REALsoftware 20% on updates, the last day

For April REALsoftware offers 20% on all updates and this is the last week in April, so if you need an update, take it:

If your subscription runs out in May, you may be able to update it now and benefit from this. 20% of a 12 month subscription means you get 2.4 month for free, so even if you are a month too early for the update, you still save another month...

Details about DynaPDF 2.5

MBS Plugins version 10.2 already contains DynaPDF 2.5 which is released today.

A few files you may want to check:
Compatibility Notes,
DynaPDF 2.5 Features,
Changes in the license for DynaPDF 2.5,
The License and
The official manual.

Schulungen zu REAL Studio/REALbasic am 28. und 29. Mai 2010

Here the official announcement for the German trainings:

Liebe Kunden und Anwender von REALbasic und REAL Studio.

In Zusammenarbeit mit der brainworks Training GmbH veranstalten wir, Application Systems Heidelberg, ganztägige Schulungen für die Arbeit mit der REAL Studio Entwicklungsumgebung.

Ausgesuchte Profis mit jahrelanger Praxis unterrichten interessierte Ein- und Umsteiger ebenso wie erfahrene Anwender im Einsatz der Cross-Plattform-Entwicklungsumgebung REAL Studio sowie der Programmiersprache REALbasic:

Wir starten diese Seminarveranstaltungen direkt bei brainworks in München. Geplant ist eine Ausweitung des Angebotes auf weitere Schulungszentren.

Am Freitag, dem 28. Mai 2010, findet zunächst ein Intensivkurs statt, der einen einfachen Einstieg anhand praktischer Beispiele samt intensiver Vertiefung bietet:

Am anschließenden Samstag, dem 29. Mai 2010, folgt ein Aufbauseminar, welches neben wertvollen weitergehenden Informationen zu speziellen Themen mit hohem Praxisbezug in kleinen Gruppen auch die Erörterung konkreter Fragen aus der eigenen Projektarbeit seitens der Schulungsteilnehmer ermöglicht:

Bitte nutzen Sie die Möglichkeit zur Information und Buchung auf den hier verlinkten Internetseiten. Bei Fragen und Anregungen wenden Sie sich gern an uns. E-Mail genügt. Telefonisch erreichen Sie uns montags bis freitags zwischen 10 und 14 Uhr (+49 6221 739 96 33).

Wir würden uns über Ihre Teilnahme und Ihr Feedback freuen.

Herzliche Grüße aus Heidelberg.

Thomas Hoffmann
Produktmanager REAL Studio

I will be there and I hope to see you in Munich. :-)

REAL Studio Training in Germany

On 28th and 29th May, we will have trainings for REALbasic in Munich. Brainworks will organize the event with help from Application Systems Heidelberg, the german REALbasic distributor. And I am the trainer :-)

Details in German are available here:
REAL Studio Intensivkurs
REAL Studio for Software- und Datenbankentwicklung

On the first day you should learn a lot of things about REALbasic and on the second day we will go deeper and help you with your applications. Hope to see you there.

New ChartDirector Control

With the 10.3pr2 plugins we include a sample project which includes a ChartDirector Control:

This control is based on a Canvas and 100% REALbasic code. Except for the ChartDirector classes it uses (and a few other plugin functions). Feel free to improve it and use it in your own applications.
  • You need to place it on your window and give a CDBaseChartMBS object back from the Render event. Here you setup your chart and add the data and all the things you want to use.
  • You should respect the current size of the canvas. In order to support zooming and moving with the mouse, you may want to check the viewport for the current drawing area.
  • We have code to handle the UI. You can zoom in with option-click and zoom out with shift-click. You can move the visible area with the mouse.
  • If the mouse cursor is over an data point, we show a little popup with the value.
  • You can decide to have a border around the control drawn in the canvas. Or you add your own border using the Chart. As you see in the picture above ChartDirector supports rounded borders.
  • If you like, you can use the overlay property to add an image over the chart like a watermark.
  • You can get the current picture at any time to save it to a file.
  • Pictures can be rendered at higher resolution. Your render event must support the scale factor parameter.
  • You can print charts.
  • Live resizing is supported.
  • You can let the chart redraw itself if dataset changes.

