Arbed 1.8.6 updated for Xojo 2016r4

Thomas Tempelmann recently announced a new version of Arbed. As Xojo evolves over time and changes the file format, Arbed as to be updated to recognize any changes in the format. The new version knows about the most recent changes in Xojo 2016r4.

Every Xojo developer should have it in his tool chain and enjoy the features. It has many features and depending on your needs, you may decide which feature is worth the price. For myself i mostly use it to automatically convert my example projects to HTML files to include them in the documentation. In other cases Arbed helped to recover corrupted project files and to compare two versions of a project which have been modified independently without version tracking software. It is also useful to bundle a project with all required files if you need to send a project to a client.

Arbed is highly automatable and can be scripted. You can call it from command line in your shell scripts to do various actions in batch operations. If you need, you can use it to obfuscate strings (e.g. SQL queries) in your application or prepare it for localization. Anything automated which saves a few hours is worth the money.

Arbed is available on for $29 or $89 USD.

BKS Shorts 1.8.0

BKeeney Software has released version 1.8 of their reporting classes and tool for Xojo.

While we had SQL connectors for our SQL Plugin before to use in Shorts, we now got official support in Shorts for the MBS SQL Plugin. You can now report with using our plugin to interface various databases:

MBS SQL Plugin supports:
Centura SQLBase, DB2, Firebird, Informix, InterBase, MariaDB, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, ODBC, Oracle Database Server, PostgreSQL, SQL Anywhere, SQLite, SQLCipher and Sybase.

We know some users already use Shorts heavily with Informix databases and we appreciate this addition.

See blog post and Shorts Website.

Xojo Developer Conference 2018

Just in time for Christmas Dana posted a teaser for XDC 2018.

The question to be answered is where the conference will take place. Until the next newsletter (subscribe here) in January tells us, we can enjoy betting where it could be.

Austin is not easy to reach, but convenient for Xojo Inc. as they have a couple of people living there who won't need any airplane ticket. Houston for 2016 was similar easy for Xojo Inc. with just a few hours drive from Austin. Dallas could fill a similar role with a big airport and in drivable distance from Austin.

We know that it will be USA and probably somewhere with direct flights internationally.
I would expect New York, San Francisco, Boston, Miami and and a few others to be too expensive.
And with the list of direct flights available from Paris and Frankfurt, I would bet on Seattle.
What is your guess?

There is no XDC 2017, so if you like to join a conference before 2018, please consider our conference in Europe:
The MBS Xojo Developer Conference will take place 4th/5th May 2017 in Berlin, Germany. An optional training day is available.

Merry Christmas

Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes neues Jahr!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo

Franziska, Sebastian, Michael, Monika & Christian Schmitz

Finally Apple allows iPhone to stay silent in pockets

With iOS 10.2 we finally got the option in accessibility settings to define for the home button that it should not activate voice control or Siri.

For years I hated it when accidentally voice control turned on with iPhone in my pockets. Depending on what the iPhone recognized, it dialed people or played music. I did disable voice calling and Siri, but the voice control for music stayed on. Now Apple added the switch we needed for at least 5 years!

For me the best feature of 10.2 and a reason to upgrade immediately.
Anyone else so happy?

Windows Error Codes

Do you sometimes run into a Windows error code?
Sometimes one like -2147221499 or 80040005 and you have no clue what it is?

You can lookup error codes on Microsoft Website:

But that list is only for regular error codes.
The COM/OLE functions return different error codes called HRESULT. They can be decoded, see Structure of COM Error Codes and there are various lists for HRESULT values.

Which brought me last year to write a little tool to collect errors from various header files and put them in a big table:
Windows Error Codes

There you can quickly lookup the error codes, in both decimal and hex notation.

Install Xojo 2016 Release 4.1 please

Xojo logoXojo Inc. announced the release of Xojo 2016r4.1.

This update fixes a bug I reported with plugins using pictures in bitmap format on Windows:

46158: Windows: REALUnlockPictureDescription now cleans up the memory allocated when REALLockPictureDescription was called

This fix is for an enormous memory leak with handling pictures. Good, that it got fixed!
Now this fix is for plugin functions using the HBITMAP type to access pixels which some functions need, e.g. to put picture on the Windows clipboard.
Other functions have been updated to use the newer DirectDraw pixel access for pictures.

