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Training day for MBS Filemaker Plugin - this week

Monday 31 August 2015 at 11:19 am
The people at denkform.de are hosting a training for our MBS Filemaker Plugin. So if you want to spend a day with us learning about our plugin, please join us.

We make a guided tour and show you a couple of highlights and examples. Talk about what you can do and how you do some things. Later we will implement a couple of things in sample databases like the Audit function. Also download and upload with CURL is a good topic. We will look into the webviewer extensions and fill a sample form. Next we will do some image editing and writing a report into a Excel file.
Finally we have plenty of time for questions.

This event is in German (english event is also possible).
We meet 3rd September 2015 (and 3rd December 2015) at 9:30 am in Denkform office. Cost is 99 Euro (incl. VAT) and you can buy a license with 50 Euro discount.
You can register on the denkform website. After the event, there is the regular meeting which everyone can join for free and have dinner with us.

Tip of Day: ChartTime back to date object

Friday 28 August 2015 at 4:34 pm
We had today the question how to convert back from ChartDirector time to a Xojo date. To solve this, we got this example code for you:
Function ChartTimeToDate(ChartTime as Double) As date static diff as double = 0.0 if diff = 0.0 then dim d2 as Double = CDBaseChartMBS.chartTime(2015, 1, 1) dim da as new date(2015, 1, 1) dim ts as Double = da.TotalSeconds diff = ts - d2 end if dim d as new date d.TotalSeconds = diff + ChartTime Return d End Function
As you see we calculate the difference in base date from Date and ChartTime and later use difference to convert.

FileMaker Conferences 2015/2016

Friday 28 August 2015 at 3:00 pm
Upcoming FileMaker conferences:
  • FileMaker Konferenz, German/English, 8th to 10th October 2015 in Hamburg, Germany, see filemaker-konferenz.com
  • FileMaker Conference, Swedish/English, 12th to 13rd October in Gothenburg, Sweden, see devconscandinavia.se
  • FM Conférence, French/English, 21st to 23rd October in Lyon, France, see fmconf.com
If you plan to attend those, please sign up quickly. The German could sell out soon. And next year: Do you know more? Let me know so I can add them to the list.

Windows Error codes

Friday 28 August 2015 at 1:44 pm
From time to time we have people ask what is -2147286786 or &h800F0216 and nobody knows quickly. So I put together a table on our website to show.

Windows Error Codes

Maybe worth a bookmark for future reference?

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 5.3pr1

Wednesday 26 August 2015 at 11:51 pm
New in this prerelease of the 5.3 plugins:
  • Changed Text.DecodeFromHex to ignore a prefix 0x in the text.
  • Rewrote PHP plugin part to use PHP version 5.6.12 and work with 64-bit.
  • Added new index parameter for SerialPort.Open function.
  • Added new socket functions: Socket.GetBroadcast, Socket.GetMulticastLoop, Socket.GetMulticastTimeToLive, Socket.GetTimeToLive, Socket.SetBroadcast, Socket.SetMulticastLoop, Socket.SetMulticastTimeToLive and Socket.SetTimeToLive.
  • Added DynaPDF.GetGStateFlags and DynaPDF.SetGStateFlags functions.
  • Added CMYK options for DynaPDF.RenderPage and DynaPDF.RenderPDFFile.
  • Fixed a problem with Calendar functions running out of memory.
  • Fixed problem in UnZipFile.ReadToFile with zero length compressed files.
  • Added DynaPDF.InitColorManagement function.
  • Updated CURL to version 7.44.0.
  • Fixed bug in DynaPDF.RenderPage which prevented use of resolution = 0 for using fixed size.
  • Updated Files.MoveToTrash to use newer API to work better on OS X 10.8 and newer.
  • Changed Files.Launch to accept more than one file as parameter.
  • Added SQL.GetRecordsAsText function.
  • Added Window.AddBottomOverlay function.
  • Updated openssl to 1.0.2d.
  • Updated DynaPDF to version 3.0.43.127.
  • Updated libcpuid.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 15.3pr1

