Two new videos on our video section

Learn something about using midi devices with PortMidi classes:

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REAL Studio Web Edition

Today REAL Software announced the REAL Studio Web Edition.

Watch the video:

I hope we can reuse our plugins on this edition. For example ChartDirector to offer nice charts. And our SQL Plugin to connect to database servers. Especially Microsoft and Firebird which are not supported directly by REAL Software. Creating PDF files on the fly with our DynaPDF plugin is also an interesting idea.

The resulting applications to run on your webserver are console applications in REAL Studio, so our plugins will work. Also they will use threads a lot, so it's worth to optimize a few functions for better thread behavior.

You can read more interesting stuff on Bob's blog:

Map of blog readers

Three months we started to count users with and made the visitors of the blog visible. So here is the current map after more than 3 months and with over 2000 visitors:

Tip of the day: How to launch Disc Utility?

You can use this code:
  Sub Open()
dim f as FolderItem = LaunchServicesFindApplicationForInfoMBS("","","")

if f<>Nil then
end if
End Sub
By bundle ID you can launch all applications on Mac. Even if the user moved or renamed them.

Accessing Microsoft SQL Database from Mac/Linux

from wikipedia: FreeTDS is a free software programming library, a re-implementation of the Tabular Data Stream protocol. It can be used in place of Sybase's db-lib or ct-lib libraries. It also includes an ODBC library. It allows many open source applications such as Perl and PHP (or any C or C++ program) to connect to Sybase ASE or Microsoft SQL Server.

Now you can use our SQL Plugin with FreeTDS to connect to a Microsoft SQL Server. Be aware that you need the freetds library with the odbc support compiled in. You can install this on Mac using ports like this: (more)

Phone Trouble

Last year I was in the USA and I bought a mobile phone. So I had a phone and people inside the USA could call me cheaper than over my German mobile phone.
Now I put this number on a few places and people called it. But I did not use this phone for the last 10 months. It seems like my phone number was transferred to another person who got a lot of support calls.
Seems like the prepaid mobile phone account was cancelled or disabled. Not sure.

So please do not call this number: +1 720 224 xxx.
If you have a support question, you better call us in the office: +49 2632 958955 or even better send an email. We can answer emails when traveling. And if we want to receive mobile phone calls, we can route the office number on the mobile phone.

About Quality Check

I'd like to share a few numbers with you:

For the 10.4 plugin release, we did a lot of tests. Not just wether several RB versions on Mac and Windows work with the plugins and whether they still run on Mac OS X 10.4. We test build all 1190 example projects. Just to make sure you don't get a compile error if you try them. Still we needed to fix 20 projects.

Also we automatically checked the 4359 code snippets in the documentation and fixed 34 of them. It looks like REAL Studio does not like to have over 4000 methods in a module.

New MBS REALbasic Plugin Version 10.4

Today we release our new REALbasic plugins in version 10.4. This new release is one of the biggest ever with 1550 new items. So you find a lot of new classes there:
  • the MacUSBDeviceMBS class to enumerate usb devices on Mac OS X
  • the XLS* classes to read excel files
  • the WindowsClipboardMBS class to read the clipboard on Windows
  • the NSPasteboardMBS class to read the clipboard on Mac OS X
  • the WindowsDeviceMBS class to enumerate devices on Windows
  • QTPrerollMBS class to preload quicktime movies.
  • the ComplexDoubleMBS and ComplexSingleMBS class to calculate with complex numbers.
  • New notification classes and methods to send notifications within your application.
and a lot of more. Check the release notes below.

MBS REALbasic Plugins Version 10.4 release notes

  • Added MacUSBDeviceMBS class.
  • Added XLS* classes to read binary excel files.
  • Added WindowsClipboardMBS class.
  • Added NSPasteboardMBS class.
  • Added WindowsDiscInfoMBS class.
  • Added WindowsDeviceMBS class.
  • Added QTPrerollMBS class.
  • Added ComplexSingleMBS and ComplexDoubleMBS classes for complex numbers.
  • Added FFT functions: FFTSingleMBS, FFTDoubleMBS, FFTDoubleAbsMBS and FFTSingleAbsMBS.
  • Added new NotificationObserverMBS class.
  • Added new NotificationReceiverMBS interface.
  • Added new NotificationMBS class.
  • Added CallMethodOnThreadMBS, CallMethodOnMainThreadMBS and CallMethodMBS functions.
  • Added BackgroundThreadMBS class.
  • Added ExecuteCommandMT, ExecuteMT methods and Working event to the SQLCommandMBS class.
  • Added SQLExecuteMT, SQLSelectMT methods and Working event to the SQLConnectionMBS class.

Reducing plugins in price list

Currently we have 46 plugins. But having all those plugins available for order does not really make sense, so we'll cut the list today. Some plugins are only useful if you have others and some are only used with professional users which take the complete package anyway as they use several plugin parts in their applications.

So we delist today: CUPS, DataTypes, DotMacKit, EyeOne, LargePicture, LCMS, OCR, PHP, QTKit, SnowLeopard, Tidy, WIA, XLS and XMP.

