Studio 2012 Release 2 today. As Real Software announced a while back this release still has the existing IDE and the same licensing scheme. As with the 2012 R1 release this version contains a lot of Cocoa and other bug fixes and a number of new features that will please some and make others yawn.
Dynamic Constants now work without the developer going through hoops to use them! This is very good news because it makes dynamic constants as easy to use as their desktop counterparts. One thing that was reported but not in time to get fixed was WebPage Titles. They plain don’t work and if you are using the #somestring shortcut you’ll see that string in the title rather than the correct one.
This release also has seen the addition of the Web Control SDK This powerful new addition lets you create your own controls for Web Edition! This is very much needed as it gives a standard way for developers to wrap the plethora of controls available for web apps such a JQuery and the Yahoo User Interface (YUI) library. Think of this as plugins for web applications. I look forward to seeing how developers start using this.
They also added the WebCanvas control. This is an HTML5 only feature so you should check the Supported method before attempting to use it. Otherwise, this works just like the desktop canvas control where you draw in the Paint event that passes in a WebGraphics object which unsurprisingly acts just like the desktop canvas version. The developer then can use Invalidate and Refresh events to cause the canvas to refresh.
A number of important bug fixes for Web Edition were addressed in this release. For one, Threads, WebContainers, WebPages and WebDialogs no longer leak memory! Some events that could be out of order are now queued up properly. This may cause issues if you relied on the previous event order so please double check your apps before deploying.
The TextArea control has two new properties that might be useful for you. They have a new LineHeight and LineSpacing property that will make it easier to change the way the text looks in the control.
One of the features that I’m really happy with is remote debugging. For years I’ve been unhappy with how slow it is to do remote debugging from Mac to Windows even on my local machine using VMWare. You’d think this would be wicked fast but it isn’t. Until now. The Debugger Stub and IDE now transmit a compressed version of the application rather than the full-sized version. This decreases the transmission time dramatically.
Another new feature that Real Software added as a new Crypto module that allows us to use SHA1, SHA256, SHA512, HMAC and PBKDF2 encryption without resorting to a third-party plugin or utility. Without getting into the details on each one I suggest you read about it in the online wiki at http://docs.realsoftware.com/index.php/Crypto which conveniently has links to their respective Wikipedia pages.
As you might expect, Cocoa has dozens of bug fixes. If you are not working with Cocoa in your applications, at least some of the time, I highly recommend you start. Carbon will eventually be frozen with critical-only bug fixes while Cocoa will get all bug fixes and new features. With the many bug fixes we are now closer and closer to that day. Look for Carbon to be frozen perhaps when the new IDE is released.
Windows has about a dozen bug fixes that all appear to be relatively minor. Obviously if they affected you they weren’t minor but none of the bugs fixed affect my apps. Your mileage may vary on that one.
Linux also has a number of bug fixes, but again, seem rather minor (unless you were affected).
Users of PostgreSQL now have SSL support. Specify what SSL connection type you need before trying to connect.
A number of bugs were fixed in the ODBC plugin that should make it more reliable when working with Unicode text.
By my count several dozen Language References were updated to fix incorrect information or add clarifying information or added new examples. Some of the example projects were updated too. This is welcome news as two items have been a constant complaint from users for years.
Anyone who knows me will attest that I have very strong opinions. No! Say it ain’t so! All you have to do is look at the list of fixes and improvements to see that a majority of their development time has been in Cocoa and Web edition and presumably the new IDE.
The New IDE has been promised for well over a year and I think we will most definitely see it in 2013 Release 1. Despite what Real Software says I feel the new IDE has been a distraction to the rest of the product. You just can’t continue to bolt on new features into the old IDE and into the new IDE without some degradation in productivity. Whether the release happens in the first quarter or later is a really good question. I hope it’s sooner rather than later for all our sakes.
For those Windows and Linux users out there, do you feel abandoned? What bugs/features are you looking for that would make you happy?