Wednesday 26 August 2015 at 11:08 pm
New in this prerelease of the 15.3 plugins:
  • Rewrote PHP plugin part to use PHP version 5.6.12 and work with 64-bit.
  • Added new 64-bit plugin for Mac covering Accounts, Social and EventKit classes.
  • Added gamma option to QTPictureMovieTrackMBS class
  • Updated SQLite to 3.8.11.
  • Fixed ChartDirector license check for 64-bit.
  • Fixed linking issues on Linux 64-bit to make sure we use the zlib inside plugin instead of system version.
  • Fixed SystemInformation.CPUBrandString and SystemInformation.MachineID for 64-bit.
  • Updated CURL to version 7.44.0.
  • Changed conversion code for CFDictionaries. CFData now translates to Memoryblock instead of String to work better in 64-bit apps.
  • Added classes for OSAKit framework on OS X.
  • Fixed problem in CDAxisMBS class which causes memory leaks.
  • Changed Files.Delete to use newer API.
  • Updated openssl to 1.0.2d.
  • Updated DynaPDF to version 3.0.43.127.
  • Updated libcpuid.
  • Updated NSTaskMBS to have more properties and a Terminated event.
  • Fixed bug in HotKeyMBS with locks not being released and app blocked.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease . Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

UDP Broadcast for FileMaker

Wednesday 26 August 2015 at 11:58 am
With next MBS FileMaker plugin, we include now some broadcast helper functions.

Once you have an UDP Socket created with Socket.NewUDPSocket function, you can switch it to broadcast most using Socket.SetBroadcast function.
Now when you send package to a broadcast address in your local network, e.g. 192.168.1.255, you send it to everyone in the network.

This can be useful in your FileMaker solution to send messages to another FileMaker Pro app in the same network. Be aware that UDP is unreliable. A solution can be to give each message an ID as prefix and send it three times with a little pause in-between. On receiver side, filter out the duplicates and process only new messages.

Will be included soon in 5.3pr1 plugin.

FileMaker DevCon Scandinavia 2015

Monday 24 August 2015 at 11:20 am
Come to FileMaker Devcon Scandinavia 2015 and discover how to make the most of the FileMaker Platform and FileMaker 14. Choose from a variety of sessions on design, mobility, development, business and innovation.

Join other FileMaker developers in Göteborg, at Nya varvet studios, from October 12-13, 2015 and take the first steps to achieving your business goals. Who knows, you might even get an exclusive preview of the upcoming FileMaker release...

More on the website

More than just a wrapper

Saturday 22 August 2015 at 10:25 pm
Today I want to explain some differences between using a declare for a Cocoa function call and using MBS Plugins wrapper classes.
  • You get automatic reference counting. The plugin takes care of memory management and makes sure all objects are released as appropriated.
  • Our plugin keeps references between Xojo and Cocoa objects, so we can give you the same Xojo object when a function returns us a Cocoa object and we have a wrapping Xojo object already. This saves memory and makes sure that if you subclass one of our classes, you get back your subclass object and you can access your properties there.
  • We catch exceptions and forward them as Xojo exceptions. See NSExceptionMBS class. We also have a global exception handler to make sure no NSException is raised without your app having a chance to handle it.
  • For APIs taking blocks and getting callbacks, our plugin makes sure those get dispatched on the main thread. Often callbacks occur on helper threads and cause problems if Xojo runtime calls are executed there. The Xojo runtime is not reentrant safe.
  • In most block based APIs we provide a tag parameter and also pass through most parameters. For that we properly wrap Xojo objects for you and release them later after Event is called. This makes sure that all used objects stay in memory
  • For the plugin methods, we do a lot of automatic parameter conversions. e.g. you can pass folderitems and we pass internally URL or path, depending on API. We also translate dictionaries, arrays, sets, memoryblocks and structures on the fly.
  • If we decide to wrap a framework for Apple, we normally do it 100%. So the wrapper should be complete and you should not be missing something.
Finally you have someone you can ask in case of a problem and get quick responses.

MBS Xojo Conference, Scheveningen, 18th September 2015

Wednesday 19 August 2015 at 1:13 pm
We are pleased to announce our MBS Xojo Conference for 2015. This is an english speaking conference located in the middle of Europe between France, United Kingdom and Germany in the Netherlands. We reserved our conference room in Bad Hotel Scheveningen in Scheveningen a suburb at the beach near Den Haag.

The conference will start on 17th September 2015 in the evening with a casual get-together. The exact location will be given earlier same day. Meet your colleagues, have a drink together and chat about what's new in Xojo world.

Our conference sessions will run on 18 September 2015 from about 9:00 to 17:00 with lunch and coffee breaks in-between. Sessions include an overview from Stephane Pinel about what is new in Xojo this year and what's on the way for the future. Christian Schmitz presents what is new for MBS Plugins. Followed by sessions of attendees.