Existing users can get their license renewed. Also we offer users with plugin parts a complete update for special conditions.

MBS REALbasic Plugins, version 10.4pr14

New in the 14th prerelease of the 10.4 plugins:
  • Added ExecuteCommandMT, ExecuteMT methods and Working event to the SQLCommandMBS class.
  • Added SQLExecuteMT, SQLSelectMT methods and Working event to the SQLConnectionMBS class.
  • CoreImage classes are now console safe.
  • Improved Movie.SaveMBS to work better on Windows. With flatten movies, there is no longer a resource file. And with reference movie files, there is now only a dummy res file which you can delete (size 286 bytes).

Keeping the GUI running

Today I worked on threading. And it is possible to move some long process on a thread, I mean a process which does not yield time to other threads. Let's say you have a SQL query on a database. This query may take 30 seconds and in this time, your GUI is not responsible. Typically you would now run this query on a thread. But wait, the SQL code has no idea about yielding time to the REAL Studio runtime. But we can now put that code into an extra preemptive thread. This way our function can yield time.

So once we have a SQLExecuteMT function, you can call it in a thread. The actual work will run on a helper thread in background, so the thread you have, can wait and yield time. This keeps your GUI running and the query runs in background just fine.

If you have suggestions for what methods we should improve responsibilities, please comment here or email us.

Future support for PowerPC

Did you read on REAL Software's blog?

Even if REAL Studio will no longer support PowerPC, we can't simply follow. We have a lot of users who stay up to date with plugins, but use older REAL Studio versions. For us, it's more a question how long Apple provides us with development tools for older platforms. We removed Mac OS X 10.3 support only because Apple's developer tools have no way to run 10.6 and compile for 10.3. And we need to use the latest system to make plugins using the newest features.
So our PPC Support could end with 10.7 if Apple decides to remove PPC support for their compilers.

MBS REALbasic Plugins, version 10.4pr13

New in the 13th prerelease of the 10.4 plugins:
  • Updated DynaPDF to version
  • Internal conversion from picture to CGImage improved so it works now on Cocoa.
  • Implemented OverlayMBS for Cocoa.
  • Added to CFDictionaryMBS class a Constructor taking a dictionary.
  • Added CFDictionaryMBS.Dictionary to create a dictionary based on a CFDictionary.
  • Fixed a few memory leaks in the WindowsWMIMBS class.
  • Improved SmoothResizeMBS to work on Cocoa, too.
  • Fixed a check in Tiff plugin so opening corrupt tiff pictures (too short data) from a string does no longer crash.
  • Fixed crashes in CFXMLParserMBS, CFXMLNodeMBS and CFTreeMBS.

Today: Atlanta REALbasic Users Group Meeting

The Atlanta REALbasic Users Group will be meeting tonight, Monday, August 16th. For this meeting we will be discussing the latest release of Real Studio, other news, in addition to the programming concepts to develop using Real Studio.

When: 6pm to 9pm
Where: Ippolitos Restaurant, Sandy Springs

If you live in the Atlanta area, we'd love to meet you and talk all things REAL Studio!

Atlanta REALbasic Users Group Meeting

The Atlanta REALbasic Users Group will be meeting on Monday, August 16th. For this meeting we will be discussing the latest release of Real Studio, other news, in addition to the programming concepts to develop using Real Studio.

When: 6pm to 9pm
Where: Ippolitos Restaurant, Sandy Springs

If you live in the Atlanta area, we'd love to meet you and talk all things REAL Studio!

We got a date

If nothing goes terrible wrong, the date for our German REAL Studio conference is the weekend around the 9th October 2010. The program is not yet final and we wait for a few confirmations before we'll announce details. But it'll be properly have Friday the arrival with a welcome party, sessions on saturday and an evening event. Sunday maybe some more sessions and the departure.

So mark the Weekend of 9th October in your calendars and I hope to see you.

In addition we plan a few training sessions for later this year on several cities in Germany. So stay tuned.

MBS REALbasic Plugins, version 10.4pr12

New in the 12th prerelease of the 10.4 plugins:
  • Added ColorSyncProfileLocationMBS.FilePath property.
  • Changed Picture.BitmapMBS to fix pictures with a depth of 0 on Mac even if the bitmap behind is 32 bit.
  • GraphicsMagick is now initialized properly.
  • Added ExchangeFilesMBS function.
  • Improved ColorSyncProfileLocationMBS so it works with newer locationt types.
  • Fixed SQLDatabaseMBS.ErrorCode to be initialized to zero.
  • Added WindowsClipboardMBS class.
  • Added NSPasteboardMBS class.
  • Fixed CGOpenPDFDocumentMBS with data provider.
  • Fixed OpenColorSyncProfileMBS function.
  • Added XLS* classes to read binary excel files.

Tip of the day: TargetHasGUI constant

The TargetHasGUI constant tells you whether your code is running in a GUI app or a console app. This way you can have shared code which for example displays a message with msgbox or with print.
More Information

Tip of the day: Corrupt pictures

Compared to the build in picture functions, the plugin functions in our plugins normally work better with corrupt pictures. So for example the JPEGStringToPictureMBS function can give you a picture for a corrupt JPEG or nil depending on a parameter. That's better than crashing or always returning nil.