DynaPDF 2.5 Features

This document describes improvements and new features which were added in DynaPDF 2.5. Changes which affect backward compatibility are described in the file compatibility_notes.pdf.

Color spaces
All PDF color spaces can now also be used with images. Most color spaces were already available in DynaPDF 2.0 but the corresponding handling for images was not implemented.
It is also possible to import the image color space as is. This can be very useful if the image is defined in a device independent color space such as Lab or any ICC based color space. See SetGStateFlags() for further information. The section "Color Spaces" in the help file provides detailed information about color spaces and the corresponding image handling. (more)

Feedback Reports you may want to check...

Report 12072: REALbasic crashes when C++ raises exception in out of memory situation
Report 11908: Add SaveAs command to IDE Scripting with format option
Report 11909: Add IDE Script command to open project without GUI
Report 10737: Flag to indicate whether a debug is being run remotely
Report 11761: Auto complete confused with static methods and constants.
Report 5832: NewMemoryBlock should not use memset

Maybe you want to add yourself with a comment, add the report to your favorite list and give it a high priority.

Browser Roulette

Today we got the browser chooser from Microsoft the first time here. Not sure whether people in the US get it, too. But here in Europe Microsoft was forced to allow more competition and actually ask users what browser they want.

By the way: The order of the browsers is random, the window is localized and I think it could help people to get away from old Internet Explorer.

REALsoftware 20% on updates, the last week

For April REALsoftware offers 20% on all updates and this is the last week in April, so if you need an update, take it:

If your subscription runs out in May, you may be able to update it now and benefit from this. 20% of a 12 month subscription means you get 2.4 month for free, so even if you are a month too early for the update, you still save another month...

Auto show in Andernach

Every spring there is a car show in Andernach a city near us. You can see a lot of new cars, all shops in the city are open and thousands of people come here. A few impressions:

Trip to the Moselle

Yesterday we drove to the Moselle in a little village for a golden wedding anniversary.
Here are a few photos from the Moselle valley:

The Moselle valley is very beautiful with all the vineyards, old castles and little villages. Click on the images to see bigger versions.

The MBS REALbasic CheckCache Plugin.rbx

What does the CheckCache plug-in do?
REAL Studio does precompile plug-ins and if you enable the incremental compiler feature, it also stores compiled project items as files in a project cache folder. This works fine until you change the plug-ins. REAL Studio will see the change and precompile the new plug-ins. Still the project cache refers to the older plug-ins which will result in compilation and linking issues. We have listed the most common issues here:
The CheckCache plug-in checks on the IDE start whether the plug-in files are newer than the cache files. In that case it shows an alert. So this plug-in should protect you from a lot of issues.

Need Proxy Settings?

If you make network connections in a local network of a big company, you often have no direct internet access. There are proxy for mail, web, ftp and other services. So you need to know the proxy settings of your computer.
Whether you use CURL, httpsocket or something else to download files, all expect that you provide the proxy settings.
To get them we have plugin classes: SystemConfigurationMBS and WindowsProxyMBS.
We do have examples for both, but the easiest for you may be to just copy the code from our Updater Kit. Of course you need a license for Updater Kit to use it.

REAL Studio version vs. Plugin version

if you need the table for the version compatibility, look here:
RB 2010 works with plugins 9.6 and newer.
And the Cocoa target in REAL Studio, once it's available will need some version like 10.3. But we'll see.

Our REAL Studio products

Do you know all of our REALbasic products?

MBS Realbasic ChartDirector Plugin
Professional charts for REALbasic
MBS Realbasic DynaPDF Plugin
Create, import and modify PDF files on Mac, Windows and Linux.
Includes PDF split and merge, fonts embedding and text extraction.
MBS Realbasic SQL Plugin
Access SQL Databases
MBS Realbasic Complete Plugin
Our collection of more than 40 plug-ins for REAL Studio.
MBS SQLite Extension
over 30 additional functions for REAL Server and REALSQLDatabase class.
MBS REALbasic Updater Kit
Our crossplatform update engine for Mac OS X and Windows.
Professional code generator for Webservices using SOAP

REALbasic Trainings

The announcement will come in the next days, but you can already mark the date in your calendar: 28th and 29th May 2010 in Munich.

