News from the MBS Xojo Plugins Version 23.3

In this article I want to introduce you the new functionalities from the MBS Xojo Plugins in version 23.3.

XPath

Some of you may have already come into contact with XPath. XPath is a query language with which you can address and evaluate parts of an XML document. With the new evaluate method from the class XMLDocumentMBS, you can now perform such a query under a given XPath expression. The result is then returned to you as an object of the new XMLXPathResultMBS class. Here you can use the properties to retrieve the information.

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MonkeyBread Software Releases the MBS Xojo Plugins in version 23.3

Nickenich, Germany - (July 18th, 2023) -- MonkeyBread Software today is pleased to announce MBS Xojo Plugins 23.3 for macOS, Linux and Windows, the latest update to their product that is easily the most powerful plugin collection currently available for Xojo. MBS Xojo Plugins have been updated and now includes over 3000 classes and 80,000 documented features, and the versatile plugins have gained more new functions:

With this version, we switch from OpenSSL 1.1 to the newer version 3.1.1. While you may not notice the difference from the outside, the inside is updated for Encryption, FMAPI, RabbitMQ, SSH, Archive and CURL plugin parts. Since the new OpenSSL 3 deprecates less secure ciphers, you can enable them again with for CURLSMBS class with OptionSSLCipherList property if needed. The CipherMBS class got 49 new ciphers and a ZeroPaddingKey property while the DigestMBS class got 8 new digest methods.

For Windows we got a WinPreviewControlMBS control to preview PDF documents using the PDF viewer built-in to Windows 10 and newer.

We ported our PDFKit classes to iOS and got PDFThumbnailViewIOSControlMBS and PDFViewIOSControlMBS controls for your iOS projects to show PDF documents. The QLPreviewControllerMBS class on iOS allows you to preview various documents like Word or Excel documents. If you show pictures or PDF documents, you can allow the user to markup the document and save the final PDF document.

The XML plugin got an evaluate method to XMLDocumentMBS class to do XPath queries and return results as XMLXPathResultMBS object.

For DynaPDF we got new functions for tagged PDF formats to add tags as needed. And the AddDPartNode function allows to add Document Part Metadata right within your PDF document.

The Scintilla plugin got an improved lexer code to better highlight Xojo code. We added RegisterRGBAImage and MarkerDefineRGBAImage methods to use pictures for markers.

For HTMLViewers based on WebKit 2 on macOS and iOS we have new options for WKWebViewConfigurationMBS and WKPreferencesMBS to allow inline media playback or picture in picture playback. You can limit navigation to app bound domains and upgrade known hosts to https protocol.

We added the describe method to GMImageMBS class to provide various details for an image as text to show to the user, the ConvertImage method in WindowsPDFDocumentMBS class helps to convert HEIF or RAW images to PNG, the XLSheetMBS class can set column widths and row heights in pixels and you can filter object arrays in JSONMBS class.

Finally we updated CURL library to version 8.1.2, DynaPDF to 4.0.75.218, LibSSH to 1.11.0, LibXL to 4.2, MongoDB-c to 1.23.4, openssl to 3.1.1, RabbitMQ-c library to 0.13 and SQLite to version 3.42.0.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.


Create a cone chart with MBS and ChartDirector

Did you know that you can create charts in Xojo with the MBS Xojo ChartDirector Plugin?

I will show you how this works, using the example of a cone chart. The example can be downloaded together with the plugin from our website for a free testing. You can find it under this path: Examples/ChartDirector/cone.xojo_binary_project

First we store the data we want to represent on the diagram in an array. These data could also come from a database, a JSON or a calculation. We create a second array with the labels of the areas, corresponding to the values.

// The data for the pyramid chart
dim data(-1) as double = array(156.0, 123, 211, 179)

// The labels for the pyramid chart
dim labels(-1) as string = array("Funds", "Bonds", "Stocks", "Cash")
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MBS Xojo Plugins, version 23.3pr7

New in this prerelease of the 23.3 plugins: Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/ or from DropBox.
Or ask us to be added to our shared DropBox folder.

MBS Xojo Developer Conference

Outside picture of the hotel showing the front door and lift.Today we reveal the website for the MBS Xojo Conference and start registration. By adding a training day and some sight seeing days, we can fill a week for our guests:

Day Date Day Evening
Monday 22nd April Welcome in Germany
Tuesday 23rd AprilSight Seeing Tour Dinner
Wednesday24th AprilTraining Day Reception in Hotel
Thursday 25th April1st day conference Dinner Event
Friday 26th April2nd day conference Farewell Dinner
Saturday 27th AprilGeysir tour

Since we learnt a lot in previous conference, we change a few things:

We have the hotel for ourselves. All hotel guest rooms should be filled with Xojo developers. At the bar, at the breakfast, in the garden, everywhere you find Xojo developers to talk to.

The hotel is easy to get to via train or car. Please consider coming by train (to Andernach) and walk to the hotel (1.2 km).