We recommend to use MBS Plugins in version 16.5 or newer with Xojo 2016r4.
You can download them here: MBS Plugin Download.
Older plugins can behave different or crash when using pictures.

Download Xojo and see Release Notes

Three weeks till year's end

The year 2016 will end in less than three weeks. Do you need some more licenses?
  • You can order licenses for 2017 or later and have delivery plus payment done in 2016.
  • And of course you can order updates for several years in advance for all your MBS products.
  • As all licenses are per developer, you should check if you got a new developer in your team this year and adjust licenses to match team size.
  • If you need a Xojo license (new or update), we can always check whether a bundle with Xojo offers an advantage for you.
  • For FileMaker please check if you have enough license for the number of seats or servers you have in use.
Especially if you run on a budget and you want to spend some money in the old year, you can buy updates for several years in advance.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio plug-ins in version 16.5

NICKENICH, Germany (December 12th, 2016) -- Monkeybread Software releases version 16.5 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 and Real Studio development environment with 2,400 classes featuring over 61,000 documented functions. Our plugins support all three platforms Mac OS X, Windows and Linux with all project types desktop, web and console including 64-bit and ARM targets.

Some of the highlights on the 16.5 update:

If you do math and you need more precision than a double or currency data type can offer, you may want to check our new BigNumberMBS class. This is a 320bit floating point number, but it can also be used as a 256bit integer. Precision is excellent with over 100 digits before the dot.

For macOS 10.12 we added several TouchBar classes. You can offer normal buttons, but also advanced controls like sliders, popovers or groups. The plugin provides functions to check if TouchBar is available and events so you know whether your items are visible.

For DynaPDF we added new StyledText functions. You can convert from a Xojo StyledText to the formatting commands used by DynaPDF. And you can pass StyledText directly to our WriteStyledText method to draw on a PDF page.

For editing Excel documents with our XL Plugin, we provide now more methods and new copy functions. You can copy sheets from one book to another, or the content from one sheet to another, even across books. If needed you can also copy single rows from one document to another. And in case LibXL updates quicker than our plugin, you can now optionally load the LibXL libraries directly from disk.

If you use Xojo 2016r4 or newer, please update to this release. This plugin is built using the latest SDK, but with backwards compatibility down to REALbasic 2006r4. For Windows we added support for DirectDraw pictures. Older plugins may not work correctly in Xojo 2016r4.

Our barcode generator learnt two new types: DotCode and HanXin, we added tabbing features to NSWindowMBS, XFA stream support in DynaPDF and time code reading for AVAsset.

We updated CURL library to version 7.51.0, DynaPDF to, libSSH2 to 1.8, libXL to 3.7.0, OpenSSL to 1.0.2j, PortAudio, SQLAPI++ to 4.1.10, SQLite to 3.15.0 and zint to 2.5.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

MBSXojoRef Update

For years Paolo Maggio provides a nice utility for MBS Xojo Plugins to browse the documentation:

Keep an eye open for the new version coming in a few days!
As usual, suggestions are welcome to improve the automated generated documentation.

See forum.

Reminder: Update policy

Just to remind everyone. If you have an older license and you missed to update it for 3 years, you are no longer eligible to order an update for the license. You can of course order a new license at any time.
So today we emailed people from 2014 to remind them to update before the end of 2016.

The key idea is that we offer discounted license prices for renewing licenses to honor you staying up to date.
Thank you for supporting Monkeybread Software.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.5pr10

New in this prerelease of the 16.5 plugins:
  • Added support for DirectDraw picture type in Xojo 2016r4.
  • Added CopyRow and CopySheet to XLSheetMBS class.
  • Copy rows/sheet in XL functions now copies also merge cells.
  • Added LoadLibrary functions to XLBookMBS class.
  • Fixed bug with some controls which did not draw on correct spot in the IDE.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Supporting 10 years of Xojo with current plugins

Current MBS Plugins in version 16.4/5 support all REALbasic, Real Studio and Xojo versions from 2006r4 to 2016r4. Ten years!

