Enhancing the Language Reference

For the past couple of weeks I've been talking about things I'd like to see in REALbasic and what, I think we, as users, can do for REALbasic. The comments have been great - I appreciate all the time and effort all of you have put into them. I think I've settled upon one thing that I'd like to see changed in REALbasic.

The Language Reference in RB is, depending upon who you ask, is either barely adequate or downright horrible. I tend to leans towards the former because I think it's lacking depth to be very useful. For every object, property, method and event there's information needed but not in the LR. Sometimes this includes bugs but more often than not, just clarification on what's changed.
Read More...
|

So What Can We Do For REALbasic?

I have my wish list for what RB can do for us. Now, to be campy, what can we do to help REALbasic? Read More...
|

My Wish List For REALbasic In 2008

There's been an interesting discussion going on over at Norman Palardy's blog. It started innocently enough by Norman complaining that he's been getting support and change requests for some of his free and unsupported code that he has on his site. The discussion has morphed into a life of its own so I figured I'd start the "My Wish List For REALbasic in 2008" thread and get some additional feedback.
Read More...
|

REALbasic and ActiveX

REALbasic is wonderful at cross-platform programming. With a little elbow-grease it's possible to make very nice Windows and Mac OS X applications. That's the bread and butter of my business.

I have one client, however, that has had me working on a commercial VB6 application for five years. Since we know that someday VB6 will not be adequate for our needs we're looking for the 'next' development environment. .NET is the easy answer but since I have a lot invested in RB so I thought that if I can get them halfway to cross-platform that would be a win-win for everyone. Read More...
|

Thoughts on Management vs Programming (i.e. Wide vs Deep)

I ran across this blog today titled Wide vs Deep and it got me thinking (which is always a scary thought). The blog is about how programmers are promoted to managers even though the thought processes are different. Managers are wide and shallow and programmers are deep and narrow. Read More...
|

REALbasic Developer Article: Finding Work

The Nov/Dec 2007 Issue of RB Developer is out. My new column, titled BKeeney Brief's, is now a regular feature. Read More...
|

The State of Visual Basic 6 to REALbasic Conversion

Visual Basic 6 is arguably the most common development language on the planet. It's low barrier to entry and easy-of-use and its extensibility make it ideal for many non-programmers to make a 'working' application that does exactly what they want.

VB6 is no longer supported by Microsoft. This is forcing many developers into the .NET environment which is not as easy to use and many would argue that the language is no longer 'basic'. So what are companies that have dozens of VB6 applications to do? Read More...
|

REALbasic Alternatives

Every three months or so, usually after a new REALbasic release, the forum will inevitably have an “RB Sucks Because of <<insert some bug or missing feature here>>” thread. The poster will be outraged that the engineers have allowed this bug to occur and berate the beta testers for not having caught it in beta.

What ensues in the thread usually boils down to this by follow-up posters: Read More...
|

Is REALbasic The Rodney Dangerfield of Software?

Wow. REAL Software does a good thing and people do nothing but give them grief over it. In their monthly newsletter, REAL said they spent a whole week in September doing bug fixes. A post in the NUG list then proceeds to give them crap about it. Is REAL Software the Rodney Dangerfield of the software industry getting, "No respect"?
Read More...
|

Civility In the Internet Age

Is the Internet Age killing civility? I wonder about this a lot. The REALbasic Forums and NUG posts are often filled with vitriol (always wanted to use that word) and personal attacks. It’s as if the poster didn’t even realize that another human being is on the other end reading their post. Read More...
|

If You Had One Thing to Teach a New RB User What Would it Be?

Our new developer is starting soon and I'm in the let's hurry up and gather as much information stage. I've purchased the relevant books and gathered up the old issues of RB Developer magazine. I've even put together the care package of essential plugins and tools. So now what? Read More...
|

The RB Forum vs. NUG List

I'll admit this: I like the REALbasic Forums better than the NUG list. If I have a spare minute or two I peruse the forum looking for a question that I can respond to. The NUG digests in my inbox get ignored.

When I visit the forums I often hit the 'view unanswered posts' link to show me anything that hasn't been answered. This seems to be the best way for me to help others. If the question hasn't been answered then I'll take a look at it. If a question goes unanswered for over a week I'll respond to it even if I don't know the answer just so it gets some activity and gets the attention of others who use the 'view posts since last visit' option. Trust me, it works.
Read More...
|

Bindings Deprecated and RB3D OpenSource?

REALbasic engineers have said on the NUG that they are deprecating bindings and wish to open source RB3D. I think this is good for RB in the long run. Read More...
|

REALbasic Wiki Thoughts

There has been considerable talk on the REALbasic forums (link) about the possibilities of an RB Wiki. I think it has loads of possibilities but people have to look at the drawbacks and from REAL Software's perspective. First, a little history.

There was a wiki, appropriately named 'RBwiki' a while back. I believe it was created just before REAL World 2006 and started with much fanfare and a lot of promises by volunteers to keep it up-to-date. A large contributor of the wiki was Thomas Templeton who used it to distribute the RBProjectTool that allowed people to use source code and version control systems with RB (before the rbvcp format was introduced). It was a tool that allowed RB users to read and write between RB binary source code files and text files for use with Subversion and CVS and the like. REAL World 2006 was where REAL Software announced the version control format and Thomas and the REAL engineers sat down and compared notes. I think it safe to say that todays rbvcp format is a direct result of the collaboration. That also meant that the interest in the RBProjectTool died rather quickly. In about a year, the wiki was dead - no one wanted to keep it up to date. Read More...
|

Thick Skin

People hate you if you’re a developer and you sell software. Yes, it’s true. Get over it. No matter how hard you work at creating the perfect application someone will nit-pick something. It doesn’t matter if you spent a year in development and six months in beta testing, someone will log a bug within the first 30 minutes of release. Okay, the time frames are exaggerated but the end result is the same.

This means that you, as a developer, have to have thick skin. Someone will always complain about something. It happens all the time. If you add feature X, users will complain that they “need” feature Y. If you fix a bug and cause another one users will complain that your software is buggy and unstable. Read More...
|

Welcome to the BKeeney Briefs Blog

Greetings and salutations! My name is Bob Keeney and I'm the Vice-President of BKeeney Software Inc. This blog was started after RBDeveloper magazine agreed to publish a BKeeney Brief's column on a regular basis. This is a very cool thing and I'm happy to do it. I've always enjoyed writing and did a lot of writing for various Mac user groups back in the day. On a regular basis we'll talk about being a developer and what it's like to make a living as a developer. Read More...
|