Obfuscate plug-in names

If you compile a project with REAL Studio and you look inside the project, it looks like this:

Now if you want to hide the names of the plug-ins, you can use the obfuscate utility which we include with the Main examples:

Now after the obfuscating it looks like this:

As you see we did not obfuscate the internal plug-in. To do this, you need to open REAL Studio, move the internal plug-ins into the plugins folder, do the obfuscate and move the internal plug-ins back. You may want to mark the internal ones with a label, so you find them after obfuscating.

Combine PDFs 5.1

Monkeybread Software today is proud to announce Combine PDFs 5.1, an update to their popular PDF merge and split tool for Mac OS X. With a focus on ease-of-use, Combine PDFs is a lightweight utility which allows anyone to merge PDF files and images into a single PDF file. The user need only drag & drop files onto the program icon. The main window appears, allowing the user to set the order in which the files are joined. Version 5.1 sports many new improvements and is a recommended download.
Combine PDFs Website

Noch eine Woche bis zur REAL Studio Schulung

Noch sind einige wenige Plätze frei auf der REALbasic Schulung in München am 28/29. Mai 2010:

New MBS REALbasic Updater Kit in version 1.2

We released today an update to the Updater Kit, version 1.2.

You can learn more and try the sample application on our website:

New video about Image Capture

We made a new video:
How you add picture import from a digital camera or scanner to your application.

PS: First version had sound problems, so I uploaded a second version. Not sure what the went wrong on the compression.

A visit on castle Pyrmont

One reason you may have to come in our area for a visit are the nice romantic castles here. Along the rivers Rhine and Moselle and their brooks, you find hundreds of castles. Some are destroyed, some still look like before in the Middle Ages.
This sunday we visited castle Pyrmont, a nice castle in a valley just a few miles form us away (20 miles). Built in the 12th century, destroyed a few times and rebuilt around 1965. Here are few impressions:

The castle tower with the main building and a view on the castle courtyard.

A view down to the valley with a little river and a water mill, today a restaurant. Another view down the courtyard with two smaller towers in the walls and in the background buildings of front parts of the castle.

The main building. And the hall of knights.

In the various rooms you find a lot of weapons and knight's armor. Before we left, we made another picture of the garden in the castle.

German website:

Format REALbasic project for printing

I made a new webpage which can format you a REALbasic project file. Simply export your project to an xml file and choose it in the form below. Our script will do the same as we do with our example projects and outputs a simple html page you can use for printing or publishing.

go here:

Some REAL Software Forum Statistics

Today we had the question here: How much users are on the REALbasic forums?

The forum has currently 5602 users as you can see on the member page.

But the question actually is how many active users do we have?

For example there are 443 users or 8% who are registered, but never made a posting.
From all users, only 5179 have a last visited date. That number should be 5602, but I expect that a privacy setting is in use to hide their status. But from this last visit dates you can see that 1073 users or 20% did only visit the forum on one single day and never returned. Another 1108 users or 21% did not spend more than two weeks on the forum.

Now to the good news: 470 users did visit the forum within the last month. And 1775 users within the last year.

Also you can sort the members by posting count. I personally made it on position 18, but well, there are 17 users who are much more active than I am.

REALbasic has a magnitude more users than we see on the forum. So the final question is: How can we reach the other users? Ideas are welcome.

Sale on REAL Studio (Update)

For Germany the sale is from 0 to 24 o'clock here in local time.
A 30% discount is a nice thing. Enjoy it. :-)

Sale on REAL Studio

Save 20% on REAL Studio upgrades to Pro and Enterprise in April!

Friday Only, New licenses on sale for 30% off. Get a tax refund? Spend it in our store! Didn't get a refund? Enjoy the savings!

Maybe some of you can use one of this offers?

Schulungen zu REAL Studio/REALbasic am 28. und 29. Mai 2010

In zwei Wochen startet unsere REALbasic Schulung in München. Schon angemeldet?
Bringen Sie ihre Fragen und ihre Projekte mit und wir helfen ihnen gerne weiter.

Tipp of the day: WindowsFileVersionMBS

If you have a windows application and you would like to know the version information, you can use the WindowsFileVersionMBS class to get them.
This is not limited to exe files, but works with all files where people have windows version information inside. Like dlls for example.
You can query version numbers, OS Requirements, dates, company name and few things more.

