Large integer numbers in Xojo

As you may know we got the BigNumberMBS class with a 320 bit floating point number to calculate with really big numbers. Now we got a new class for integer calculations. The new LargeNumberMBS class provides an integer which dynamically ranges from 0 to 4128 bits depending on the size of the number. Over 4000 bits is enough for a 1200 digit integer.

In the class we provide functions to convert from/to Xojo data types and can convert number to/from strings. We provide common functions to calculate with the large numbers, so add, subtract, multiply and divide work. We also provide modulo and a combined divide and modulo operation. You can shift bitwise left and right and do bitwise AND and OR operations. We even provide convenient functions for square and square root.

The operators are overloaded for Xojo, so you can just use the numbers like others. If you pass nil for a parameter, we take it as 0 automatically. For your convenience, the numbers convert automatically to/from string, so you can pass them directly to a msgbox.

Here is a sample code snippet, which shows that we can do math with more than 64bit to avoid an overflow with really big numbers multiplied and divided:

Dim n1 As Int64 = 10000000000 Dim n2 As Int64 = 10000000000 Dim n3 As Int64 = n1 * n2 // overflow, so wrong result Dim n4 As Int64 = n3 / n2 Dim l1 As LargeNumberMBS = LargeNumberMBS.NumberWithInt64(n1) Dim l2 As LargeNumberMBS = LargeNumberMBS.NumberWithInt64(n2) Dim l3 As LargeNumberMBS = l1 * l2 Dim l4 As LargeNumberMBS = l3 / l1 Dim s4 As String = l4.StringValue // this is correct Break
Please try this with next prerelease. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 19.1pr4

New in this prerelease of the 19.1 plugins: Download:
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Eight months till European MBS Xojo Conference 2019 in Cologne

Monkeybread Software is pleased to announce the European MBS Xojo Conference in metropolitan Cologne, Germany. We meet in the lovely Dorint Hotel in the center of Cologne. The hotel is in the city center and in walking distance to the main station. Beside our two conference days we have accompanying social programme with our dinner event and optional two training days. For the evenings we have casual get-together in the hotel bar or beer garden.

To give you an update, we have a few attendees already, we got a few session proposals from a few potential speakers and we even got the first student to apply for a free ticket. If you like to join the conference and get one of the first 20 tickets promotion, please sign up soon. If you like to speak, please send a proposal soon and please sign up for the conference soon. As of today we have people from seven countries already signed up.

The schedule:

Oct 23rd: Xojo Training in English
Oct 24th: Conference, first day with dinner event
Oct 25th: Conference, second day
Oct 26th: Xojo Training in German

Registration is open. The early bird offer available till 24th April is just 499 Euro plus VAT. For the first 20 people we offer tickets for just 399 Euro plus VAT. Attending the conference costs regularly 699 Euro plus VAT, including food and beverage in the Dorint Hotel as well as an accompanying social program.

Sessions are to be held in English. Our conference is conceived as a networking event for the Xojo community. The conference is an ideal opportunity for sharing your thoughts and your own development experience with fellow users and developers. If you like to hold a presentation, please contact us as soon as possible. Speaker receive discounted tickets.

More details on the conference website.

New DirectShow dialogs

For next plugin we have some new standard dialogs for DirectShow. You can control properties for compression, camera control, audio mixer and stream configuration via built-in Windows dialogs.

Screenshots are in German, but you can get localized versions of course for your language.
You can show them with our Xojo and FileMaker plugins.

What a week

This week was great. We had so many things going on here.
  • First I visited a company and gave a full training day for Xojo development. Desktop and Web apps, controls and database access. Just a bit to learn Xojo and what is different to other tools.
  • Another client came to our office for a Xojo training and co-development day here. Some clients really enjoy having a helping hand on how to implement something.
  • Stefanie joined the FileMaker training day at MKV for beginners. I think that really helps her learning FileMaker.
  • I worked on two custom Xojo plugins for two companies to wrap some private C++ libraries.
  • Stefanie wrote an article for FileMaker Magazin, which will be published in the next months.
  • She also wrote an article for Xojo Developer Magazine. I hope she can be a regular writer for both magazines and regularly write something for the blog.
  • And the usual remote help for various clients. Like getting load balancer script running for a client with several Xojo web apps. Helping a client with using MBS Plugin in iOS SDK.
  • For the plugins we fix bugs and add new functions as we are contacted by customers.
Now lets enjoy the weekend a bit and maybe do a little trip with family to enjoy some time in nature, maybe walk to a castle.

XDC Video Sale

Xojo Inc. is running a sale and offers older Xojo conference videos:

As we are getting closer to XDC 2019, new conference videos are on the horizon! We are now offering some great pricing on the XDC 2018 and 2016 videos! Between now and XDC (May 1, 2019), you can get the XDC 2016 video set for $75 and the 2018 video set for $99! Buy now!

