REALbasic

RB Pain Point #6: IDE Loading Missing Version Control Files

In my continuing series talking about what the pain points are in REALbasic, this week we’ll look at version control format and the IDE. Read More...
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RB Pain Point #5: The Toolbar

In my continuing series talking about what the pain points are in REALbasic, this week we’ll look at the toolbar. Read More...
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AppleScript Your RB Apps (and more ARBP info)

Most Macintosh applications can be scripted using AppleScript. You can debate all day long on whether or not AppleScript is a good language or not, but the fact is that most Mac OS X users expect their applications to be scriptable. ARBP has a new article on it. Read More...
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New To RB #1: The Call Stack

I have a new employee starting to use REALbasic. We’ve decided to keep a running dialog of things that a new RB user might find difficult to understand and possibly offer some suggestions on how to improve their experience. This will be an ongoing occasional series.

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REALbasic 2009 Release 2

Real Software released REALbasic 2009 Release 2 yesterday. I think it’s a very solid release. I’d also like to thank RS for a good release. Read More...
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RB Pain Point #4: Web Browser Control

In my continuing series talking about what the pain points are in REALbasic, this week we’ll look at the HTMLviewer control. Read More...
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RB Pain Points #3: Reporting Tools

One of REALbasic’s strengths is that it’s fast and easy to make decent applications. In many respects I find it much easier to use than Visual Basic 6. However, it’s lacking options in one, very big area: Reporting tools. Read More...
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RB Pain Points: Solution #2

There are times when you do a project (in any development language) and then determine very late in the development cycle that you really should have done something differently. In my case, I forgot about localizing my application for anything other than English. Now that it’s almost too late in the cycle to easily change, I’d love to have some IDE hooks that allow me to iterate through the project and change some things programatically. Read More...
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RB Pain Points: Solution #1

Since RS has announced their new Studio, the NUG mailing list has been asking the question about what new features should make it into the Studio version. Lest I be considered too anti-RB, here’s a pain point and a solution: How about Windows installers? Read More...
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REAL Studio: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

REAL Software announced today that starting with REALbasic 2009 Release 2 there will be three versions of REALbasic. Here’s my take on the new REAL Studio: There’s some good, bad, and ugly news. Read More...
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That's What I'm Talking About!

REALbasic 2009 R1 was released today. The usual press releases went out about new features, bug fixes, yada, yada, yada. But I’m very happy that Real Software is now using their new blog to tell us what’s new and changed. Read More...
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COM Support

In a post last week I talked about the window of opportunity of converting Visual Basic apps to REALbasic. I’ve lost at least two projects because of one simple, glaring omission in REALbasic. Lack of full COM support. Read More...
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Has The VB6 Window of Opportunity Closed?

I’ve written more than a few times that REALbasic is an excellent choice for those who need to convert from Visual Basic 6 to something newer. Is that window of opportunity closing or closed? Read More...
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Face To Face Still Wins

South By Southwest is an interesting conference. This blog post http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/sxsw_interactiv.html asks the relevant question of why anyone would want to go to a conference that’s blogged, tweeted, and videotaped as much as it is. I don’t think the conclusion is surprising but it is a ‘duh, that makes sense’ moment. It brings it all into focus of why I like Real World so much. Read More...
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REALbasic IDE Hooks

On a followup thought on my “What Does RB Have 3 File Formats” post. The XML format is currently the only prescribed way to look through a REALbasic project file and that’s a pain and it’s slow. I think my real wish is to have hooks into the IDE itself. Read More...
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The Value of Rapid Prototyping (ie One of REALbasic's Strengths)

This Google blog post http://paulbuchheit.blogspot.com/2009/01/communicating-with-code.html sums up nicely a project we did last summer using REALbasic as a Rapid Prototyping Tool.
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Made With REALbasic

The RB forum has been pretty active with a Show Us What You Made In REALbasic thread. ARBP now has a section of the website dedicated to it! Read More...
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Why Does RB Have 3 File Formats?

The default file format for REALbasic is a proprietary binary format (RBP). They also have an XML format and a newer version control format (VCP). So my question is why does RB support 3 formats? And does it hurt them by having to support and update all three formats? Read More...
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What's Your Favorite Thing About REALbasic?