But today I got a note that TIFFStringToPictureMBS crashes for a given tiff. The reason is that the tiff data is too short. Not even the directory does fit inside. Reading the directory structure does crash here. To solve cases like this, you can decide to add padding bytes on the end of the data. For example allocate a memoryblock with 1 few kilobytes, get a string from them and append them to the tiff data. Now if data is too short, the read will succeed and not crash.

Mousewheel trouble

Today a client reported that the mouse wheel is not working right on a popupmenu. If you have on Windows a popupmenu open above a listbox, and you scroll with the mouse wheel, the listbox will scroll and not the popupmenu. See Bug report 13110

I feel like an idiot as I have to say to the client: I can't fix it. I can report it and pray for a fix.

Just after I had a similar issues yesterday: You can't vertically align the text in a listbox activecell. So if the row height is 30 pixels, the text in the cell is jumping up if you click on it. See Feedback report 13098

This are the little stitches which may over time let the client move to another developer which uses another tool.

Teaser: Clipboard classes

The built in clipboard class in REAL Studio is okay for 99% of the users, but some need more control. So for years we have the CarbonEventsScrapMBS class. Mainly for some special stuff like implementing services on Mac OS X.
Now with our 10.4 plugins we'll add this week two new classes: NSPasteboardMBS for Mac and WindowsClipboardMBS for Windows.
This way you can easily enumerate what is on the clipboard and read/write data to it.

Thank you

Thank you for all the wishes and congratulations for our son Michael.

For the case you are nearby: Baptism is on 11th September 2010.

Monika & Christian

MBS REALbasic Plugins, version 10.4pr11

New in the ninth prerelease of the 10.4 plugins:
  • Fixed NSTableViewMBS constructor, so it works again.
  • Added InStrByteRangeMBS and InStrBytesMBS functions.
  • Added FFT functions: FFTSingleMBS, FFTDoubleMBS, FFTDoubleAbsMBS and FFTSingleAbsMBS.
  • Renamed PhyiscalDeviceObjectName to PhysicalDeviceObjectName in WindowsDeviceMBS class.
  • Changed DisplayMBS.SwitchTo to work with multiple displays on Windows.
  • Added window.CGColorSpaceMBS.
  • Fixed a leaked CFURL object in CGOpenPDFDocumentMBS.
  • Changed RegistryValueMBS.asLong64 to use Int64 instead of double.
  • Added RegistryKeyMBS.Item with name parameter.
  • Added RegistryKeyMBS.ValueName.
  • Renamed RegistryKeyMBS.ValueItem to RegistryKeyMBS.Value.
  • Changed RegistryMBS methods to now be shared methods.
  • Rewrote most part of the registry classes so they now support unicode.


I love to leave my city and fly around the world to visit conferences. People are asking me from time to time whether I am on a conference. Like the WWDC from Apple or the Filemaker Devcon. For REAL Studio is no conference this year.
This year was special. We expected a baby so while I thought about going to WWDC, I preferred to stay home for being there on the birthday of our son. Also I did not plan for Filemaker Devcon. Having a baby needs time and now it's probably too late to get tickets/flight.
And as an european visitor, I have to plan things long in advance to get good rates and keep cost low. A typical conference visit in the US costs ten times as the same trip in Europe due the flights and the longer stay.
So I hope for next year to visit a lot of customers on those conferences, talk about our plugins and having a good time. :-)

Tipp of the day: Shell SSH Trouble and Workaround

If you use the shell class in async mode to run scripts over ssh on a server, you can get in a state where the shell object is dead. For example if you send three times the wrong password to ssh. The shell sits there and waits, ssh is running in the background doing nothing. If you call close on the shell class or let it go away (calls destructor), your application hangs.

The workaround is to detect this wrong password attempts (ssh asks three times) and put the shell object in a global array. Later in app.close you check if something is in the array and if yes, you do your cleanup manually (like closing main window) and call ExitMBS(0). This way you terminate your application without letting the REAL Studio framework destruct all objects.

Tipp of the day: Jump to anchor in htmlviewer

Let's say you have loaded a website to your htmlviewer, e.g. this one: Now you want to jump with a button to anchor #16 (on the bottom of the sample page). How to do this?

LoadURL with "#16" will not work as well as passing javascript to it. The only solution I got to work is to use our javascript execute methods:
  Sub Open() 
    htmlviewer1.LoadURL ""
  End Sub
  Sub Action() 
    if TargetWin32
      call HTMLViewer1.IERunJavaScriptMBS "window.location = ""#16"""
    elseif TargetMacOS then
      call HTMLViewer1.EvaluateJavaScriptMBS "window.location = ""#16"""
      // not supported
    end if
  End Sub

REAL Studio Summit 2011

As Bob promised on RB Summit 2009, they planned a new event in 2011 on 19th and 20th March in Atlanta. So mark this date in your calendar and register later this year. I hope to meet a lot of users there :-)

Read more here:
The biggest plugin in space...


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