If you like to attend a conference, there is a the bigger official Xojo Developer Conference in May 2019 in Miami and our European Xojo conference in Cologne in October 2019.

Fixing a broken time machine backup

If you see a dialog like this, your backup may be broken or just have a little problem with the disk image. So usually we try to repair it instead of starting over. This are the steps necessary:

First turn of backups and mount the Time Machine disk and check what the name of the disk and the sparse bundle inside is, so you can adjust the names. hdiutil will return the disk number, which must be used for the next two calls:

sudo su -
hdiutil attach -nomount -noverify -noautofsck /Volumes/DiskName/BackupName.sparsebundle
fsck_hfs -dfy /dev/diskXs2
hdiutil detach /dev/diskXs2

After fsck_hfs repaired the disk image on your time machine, you may need to remove the nouchg flag for the sparse bundle:

chflags -R nouchg /Volumes/DiskName/BackupName.sparsebundle

In the plist file inside the bundle, you may need to remove the decline date where the backup was marked broken:


And set the VerificationState back to zero:


If you did all the steps, you can enable backups again and let it continue with the same time machine sparse bundle.
We did those fixes a few time already and usually fsck reported just a minor problem.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 19.1pr3

New in this prerelease of the 19.1 plugins: Download:
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Connecting to PostgreSQL with SSL and client certificate file in Xojo

You can pass various options when connecting to PostgreSQL server with SQLDatabaseMBS or SQLConnectionMBS classes in our MBS Xojo SQL Plugin. This includes several SSL options. If ssl mode is require, the SSL encryption is required. But only if you provide local certificate chain and the mode verify-full, the chain of certificates is validated. So if someone puts in a proxy with their own certificate, your application would not connect.

So here a sample code about how to connect with a client side certificate, a private key and the root certificates to validate against: (more)

Move from REALSQLdatabase to SQLiteDatabase

While current SQLiteDatabase in Xojo 2018r4 uses SQLite 3.25.3, the old REALSQLdatabase is still version, about 6 years older. If you still have code with REALSQLdatabase, please move it to SQLiteDatabase. Or you move to SQLDatabaseMBS, which offers SQLite 3.27.1 currently with the recently added VACUUM INTO command.

Normally you just change the class names from REALSQLdatabase to SQLiteDatabase and RealSQLPreparedStatement to SQLitePreparedStatement. The older class sometimes added ROWID to the select statements to make edit/update/delete methods workable.

A few things SQLiteDatabase got over the six years:
  • SQLite got a backup API, so you can backup to a new SQLiteDatabase.
  • SQLite 3.25.0 got window functions
  • SQLite 3.24.0 got support for PostgreSQL-style UPSERT.
  • SQLite 3.18.0 got PRAGMA optimize command.
  • SQLite 3.15.0 got support for row values.
  • SQLite 3.9.0 got FTS 5 extension
  • Endless bug fixes including some that could corrupt the database.
  • Great performance improvements between
Finally a general tip. Please call SQLExecute "PRAGMA cache_size = 20000" early in app start to set a big enough cache size. If the tables or their indexes don't fit in memory, performance suffers.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 19.1pr2

New in this prerelease of the 19.1 plugins:
  • Changed CarbonEventsIdleTimerMBS.available to be shared property.
  • Added CGImageSourceMBS.CreateThumbnailMT to create thumbnails threaded.
  • Added GMConvertMBS and GM16ConvertMBS classes.
  • Added HIDAPIDeviceMBS.WriteAsync method.
  • Added SQLErrorExceptionMBS.SQL property.
  • Added TiffPictureMBS.ScanlinesScaled function to scale down vertically on reading scanlines.
  • Added work around to NSColorSpaceMBS.File property to make it work better.
  • Changed UNNotification functions to return error on server.
  • Changed WebDownloadDelegateMBS and NSURLDownloadMBS classes to be thread safe.
  • Changes TiffPictureMBS.Scanlines and ScanlinesScaled to yield.
  • Fixed a problem with TiffPictureNBS.Scanlines crashing with too small buffer for some images.
  • Fixed crash with connecting to SQL Anywhere when creating connection failed. Now reports an error instead.
  • Fixed problem with UNNotification functions blocking plugin to initialize on Server. (from pr1)
  • Fixed TiffPictureNBS.Scanlines to correct parameters if RowsPerStrip > 1.
  • Removed OverlayMBS.WindowGroupHandle property.
  • Removed WindowGroupMBS class (Mac 32-bit Carbon only).
  • Updated DynaPDF to version
  • Updated SQLAPI to 4.2.5b4.
  • Updated SQLIte to version 3.27.1.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

CGImageSourceMBS CreateThumbnailMT method for Xojo

Today a client had questions on how to get a lot of thumbnails calculated quickly in Xojo. We do have CGImageSourceMBS class to read various image files and use Apple's image decoders with hardware acceleration, but doing one after the other in Xojo for thousands of image files would still take a long time.