On the evening, we offer to have dinner together with others in a casual get-together. If you like, extends your stay for more days and stay the weekend in Den Haag at the beach.

Everyone is invited to share his knowledge. Show your big Xojo projects and tell how you did solve problems and how Xojo helped you to deliver solutions quickly to your clients. Talk about Xojo related topics and what things you have to offer. If you like to get a session, please contact us with a topic description.

Registration is possible at the MBS website. Cost is 49€ + VAT. Companies inside european union do not need to pay VAT if they provide their VAT ID. All others have to pay 21% VAT which gives a total of 59,29€.

Space is limited, so be quickly. We are looking forward to meet you all there!

Building plugins for Linux on ARM

Saturday 15 August 2015 at 12:06 am
Xojo Inc. announced support for raspberry pi.
Well, actually I think they mean support for ARM CPUs running Linux, so this may not just work on the raspberry, but even on your iPhone if you install a linux there!

Anyway, I spend a lot of time today working on building plugins for linux with ARM.
In the next days I will try to get everything compiled and linked. We'll see how well that works.

Same as with 64-bit: Even if it compiles, we need a lot of time to try things.

Things that compile for ARM already include DynaPDF, LargePicture and LCMS2.

Training day for MBS Filemaker Plugin - next month

Friday 14 August 2015 at 09:15 am
The people at denkform.de are hosting a training for our MBS Filemaker Plugin. So if you want to spend a day with us learning about our plugin, please join us.

We make a guided tour and show you a couple of highlights and examples. Talk about what you can do and how you do some things. Later we will implement a couple of things in sample databases like the Audit function. Also download and upload with CURL is a good topic. We will look into the webviewer extensions and fill a sample form. Next we will do some image editing and writing a report into a Excel file.
Finally we have plenty of time for questions.

This event is in German (english event is also possible).
We meet 3rd September 2015 (and 3rd December 2015) at 9:30 am in Denkform office. Cost is 99 Euro (incl. VAT) and you can buy a license with 50 Euro discount.
You can register on the denkform website. After the event, there is the regular meeting which everyone can join for free and have dinner with us.

Xojo Conferences and Meetings

Tuesday 11 August 2015 at 1:28 pm
Some conference and meetings are currently planned:

First, we are considering doing a one day event in Netherlands on the coast. As you can read on the forum (forum.xojo.com/24703-little-xojo-conference-in-netherlands), we have a proposal and are currently looking for who is interested and to find a date. The survey already shows a couple of dates where several people can attend, but we'd like to see more votes there. Once we have a few dates with 10 people, we can sync our date list with various hotels and make reservation.

Second, I will visit both Hamburg (survey here) and Gothenburg (survey here) in October, so I look for interested developers for a meeting in a restaurant for dinner. Just a chatting about Xojo, maybe showing some pictures from XDC in Austin or talking about latest Xojo release.

Third, it may be possible that the UK group do once again a meeting in/near Birmingham in the UK. We look forward to their announcement!

And finally we still take bets for where XDC 2016 will be.

FileMaker: Bottom Controls

Tuesday 11 August 2015 at 11:18 am
Just added to the MBS Plugin. A way to put a plugin control on the bottom of the FileMaker window to hide the bottom controls.

If you match the color of your design there, the controls get invisible.

Currently OS X only, but maybe I can make it on windows, too.


Tip of the day: AppendChildCopy

Thursday 06 August 2015 at 2:04 pm
The XMLNode.AppendChild function in Xojo doesn't work well, if the new child is not part of the same xml tree as the old one. So if you need to copy from one XMLDocument to another, you need to copy the subtree. The function below does the copying and works well in one client project:

Sub AppendChildCopy(extends parent as XmlNode, other as XmlNode) // parent document for creating new objects dim doc as XmlDocument = parent.OwnerDocument dim neu as XmlNode // create matching type of node in new document if other isa XmlTextNode then neu = doc.CreateTextNode(other.Value) elseif other isa XmlComment then neu = doc.CreateComment(other.Value) else neu = doc.CreateElement(other.Name) end if // now copy all attributes dim u as integer = other.AttributeCount-1 for i as integer = 0 to u dim a as XmlAttribute = other.GetAttributeNode(i) neu.SetAttribute(a.Name, a.Value) next // copy all children dim c as XmlNode = other.FirstChild while c <> nil neu.AppendChildCopy c c = c.NextSibling wend // and store new child parent.AppendChild neu End Sub
Useful? Comments? Problems? Your feedback is welcome!