The minimum is REALbasic 2006r4 as that is the version introducing 64-bit numbers. Plugins without 64-bit integers may even work in older versions.
And as far as I know a lot of a couple of developers still need older versions:
  • REALbasic 2007r3, the last one to build for Mac OS 9.
  • REALbasic 2008r1, the last one to build single file exe for Windows.
  • Real Studio 2011r3, the last one to build for Mac OS X with PowerPC.
  • Real Studio 2011r4.3, the last one to build for Mac OS X 10.4.
  • Real Studio 2012r2.1, the last one to build for Mac OS X 10.5 and the last one before Xojo IDE started.
  • Xojo 2013r3.3, the last one to build for Mac OS X 10.6.
  • Xojo 2015r2.4, the last one to build for Windows XP.
  • Xojo 2015r4, the last one to not use universal runtime on Windows.
Our plugins are compiled for Windows XP and newer, but some may still work fine on Windows 2000! On Mac we build for 10.4 or newer, but usually only test for 10.6. Of course some features only work if you use them on a more recent OS version.

Technically you can use an older Real Studio version from 5 years ago and build a Mac app to use the latest plugins and add TouchBar support for latest MacBook Pro.

We modified the plugin interface to make sure we use the right data structures for each SDK version as well as use different SDK functions depending on the versions. Some things changed over years and we love to keep things working. So we have quite a few switches which check the Xojo/Real Studio version to decide what to do.

Hotels, Beds & Places in Berlin

Guest post from Ulrich Bogun, Xojo evangelist for German speaking countries and living in Berlin:


The Ellington Hotel where the conference takes place is close to the Kurfürstendamm which used to be the Berlin boulevard during cold war times. While the Kudamm (the „official“ abbreviation) has lost its position which was taken by the East Berlin boulevards, it is still home of expensive boutiques, and as such you probably will not find much cheaper hotels in the close vicinity. If you want to look, however, here’s a list of some situated close enough to take a walk:

If you are looking for night life after the conference, you might want to look a bit more to the east. Mitte, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg offer food, music, dance and drinks all night (well, there is no closing hour in all of Berlin, but in these districts you won’t have to search more than a few minutes).

Good places to look for alternative hotels are, or Here you can find holiday flats, pensions and hostels too.

If you want some nostalgic flair the mimics a East Berlin (GDR) hotel during cold war times ;)

In general, public transport is quite good in Berlin, and you can expect bus, subway or railway waiting times not longer than a few minutes in these core districts, but I would advise you not to choose a district too far away from the center. Berlin’s public transport is a mixture of subway, S-Bahn (public railway), tram and buses. All share the same tariff, which means usually a ticket for 2,80 € (tariff AB) allows you to travel once from Berlin’s eastern to its western outbounds. See ticket shop and the journey planner. You’ll find a map of the transportation system here too.

You may buy a week ticket at the airport when arriving. Tegel is within AB range and a week ticket costs only 30 Euro and you can take U/S-Bahn, tram and busses anywhere.

And places to go? There’s simply too many of them. This site gives a good overview.

If you should be taking a walk around the Ellington, you will inevitably find the Tauentzienstraße which leads to the famous Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche. Strolling around the Kurfürstendamm might lead you to the Story of Berlin museum (if you are interested in German history):, and if you want some recreation and are into excellent tea I would very strongly recommend you to sip a cup of Berlin tea at

If you still can stand technology after two days of technobabble, the Deutsches Technikmuseum shows reconstructions of the first computers, Z1 and Z3, explained by the son of computer pioneer Konrad Zuse himself.

The historical core of Berlin is the Nikolaiviertel with the Fernsehturm, the Alexanderplatz and the Museumsinsel (island of museums) close by. IF you stay longer, taking a ship tour along the Spree allows a very different view of Berlin.

Nightly places to visit for dancers and young tourists are the (which is close to where I live, so if you want some guidance, join me after conference day’s end) and several clubs along the Warschauer Straße like the View the areas on Google maps – there’s literally something for every taste around.