To speed things up, we made a few plugin functions to use preemptive threads to create the thumbnails. You run several Xojo threads and in each process image files and call one of the following methods:

CreateThumbnailMT(file as FolderItem, ImageIndex as integer = 0, Options as dictionary = nil) as CGImageMBS
CreateThumbnailMT(data as String, ImageIndex as integer = 0, Options as dictionary = nil) as CGImageMBS
CreateThumbnailMT(data as MemoryBlock, ImageIndex as integer = 0, Options as dictionary = nil) as CGImageMBS

The main work is done on a preemptive thread, so you can get a lot of CPU cores busy if needed. The returned CGImageMBS objects can be converted to Xojo pictures (Picture method), or you get png or jpeg image data with PNGData or JPEGData methods.

You can pass various options via dictionary to select the thumbnail size or decide whether you like to use thumbnails embedded in images.

Coming soon for next 19.1 prerelease. If you like to try earlier, please email us.

PS: We also add GMConvertMBS class to do the similar things cross platform. You can use it to scale down images for thumbnails with preemptive threads.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 19.1pr1

New in this prerelease of the 19.1 plugins: Download:
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

More SceneKit for Xojo

For next MBS Xojo Plugins, we'll get a few new SceneKit classes for 3D graphics. Here a few screenshots from new examples:


Linux Icon Functions for Xojo

For next plugin prerelease, we add new LinuxIconMBS module to provide a few new functions to query icons.

The Icon function queries the picture for the icon based on a mime type, while SymbolicIcon queries the symbolic icon. The FileIcon function takes a folderitem and queries a picture for the icon. For some files, you can query a thumbnail with FileThumbnail function. You get back a path to the temporary file with the icon, in our case a png file.

Functions coming soon for MBS Xojo Linux Plugin 19.1.

Older Xojo versions

Not every project needs the newest and latest version of Xojo. Be sure to keep older versions installed in parallel for your computer.

Here is a list of our special versions kept for various tasks:

Use Xojo 2018 Release 4 for current projects in development.
Use Xojo 2018 Release 2 to build for MacOS 10.9.
Use Xojo 2017 Release 2 if you need a 32-bit IDE on Mac.
Use Xojo 2017 Release 1 to build for MacOS 10.7 or with Linux with GTK2.
Use Xojo 2016 Release 3 to use Windows GDI Graphics
Use Xojo 2016 Release 1 to build for Windows Vista.
Use Xojo 2015 Release 2 to build for Windows XP.
Use Xojo 2013 Release 4 to use QuickTime classes.
Use Xojo 2013 Release 3 to build for MacOS 10.6.
Use Xojo 2011 Release 3 to build for PowerPC Macs.

You can read about removals and deprecations on the Xojo documentation in the Deprecations section. We still have a few clients who want their software to run on older operation systems for various reasons. For example special hardware like PCI cards may not work on the latest Windows version due to missing drivers. So they may want to keep an app with ancient Windows version supported.

To download an older Xojo version, you can log into Xojo website, go to download archives. If you have a current license for Xojo, you can certainly ask them for an older license key if needed.

MBS Xojo Plugins in version 19.0 support all Xojo versions and plugins for older Real Studio are available on request.

Playing with SceneKit

For next MBS Xojo Plugins, we'll get a few new SceneKit classes for 3D graphics. This includes primitives like cylinders, spheres, tubes, cones, torus and boxes. You can create them, show them in 3D space, animate and rotate them as needed.

Today I translated an example from Swift to Xojo quickly to solve towers of Hanoi problem:

The new examples will be included with next MBS Plugin version.

UserNotifications framework for Mac

The UserNotifications framework has been in iOS since version 10. With MacOS 10.14 Apple added this framework for the Mac, so we have the same classes in iOS and MacOS. With MacOS 10.14 Apple also deprecated NSUserNotification API.

To MBS Plugins, we now add UserNotifications API for MacOS in both our FileMaker and Xojo plugins.

For Xojo the new plugin part UNNotification contains all the classes to wrap the framework. As usually, we make this thread safe for Xojo, manage memory automatically and convert data types for you.

For FileMaker we compile the same code as for iOS for MacOS. Our existing UNNotification functions simply work for MacOS, too. There are a few little differences like location based notifications are not supported and there are no launch images for MacOS. If needed we could add new functions for actions beside just bringing FileMaker to front.

If you like, you can try soon those new functions with the next betas.

16 Years Xojo Developer Magazine

Did you notice that over the last 16 years we got 97 issues of the Xojo developer magazine.

As you know the magazine is more up to date than any book and we highly recommend a subscription for all Xojo developers. Keep up to date on news, development best practice and learn tips and tricks.
Today you get all 97 back issues with 6876 pages in total. Check the Welcome to Xojo bundle for new users.

You need a subscription? Contact us via form before 5th Feb 2019 to win one of three short subscriptions (3 issues).
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