MBS FileMaker Plugin 5.2 for OS X/Windows - More than 3200 Functions

Tuesday 04 August 2015 at 12:22 pm
Nickenich, Germany - (August 4th, 2015) -- MonkeyBread Software today is pleased to announce MBS FileMaker Plugin 5.2 for Mac OS X or Windows, the latest update to their product that is easily the most powerful plugin currently available for FileMaker Pro. As the leading database management solution for Windows, Mac, and the web, the FileMaker Pro Integrated Development Environment supports a plugin architecture that can easily extend the feature set of the application. MBS FileMaker Plugin 5.2 has been updated and now includes over 3200 different functions, and the versatile plugin has gained more new functions:

Our new schedule functions allow you to schedule scripts, SQL or evaluation of expressions. You can ask the plugin for example to trigger a script in 5 minutes, at a given time or even a timestamp. The time could be something like every hour at a quarter past or with a time stamp something like midnight in three days.

The Hotkey functions now works on Windows. So you can use it now to trigger scripts based on keyboard combinations in your solutions on Mac OS X and Windows. Any key is possible unless reserved by the operation system. For example you could use modifier keys with F keys together. Start a script by pressing Control-F5 for example.

For our CURL functions we added a lot of new features. This includes a couple of new options as well as new default options to make it easier for beginners to get started. A big change here is to allow asynchronous transfers. Beside the existing synchronous and background transfers, the new mode allow to run dozens of transfers in parallel very efficiently. Independent of the transfer type this can be used for batch downloads or uploads with FTP or for sending a lot of emails.

Protecting a solution can be a challenge. Various companies offer dongle solutions. We now support matrix dongles so you can detect a dongle and read or write data to it. Please contact us if you are interested in support for other dongle vendors.

Using a button control in your layout you can trigger a script with a mouse click. It has been a challenge to know if the user clicked with left or right mouse button or even made a double click. At the time the script is called, the mouse button is released and the clicks are done. But our new event monitor feature allows the plugin to watch for mouse events and keep track of details of the last mouse event. So your script can query if it was triggered by a double click or right mouse button.

Apple deprecated QuickTime functions years ago in favor of AVFoundation framework. While we still have a couple of QuickTime functions, we now added new AVAsset functions. Those allow you to load a movie and query various properties and metadata. Of course you also can save images of a video file to generate previews.

Finally we updated DynaPDF to version 3.0.40.122 and libXl to 3.6.2.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

MBS Releases the MBS Xojo / Real Studio plug-ins in version 15.2

Tuesday 04 August 2015 at 10:55 am
NICKENICH, Germany (August 4th, 2015) -- Monkeybread Software releases version 15.2 of the MBS plug-in for Xojo and Real Studio.

The MBS plug-in comprises a collection of several plug-in parts which extend the Xojo (Real Studio) development environment with 2,100 classes featuring over 56,000 documented functions. Our plugins support all three platforms Mac OS X, Windows and Linux with all project types desktop, web and console.

Some of the highlights on the 15.2 update:

We updated our classes for Chromium on Windows. If you use a HTMLViewer with WebKit in your projects, our new cookie manager classes help you query, create or modify cookies. This allows to store cookies persistent in a database.

The new HotKeyMBS class allows you to listen for keyboard combination on both Mac OS X and Windows. The CarbonHotKeyMBS class still works for Mac OS X projects, but the new class also works fine on Windows. You receive events when a key is pressed down and when it's released.

Our CURL plugin got a major update with a lot of new options and events. This includes wildcard support for FTP transfers. The new CURLSFileInfoMBS class provides details on files and is used for directory listings. With wildcard support, we can batch download a lot of files in one directory. For some CURL properties we now use 64-bit values by default and we set more options by default to make it easier for beginners to use the plugin.

The new ArgumentsMBS function on the app class allows you to get launch arguments for your application. This works cross platform for Mac, Windows and Linux. It helps to create desktop apps which also can be controlled by command line options or work like any other command line tool and show no user interface.

For the SQL Plugin we now include optional a SQLite library. Use the InternalSQLiteLibraryMBS module to check the library and activate it. By using the library in our plugin you don't need to include a separate sqlite library file with your application.