We have a second room for labs and un-conference sessions. Your chance to spontaneously meet with developers and discuss a topic. In the lab sessions, we can meet and and implement a new feature in Xojo or add-ons.

On the presentations, we honor the work for the presenter with a free ticket, but we'll try to be a bit pickier about which session to accept. The sessions will be added to the conference in 2024. As usual the early bird rate is for people signing-up early before they know all details.

The ticket prices get a shake-up. The regular rate is 399 €, but we give those who can afford more the chance to pay 799 € and support the event. On the lower end, we like to give young or hobby developers a chance to buy a discounted ticket for 199 € or even get a free ticket. And those are early bird pricing and we raise them in 2024. (all plus VAT if needed)

If you can stay a few more days, please spend some more time with your fellow Xojo developers and enjoy some history, culture and landscape. We plan a bigger trip for Tuesday and optional a trip to learn about the Geyser in Andernach on Saturday.

The hotel rate is affordable with 120 Euro/night including breakfast and VAT. Other hotels nearby should have plenty of rooms available at similar or cheaper rates. And of course you can find luxury accommodation, too.

This community event is organized by Monkeybread Software. We expect to have a Xojo staff around to present and answer questions.

Please do not hesitate to send us questions.


First OmegaBundle orders delivered

The first batch of OmegaBundle orders is in delivery.

OmegaBundle 2023 with some MBS products


We process orders in batches every few days. And when you order your copy of the bundle, be prepared to have nothing happening for a day after the order. Then the delivery starts and you may quickly get something like 20 emails with license information and welcome messages.
If you don't get emails for a few days, please check:

Did your bank let the order go through on the credit card?
Did you check your spam filter? Put vendors on white list maybe?
Did you make a typo in the email address?

Every year emails end up in spam folders or bounce with typos.
If one of the vendors knows you, we can fix typos or have an alternative email address and deliver. If you have trouble with the web shop, please contact Paradigma Software, Inc. They also can provide the invoice for bookkeeping.

A week after the order, check if you got all the licenses from the bundle you needed. Some requires to login somewhere to lookup the license key. But for MBS, you just get a couple of emails.

Insert image options with DynaPDF

You tried MBS Xojo DynaPDF Plugin and wonder what options you can use for inserting images?

Same image at various resolutions.

With DynaPDF you have full control about how images are placed. By default the plugin does what most people need: insert images with 150 dpi and JPEG compression into a PDF. The resolution is calculated based on how big the image is shown on a page.

But you can decide:

  • Whether to pass through JPEG images.
  • What maximum resolution to use, e.g. 300 dpi.
  • Which compression filter to use for compressing images, e.g. JPEG.
  • Whether to mask white pixels with SetUseTransparency.
  • What compression quality to use for JPEG.
  • Whether to use image colorspace or convert to current colorspace.
  • Whether to allow duplicate image check or disable it (with SetGStateFlags).
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MBS Xojo Plugins, version 23.3pr6

New in this prerelease of the 23.3 plugins:
  • Added ElementFullscreenEnabled and siteSpecificQuirksModeEnabled properties to WKPreferencesMBS class.
  • Added allowsPictureInPictureMediaPlayback, allowsInlineMediaPlayback, upgradeKnownHostsToHTTPS and limitsNavigationsToAppBoundDomains properties to WKWebViewConfigurationMBS class.
  • Updated LibXL to version 4.2.
  • Added AddFormatFromStyle method for XLBookMBS class.
  • Added Table, SetRowPx and SetColPx methods for XLSheetMBS class.
  • Improved Text property in JSONMBS class to output less commas.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/ or from DropBox.
Or ask us to be added to our shared DropBox folder.

Create PDF/UA with DynaPDF Starter

Now you got our MBS Xojo DynaPDF Plugin (e.g. with OmegaBundle) and you like to make a PDF with PDF/UA standard. That means your PDF includes tags for accessibility. So instead of just having text pieces on the page, they each haves tags to classify whether they are heading, paragraph, quote, label or similar thing.

You build your PDF and do a few extra steps for the PDF:

  • You need to define the viewer preferences to show the display title.
  • The language needs to be set, e.g. to en-EN.
  • The structure tree needs to be created, so we have a root.
  • The PDF version is set use to kpvPDFUA1.
  • When adding content, you call OpenTag/CloseTag to annotate your content.

For debugging, it can be helpful to set the compression level to zero for a PDF and thus be able to just drop the PDF on a text editor and see what is inside.

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xDev Magazine 21.4

The July/August (21.4) issue of xDev Magazine is now available. Here's a quick preview of what's inside:

Future Vision by Marc Zeedar
We've been expecting Apple's expensive "VR headset" for a while -- what we got is a whole new "spacial computing" platform. It looks amazing, but there are still many questions and limitations. Has Apple done enough to make it a success?

Can ChatGPT Write Xojo Code? by Marc Zeedar
Everyone is jumping onto the hype of "artificial intelligence" and claiming AI can replace us humans, even programmers. Is that really the case? Can AI help with your next Xojo project? Marc asks ChatGPT to write a Tic-Tac-Toe game. See what happened.