I think my favorite feature in REALbasic is Container Controls. What’s yours? Read More...
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Are Pro RB Users Worth the Effort?

It costs $100 to purchase REALbasic Personal edition while it costs $500 for the Professional edition. As someone who uses REALbasic in everyday business I have to put myself in RS’ shoes every now and then and wonder the following: Does it make sense for RS to support people like me? Read More...
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Evangelizing REALbasic

All I have to say is wow. How little did I realize that my first post of the year would cause so much controversy. Well...that’s not entirely true. I enjoy stirring the pot a little to start a discussion and it’s been quite the discussion. Read More...
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Is REALbasic Relevant?

I have a lot of conversations with developers. Most of them use REALbasic and are pretty loyal to the product. But I’m seeing rumblings that not all is well. So I ask the question, is REALbasic relevant? Read More...
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2008 In Review

Late last year, I created My Wish List for REALbasic in 2008. Let’s see if I was a prognosticator or just a wishful thinker. Read More...
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REALbasic 2008 Release 5

Real Software released REALbasic 2008 R5 this week. Are we already back to mediocre releases? Read More...
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REALbasic for iPhone

I’ve been relearning xCode and Cocoa and learning how to make an iPhone application. Too bad you couldn’t make an iPhone application with REALbasic. Read More...
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Finding A REALbasic Developer

Another RB developer sent a potential client my way yesterday. The other RB developer was swamped (as usual) and because we have the resources (three full time developers) to take on extra work I talked with the potential client. What I discovered was intriguing. Read More...
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REALbasic and FogBugz

It’s been six months or so since RS moved from their old bug reporting system to FogBugz. Here are my stats and I’m wondering what yours are. Read More...
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REALbasic 2008 4.1

Real Software released REALbasic 2008 Release 4.1 today. The release only fixed a half dozen or so bugs that made their way into Release 4. Read More...
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Managing SQLite Databases

I have been a fan of SQLiteManager from SQLabs for quite a while. Unfortunately, it has been giving me various error messages for the last year or so. These errors occur on old and new database alike. So it was time for a change so I did a little research and find a replacement. Read More...
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me.Handle Failure

I was updating an older project today with the release version of the Formatted Text Control. During testing we found a drag and drop issue that led me down the proverbial rabbit hole. Read More...
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Agile Update

We’ve finished up Sprint #7 this week of our agile project. What a ride! Read More...
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A Cross Platform Listbox Oddity

I have a dilemma. I’ve been banging my head up against the wall today trying to figure out why my listbox is so fugly in Windows. I’m hoping that one of you cross-platform geniuses can help out. Read More...
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REALbasic DevX Article

My DevX.com article on getting started with REALbasic was published today. Check it out at http://www.devx.com/vb/Article/38731/0/page/1. Read More...
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What's Your Pain In REALbasic?

Real Software has done a great job over the past couple of releases to fix bugs and add some functionality to alleviate (dare I say fix) some long standing pain points in using RB. So now I ask the question: What are your pain points in RB now? Read More...
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Heaven and Earth Moved? A Dot Release?

REAL Software released a ‘dot’ update to REALbasci 2008 Release 3 now making it REALbasic 2008 Release 3.1. That’s awesome news! Read More...
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Attributes

One of the nifty new features in RB 2008 release 3 is Attributes. Aaron does a good job of explaining it in his blog. I think it’s every bit as important and useful as introspection. I’ll give you an example of where I think I’ll be using Attributes and why I think the IDE is missing something. Read More...
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REALbasic 2008 Release 3

REALbasic 2008 Release 3 was released yesterday. It’s a mix of new features and bug fixes. Read More...
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Looking At MySQL Again

I installed MySQL 5.0.x Community Edition the other day to test something out and I have to admit that I’m impressed with where the database has come since the last time I looked at it (which was around version 3!). Read More...
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HTMLViewer Replacement

HTMLViewer for REALbasic has some pretty nasty flaws. In conversations with many people over the past year, I think it’s safe to say that HTMLViewer was introduced to satisfy some particular need for Real Software. Perhaps that’s the new Language Reference. However, I also think it’s safe to say that we, as developers, are using it in ways that RS didn’t intend (though why the heck they thought we would use it this way is beyond me).