Finally we upgraded to the latest Xojo plugin SDK, updated DynaPDF to version 3.0.44.122 and libXL to version 3.6.2.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

FileMaker Plugin development tips and notes

Sunday 02 August 2015 at 11:16 pm
Just a few quick notes from recent work with the FileMaker plugin SDK:

First the FMX_StartScript function is not implemented for FileMaker Server. The environment is missing there to have it run. FMX_SetToCurrentEnv is also not working on the Server as it can't create sessions. And as session details are not available, the server can't do anything here. If you use idle function, well it is also not called on the server all the time, only if a script is paused.

The FixPtAutoPtr class can hold numbers of 100+ digits length. But default precision is only 18 digits and there is no native way to assign or query Int64 or UInt64 values. One work around can be to use AssignDouble and AsFloat which has problems with precision. Another work around is to use text functions and convert to/from number in C code. For MBS plugin we prefer to do math and calculate if a big number needs to be returned. e.g. UpperPart * Factor + LowerPart. So number is split in two parts and we multiply the upper part and add it together. That allows to build a 64bit number in 32 bit without loosing precision by going through double.

Be aware that FileMaker always uses UTF16 internally to store texts. For converting to/from wchar_t on Mac OS X you need to do the UTF32 transcoding. In MBS Plugin we have code for this, so our UTF32 aware text functions can probably handle special characters like smileys.

Getting UTF8, Mac or Windows encoded text from a fmx::Text has a challenge: null bytes. Most functions simply ignore them and cut the string on the first null character. But some functions in our MBS Plugin actually handle this special case correct.

When your plugin receives kFMXT_Init call and you call your plugin init function, be sure to save version and application values in global variables. This way you can use conditions everywhere in the plugin like "if (gFMVersion >= k150ExtnVersion)" or "if (gFMApplication == kFMXT_Pro)". This is important as our plugin supports version from 8.5 to 14.

On FileMaker Server scripts may run in parallel. Be sure your plugin is prepared for that by locking global data with mutex. While you can't currently get the session ID easily, you can of course check current thread ID by OS functions to see if two calls are on the same thread.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 15.2pr9

Saturday 01 August 2015 at 7:15 pm
New in this prerelease of the 15.2 plugins:
  • Updated system information functions to properly detect Windows 10.
  • Fixed issues with ChartDirector plugin to make it compile on Real Studio 2011r1 again.
  • Fixed bug in AVAssetWriterInputPixelBufferAdaptorMBS class.
  • Fixed memory leak in PictureMBS.Constructor with using GDI Plus pictures.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease . Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 5.2pr9

Saturday 01 August 2015 at 5:09 pm
New in this prerelease of the 5.2 plugins:
  • Added MatrixDongle functions.
  • Fixed AVAsset.MetadataKeys to work on Mac OS X 10.9 and older.
  • Fixed problem in QTMovie.Release function.
  • Updated system information functions to properly detect Windows 10.
  • Added SystemInfo.isWindows10 function.
  • Added SQL.InsertRecords function.
  • Added EventMonitor.LastMouseClickIsDoubleClick function.
  • Added DynaPDF.GetInMetadata, DynaPDF.GetMetadata and DynaPDF.SetMetadata.
  • Added DynaPDF.GetOutputIntent and DynaPDF.GetOutputIntentCount functions.
  • Fixed bug with Dictionary.AddSQL's parameter passing.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Older blog entries:

2015-07-29 FileMaker Stammtisch Koblenz
2015-07-28 XDC Videos available
2015-07-24 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 5.2pr8
2015-07-24 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 15.2pr8
2015-07-23 Checking Variable Declarations in FileMaker with MBS Plugin
2015-07-23 A Xojo Summer Sale!
2015-07-22 Greetings from FileMaker DevCon
2015-07-16 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 5.2pr7
2015-07-16 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 15.2pr7
2015-07-13 Las Vegas Xojo Meeting
2015-07-10 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 15.2pr6
2015-07-10 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 5.2pr6
2015-07-09 Tip of the day: Adding links to Textarea on OS X
2015-07-07 FileMaker DevCon in two weeks
2015-07-02 xDev Magazine Issue 13.4
2015-07-02 FileMaker Meeting in Kiel
2015-07-01 Job offer in Midlands, UK
2015-06-28 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 15.2pr5
2015-06-28 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 5.2pr5
2015-06-24 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 15.2pr4

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