Rasp Pi Electronic Fun Part 2 by Eugene Dakin
In this issue's project, Eugene shows how to get input from a switch on a Raspberry Pi and change the status of a control in a Xojo app.

Fun With wkhtmltopdf by Marc Zeedar
Working with third-party additions to Xojo can be frustrating when there are problems. Is your code at fault or is it an error in the source? Marc shares an adventure he had using the command-line tool wkhtmltopdf and how he worked around bugs in the tool.

Plus: Topics such as Xojo beta testing, charting, barcodes, non-SQL databases, and more!

Omegabundle for Xojo 2023 Developer Tools Bundle Now Available

Get the top developer tools and third party components for the Xojo cross-platform development platform at a huge savings!

Omegabundle for Xojo 2023 is a collection of the most useful tool sets, add-ons, digital books and components for use with Xojo Inc's Xojo development environment. If purchased separately and not including any additional offers, the total cost would be over $4166.94. Omegabundle for Xojo 2023 costs $399.99.

Xojo is an award-winning, cross-platform development tool for the Desktop (macOS, Windows, Linux), Web, iOS (iPad/iPhone) and Raspberry Pi. With Xojo, you can create native applications by using drag-and-drop to build your user interface and then one straight-forward programming language to enable the functionality. Xojo is powerful and modern, yet easy to use and learn.

Included Products

  • AprendeXojo GuancheMOS (UPDATED). The toolkit you need for application serialization and validation. Now supports Intel and ARM processors on macOS!
  • AprendeXojo AXImageCanvas  (UPDATED). Pull and display images easily.
  • AXNumValidatedTF (UPDATED). Locale settings, numeric range enforcement, adaptive format and more for numeric input.
  • Einhugur Plugin Pack for Xojo. e-CryptIt Engine for Xojo and all 39 libraries and plugins, including plugins to work with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word.
  • GuancheID (UPDATED). The easiest way to get a unique ID for macOS and Windows based computers.
  • GrafittiSuite Desktop Edition (UPDATED). 67 (up from 55 from 2022!) incredible user interface controls for Xojo that add value and improve the professional appeal of your Xojo applications.
  • MBS Chart Director for Xojo (UPDATED). Professional, interactive, real-time charts in your Xojo applications on Mac, Windows and Linux. Desktop, Console and Web projects.
  • MBS DynaPDF Starter Edition for Xojo (UPDATED). Create PDF files with your applications on Mac, Windows and Linux. Desktop, Console and Web projects.
  • Ohanaware App Wrapper (UPDATED). Prepare your application for the Mac App Store or Web Distribution (macOS only app)
  • Paradigma Software Valentina Studio Pro (UPDATED). Ultimate reports designer, database administration and forms creation tool that runs on all three operating systems - Windows, macOS, Linux. Select one OS version.
  • Paradigma Software ValentinaDB ADK for Xojo (UPDATED). Embed the ultra-fast, object-relational Valentina database into your applications and deploy royalty free - Windows, macOS, Linux, including Raspberry PI! Also works with local SQLite files and as a client to Valentina Server.
  • Paradigma Software Valentina Reports ADK for Xojo (UPDATED). Generate visually rich reports as graphics, web pages or PDF from your Xojo applications on Windows, macOS, Linux including Raspberry PI! Also works with local SQLite files and as a client to Valentina Server.
  • Paradigma Software Valentina Server Unlimited (UPDATED). 4-in-1 Reports Server, Forms Server along with two database servers: one built on object-relational Valentina Database and the other on SQLite. Report and forms serving works with MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS SQL Server and the included Valentina and SQLite servers
  • XDL Library (NEW) Xojo Beginners Guide ebook (updated to over 1100 pages in June 2023)  + 22 new digital articles
  • xDev Magazine (UPDATED). Get back issues and a year’s subscription to xDev Magazine,  the professional's magazine for developing with Xojo.

You can learn more Omegabundle for Xojo 2023 from the Omegabundle website. Please allow up to 3-5 business days for all components to be supplied by participating vendors. If you are ready to purchase, order now from the Paradigma Software web store.

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PDF Viewer controls for iOS

For some years we have PDFKit classes and we have controls for desktop:

Technically the desktop and non-desktop variants both can be used in Desktop projects and the difference is the super class and the event naming (Open vs. Opening).

For next version 23.3, we got these ported to iOS:

All these control host the PDF controls from Apple's PDFKit framework. If you like to configure them, please query the view property to get the PDFViewMBS or PDFThumbnailViewMBS object. There you can configure them and e.g. define a background color.

To load a document, please use the PDFDocumentMBS class. Once you have it, please assign it to the document property in PDFViewMBS class. If you have a thumbnail view related to the PDF view, you can connect them. Please assign your PDFView object to the property PDFView in the PDFThumbnailViewMBS class.

If you need something for Windows, please check our WinPreviewControlMBS control. It can show a PDF document in a Xojo window.

Please try these controls for your iOS applications and let us know how well they work.



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