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Nice To See That They're Asking

Real Software engineer, Nathan, posted an item on the NUG list today that I find most interesting and heartening. They asked people who use RBScript to take a survey. That's pretty interesting.
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Err.Stack Isn't Guaranteed To Be Accurate

I ran across an issue the other day where I was testing throwing an exception. Yes! I was actually throwing an exception on purpose and testing it in Mac OS X and in Windows XP and checking to make sure my error reporting tools were working properly. On Windows the err.stack array contained the function where the exception occurred without fail. On Mac OS X, however, the stack array only showed the functions before the exception occurred.
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What The Hell Were They Thinking?

Real Software scares me sometimes. This week they told us they were switching to FogBugz as their new bug tracking system. I think that's awesome! But then they said that the old feedback system was being shutdown and no longer available and oh, by the way, the new system isn't searchable. Talk about a sh**storm. I have to file this one under the "What the Hell Were They Thinking!?" category.

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Is REALbasic a Good Name?

In the grand scheme of things, a name doesn't mean much but as we've seen with Apple and Microsoft operating systems, a name gives 'meaning' to a product. There are a lot of people that, when hearing the word 'basic' in reference to programming, think of the bad old days where you numbered each line of code and it was interpreted (i.e. slow). They think of QBasic or GW-basic! Didn't they die with DOS?
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Mars Leaving

Mars, THE compiler guy is leaving Real Software. The official announcement is here. Read More...
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Real World Recap

It was a busy week at Real World. The density of REALbasic developers is never higher than at Real World so it's natural that all conversations revolve around REALbasic. So here are some of my observations. Read More...
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Real World Bound

Real World is next week! I'm excited about all the things that are going on, learning some new things about REALbasic and exchanging ideas and information. That's in addition to renewing old friendships and starting some new ones. All-in-all, I think I'll be lucky to have my voice by the end of the week. Read More...
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StyledText

I'd like to welcome BKeeney Software engineer Seth Verrinder to the BKeeney Briefs blog. Seth recently discovered a few issues relating to StyledText class in REALbasic. Here are his observations....
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Wish List: 'Registered' Plugins

I've been pondering why the 3rd party plugin and controls market isn't bigger for REALbasic. Certainly part of the barrier to entry is the size of the market. Part of it is RS' reluctance to actively promote the 3rd party solutions. Another barrier to entry is that the existing plugins are so inexpensive that it's tough for a new competitor to enter the space dominated by MonkeyBread and Einhugur (both of which we own and use and highly recommend). Read More...
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Wish List: Compiler Warnings

By this point everyone knows that REALbasic is deprecating a lot of "lesser used" technologies. I don't have any issue with this whatsoever but it has become increasingly apparent that RS isn't doing a good job of telling us about these changes. Does anyone bother to read the release notes? It doesn't really matter in my opinion. The compiler should be warning us because that's the job of the compiler. Read More...
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We Are Not The Only Ones

I ran across this blog entry dated November, 2005 from a supposed Microsoft Employee talking about Visual Studio 2005. Read More...
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Do Apple and Microsoft Really Care about REALbasic?

Let's play CEO for a minute and pretend that we're Steve Jobs who takes (and probably deserves) the credit for a successful Apple turnaround. In a minute we'll also pretend that we're Steve Ballmer who is at the helm of the most dominate software company in the history of computing. Do you really think either one of them cares about REALbasic and REAL Software? Read More...
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Why Join A Professional Association for RB?

It seems that the idea of having a professional association for REALbasic has some legs. Many people have left messages and contacted me privately offering their support and giving us some ideas...

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Is It Time For a Professional Association?

An interesting conversation started on Norman Palardy's blog the other day. Norman was taking about he wished there was better mechanism in place to help prioritize bugs and enhancement requests. It started off with a general rant (my words not his) about the feedback system not being exceptionally useful with some suggestions on how to make it better. It then wandered off (my fault - my bad) about how it would be nice to survey the beta participants to let RS know what we feel which enhancements are more important.
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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.
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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...
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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.
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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"?
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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