Missing something? Just tell me!

Looking forward to see you in May


Ulrich Bogun

Xojo 2016 Release 4 and Plugins

Xojo logoXojo Inc. just announced the release of Xojo 2016r4.

As the new release changes graphics on Windows to use DirectDraw instead of GDI/GDI+, the plugins need to adapt. The handling on graphics ports (HDC) and for bitmap access changes a bit.

We recommend to use MBS Plugins in version 16.5 or newer with Xojo 2016r4. You can download pr9 now or wait for the release next week.

Download Xojo and see Release Notes. Review by Bob Keeney

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.5pr9

New in this prerelease of the 16.5 plugins: Download:
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

61000 functions

Did you recently look at our statistics page for the MBS Xojo Plugins?

I just looked and the current 16.5 beta has 61000 documented features!

That is a new record and a 1000+ increase to 16.4 release. Alone in 2016 I added over 5000 new things. Main driver for recent additions are CloudKit and TouchBar classes.

And thanks for Xojo Inc. for increasing once again the number of plugin functions that can be used in one app.

PS: The MBS FileMaker Plugin is doing well with currently over 4300 functions.

Compliment from Swedish customer

I just got this morning a nice email from a plugin user in Sweden:

I have been working as a full time FileMaker developer in my one-man company since 1986, and have stumbled on the MBS plugin from time to time over the years but never taken the time to dive into it. But now I needed to upload via SFTP, and that made me download and start learning the plugin - and I was totally blown away!

I have spent about two days writing and rewriting Custom Functions with the MBS plugin as the base, and I will from now on ONLY use this plugin for more or less everything. I also love the Trace, Notifications and Dialogs that I can run from calculations, and I now understand that the MBS plugin is like a sphere surrounding and enhancing FileMaker in a way I didn't thought possible. And for the SFTP...? It works like a charm and was very easy to implement.

I started to work with software development in the 1980's, so the "toolbox" that the MBS plugin is supplying me with is perfect for my way of thinking and building solutions.

I am also very happy for all the example databases, for without them I wouldn't have realized the potential of the plugin but just have focused on the SFTP :-)

Best regards,
Mikael Bohlin
HuConn - Human Connection

Thanks to Mikael and enjoy our plugins.

Grown over 10 years the MBS FileMaker Plugin features over 4200 functions.
And our MBS Xojo plugins cover over 60000 documented features.
More or less all the things we needed for consulting projects with clients over the years.

Xojo Meeting in Madrid

Tonight I had dinner with Krzysztof and Javier:

We had fun, excellent dinner and I brought a few presents for them. See you in Berlin next year!
Javier is the Xojo engineer doing localization and support for Spanish speaking Xojo developers.

Big numbers for Xojo

The last weeks, I saw a need for a floating point class with more than 64-bit precision.
The main problem with double variables is the lack of precision with 15 or more digits.

With 16.5 plugin we introduce a new class called BigNumberMBS. This class uses 320 bits and can easily represent 100 digits long values. You can use it easily for doing floating point math with more precision. Or if you need a 128 or 256 bit integer, this one will also fit. Just use this class without fractions. You can even wrap it and make a replacement for currency by multiplying all values by 10000 internally.

For all math operations, we may raise an exception in case of an error. The BigNumberErrorExceptionMBS class tells you about overflows, division by zero or other mistakes.

The class features operator overloading, so you can simply add values with + or assign one to another. In general values are read only, except for a few methods or properties which do not return a new object.

We have accessors for string, int64, currency and double values, so you can easily query those values. Via string you can of course pass much bigger values compared to double or int64.

Due to a few bugs with Xojo's overload handling, we may not offer Operator_Convert beside strings. It would be nice to directly assign double or integer values or to use them for plus or multiplication. Maybe future Xojo versions fix it and we can add those without causing ambiguous compiler errors.

Will be available next week with new prerelease. If you like to test now, send me an email.

PS: You can try with 16.5pr9 plugins and newer.
The biggest plugin in space...


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