MBS REALbasic plug-ins version 10.2

Today we release the new version of our REALbasic (REAL Studio) plug-ins.
We updated DynaPDF to use all the new functions there. Also we got a few new things like the WindowsTaskbarListMBS class for Windows 7. Also we have more classes for GraphicsMagick, improvements on the SQL Plugin and a few additions to the QTKit classes.
As REAL Studio will get a Cocoa target, we are working on getting our plug-ins ready for the day the new Cocoa target ships.
New in version 10.2

How to install REALbasic on a 64 bit Linux (Ubuntu)

Today I was faced with the problem to test something with REALbasic on a 64 bit Linux. In my case Ubuntu.
So I downloaded REALbasic and after Firefox got the deb file, I double clicked it and the package manager told me: no.

So I had to go to the package manager and install 32 bit libraries. Search for "ia32" and you find them quickly. When you select this package, you get a couple of other packages included which is a good thing. It may take a while to download and install everything.

If you now click the package again, you get the same dialog as above, so we need to switch to the terminal. use cd to go to your download folder and run "sudo dpkg -i -force-architecture " followed by the REALbasic package name.

Now REALbasic is installed and you should find it in the Applications menu and you can launch it. I hope this blog post helps a few people who google for this trouble. But maybe in a year this is forgotten and we have a 64 bit REALbasic...

PS: You can click on the images in this article to get a larger copy.

Shrinking REAL Studio Projects

If you give away projects for REAL Studio, you may want to reduce their file size.

In order to do this, check the file types. Often you need a file type, but most times you don't need the icon. And a full set of pictures for a single file type can be as big as 200 KB.

So I saved a few megabytes on my example projects by removing some icons. :-)

REALbasic freezes on launch...

Well, today I looked long for why REALbasic stopped launching. On the Framework loading it stopped. Plugins did load as far as I see in the debug messages. But something on the post processing seemed to fail.

Later I found the reason: A class with an empty name.

So now everything is running again.

Linking plug-ins for Linux

If you link a plug-in for REALbasic on Linux with default settings from the SDK sample makefile, you get quite a lot of libraries linked to which you may not need:

gtk-x11-2.0, gdk-x11-2.0, gmodule-2.0, glib-2.0, Xi, Xext, X11 and m

So today I changed it and compile only with the default libraries from gcc and add libraries only if needed to the makefiles. So the plug-in libraries get a little bit smaller and most of my plugins no longer require gtk.

The change is in the 10.2pr9 plug-ins.

More puzzles

I got a few more puzzles on my wife's website:


Fun with Windows Version Numbers

While Apple increases version numbers for each major release, it seems like Microsoft does things a little bit different. So they develop updates and depending on their Marketing they choose between making it a small update or a big update:
Version Marketing Name
4.0 Windows 95
4.1 Windows 98
4.2 Windows ME
5.0 Windows 2000
5.1 Windows XP
5.2 Windows Server 2003
6.0 Windows Vista / Server 2008
6.1 Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2

So while Windows 7 for most people is a paid upgrade to a new version, internally it is just a 0.1 bug fix release and for the server they do label it as R2. So do not wonder why the system version functions return 6.1 for Windows 7. On Mac OS X Snow Leopard, you do get a 10.6 and not a 10.5.9 :-)

Search the difference images

For my wife's website on private tutoring for pupils, I added a little page with a difference search in two images. Do you find all the ten differences?

Try it. And the solution can be found here: Solution.

By the way, this picture was taking on our honeymoon and shows the castle Moritzburg. They even have an english website.

REALbasic Feature Requests for batch processing

Join me with my feature requests for better batch processing:

Add IDE Script command to open project without GUI

Add SaveAs command to IDE Scripting with format option

Provide help on batch compiling projects

I've over 1500 example projects to handle and don't want to click a few days.

Happy Easter 2010

10 years self employed

Today my company turn 10 years old.
I started developing around 1995 and moved to REALbasic in 1998. Early 2000 I got my first paid jobs so I registered as a self employed on 1st April 2000. Now 10 years later I can look back and I'm impressed myself with where we got.
The biggest plugin in space...


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